The First Version of Serge Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel With a Critical Edition of the Composer’s Compositional Sketch

Gima, Ondrej. 2020. The First Version of Serge Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel With a Critical Edition of the Composer’s Compositional Sketch. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis investigates the journey of Serge Prokofiev’s opera, The Fiery Angel, Op. 37, with the aim of presenting a critical edition of the composer’s compositional sketch of the first version (VS 1923), accompanied by a critical commentary. Transformation of Valery Bryusov’s roman à clef into opera was initiated by the composer on 20 January 1920 in New York, and completed on 9 June 1927 in Ettal. The complicated journey of The Fiery Angel (shaped by changes in Prokofiev’s creative approach; changes in his perception of the subject matter; and various other obstacles, such as the inability to secure a performance of the opera) resulted in the creation of two discrete works – the first version of the opera, preserved as the composer’s compositional sketch (1923); and a fully completed second version of the opera (1927). Whilst the fully completed, revised version of the opera has been published and relatively widely performed, the first version of the opera never left the archival depositary. Despite the first version being (to a certain extent) superseded by the second, this thesis and accompanying critical edition explore Prokofiev’s initial concept of The Fiery Angel, with its own artistic qualities and characteristics, and examine (in-depth) the factors shaping the opera’s transformation. The critical edition is an accurate and authentic transcription of Prokofiev’s compositional sketch of the first version of the opera, which improves the legibility of the condensed autograph manuscript with visual illustrations of the layers between the original and later texts. This in-turn improves the readability and performability of the score, and enables it to be more easily accessible to anyone with an interest in the opera.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00030227

Keywords:

Serge Prokofiev, The Fiery Angel, Valery Bryusov

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Centre for Russian Music

Date:

30 November 2020

Item ID:

30227

Date Deposited:

25 Jun 2021 11:30

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2021 11:36

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30227

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