According to Aaron Copland, who met Prokofiev several times in the 1920s, "He was boyish, easily bored, and even impolite at times... He was very bright and outspoken, and I can't imagine that he would ever hide how he felt about anything." Once, when accompanying a singer in a performance of his songs, he reduced her to tears by berating her effort in front of the audience.
Schwarz uses musical excerpts from Prokofiev's "Classical" Symphony, Piano Concerto No. 3, and Romeo and Juliet to demonstrate how Prokofiev avoided the large scale and sweeping gestures of late-Romantic orchestral music in favor of lean sonorities, textural clarity, and concise architecture.
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"Basic enough to be intelligible to musical beginners, and intelligent enough to interest even the connoisseur. Seattle Symphony fans of Gerard Schwarz's Sunday 'Musically Speaking' series know that Schwarz is one of the most articulate speakers on musical subjects." (Seattle Times)
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