PROKOFIEV, SERGEI. 1891-1953.
Manuscript Score (likely in a scribal hand) with extensive emendations in graphite and blue pencil in Prokofiev's hand, Quintette. Op. 39, 46 pp recto and verso, folio, [Paris], 1924, with Prokofiev's ownership inscription ("Eksempler S. Prokof'eva") to first page, un-sewn, light soiling to first and last page, a few small light stains, otherwise excellent.
PROKOFIEV'S OWN COPY OF THE SCORE FOR THE FULL SIX MOVEMENTS OF HIS OPUS 39. Closely related to his ballet Trapeze, which choreographer Boris Georgevich Romanov commissioned, Prokofiev wrote Op. 39 as a piece of chamber music: a quintette for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass. The blue pencil marks all highlight the dynamic indications and the time signatures, showing that this copy was more than likely his conducting copy used during a performance of the piece. A close comparison of the manuscript to a published version of the score shows many interesting things which are illustrative of Prokofiev's exacting nature: Prokofiev wrote the third movement in 5/4 time, and in a sixth bar over the oboe part added a line of notes indicating the rhythmic distribution (at times 5 quarter notes, at others two dotted quarters and a half note, or a half and a dotted half). In the published version, this slightly confusing notation was changed to alternating 2/4 and 3/4 time, eliminating the need for the additional line of notes. Prokofiev could have written it this way himself, but surely felt that there was a subtle difference in the notation, preferring the 5/4 version. While there were no significant additions to the quintette, the manuscript version lasted 17 minutes when played, whereas the published version plays over 20-25 minutes; it is possible that this slight change in time signature notation resulted in the piece being placed slightly slower than Prokofiev intended. A fascinating study for music historians.
WITH: Manuscript Score, Der feurige Engel. Opera. Op. 37, 64 pp, recto and verso, folio, [Paris, c.1927]. The score for this controversial opera was based upon Valerii Yakovlevich Briusov's novel Ognenyi angel [The Fiery Angel] (1908). Although accepted by Bruno Walter for the 1927-1928 season at the Berlin State Opera, it did not receive its world premier until 1953, two years after Profokiev's death. The Los Angeles Times called a 1994 production "a strange and startling, daring and ultimately poignant evocation of 16th-Century Germany as filtered through the sensibilities of modernist Russia, ca. 1925." Prokofiev later adapted parts of the opera as Symphony No. 3 in C minor (Op. 44) in 1928.