Title

War and the Glory of the Human Spirit: The Context and Content of Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony

Type of Submission

Podium Presentation

Keywords

Prokofiev, symphony, World War II, composer, composition, man, art, music

Abstract

Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony is considered by many to be the climactic work of his life. The work, composed during World War II, expressed Prokofiev’s vision of Man- free and happy, pure and noble- which largely contrasted much of the public’s view in the midst of such turmoil on earth. This study will address Prokofiev’s environment which surrounded, techniques which produced, and vision which formed his fifth symphony. Specifically, it will ask: what was the historical and personal context of its composition and first performance, and how did Prokofiev use his music to express this “free and happy Man”? Providing both a brief history of Prokofiev’s life and the context of wartime Russia as well as an analysis of its first movement, Andante, this study will show that Prokofiev’s work is significantly related to his historical context, technical knowledge and vision of the “free and happy Man” in the midst of worldwide conflict. These findings emphasize the importance of studying a work’s context, technique, and vision to understand and appreciate the fullness of a composer’s work.

Faculty Sponsor or Advisor’s Name

Dr. Sandra Yang

Campus Venue

Stevens Student Center, Room 246

Location

Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-16-2014 1:40 PM

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Apr 16th, 1:40 PM

War and the Glory of the Human Spirit: The Context and Content of Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony

Cedarville, OH

Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony is considered by many to be the climactic work of his life. The work, composed during World War II, expressed Prokofiev’s vision of Man- free and happy, pure and noble- which largely contrasted much of the public’s view in the midst of such turmoil on earth. This study will address Prokofiev’s environment which surrounded, techniques which produced, and vision which formed his fifth symphony. Specifically, it will ask: what was the historical and personal context of its composition and first performance, and how did Prokofiev use his music to express this “free and happy Man”? Providing both a brief history of Prokofiev’s life and the context of wartime Russia as well as an analysis of its first movement, Andante, this study will show that Prokofiev’s work is significantly related to his historical context, technical knowledge and vision of the “free and happy Man” in the midst of worldwide conflict. These findings emphasize the importance of studying a work’s context, technique, and vision to understand and appreciate the fullness of a composer’s work.