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"Visions Fugitives", Opus 22: Insights into Sergei Prokofiev's compositional vision

Steven Moellering, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In his autobiographical notes, Sergei Prokofiev detailed "five lines" along which his early work had developed. This analysis concerned works composed until his graduation from the St. Petersburg Conservatoire in 1914. The five lines are termed: classical, modern, toccata, lyrical and grotesque. The analysis portion of this document will incorporate these five lines. Furthermore, I will concurrently analyze the Visions Fugitives using my own list of 10 characteristics as a foundation. The 10 characteristics are: (1) dissipating endings - or, endings that do not end emphatically, (2) sharp dynamic contrasts, (3) disjunct melody, (4) chromatic melody and free counterpoint, (5) homophonic accompanimental figures (as one might find in a Romantic nocturne), (6) structures based on the tritone, (7) frequent use of the 3rd, (8) use of the 7th - creating an unstable harmonic function, (9) ternary form - providing contrasting sections and (10) abrupt shifts to distant tonalities (in the pieces that do have a sense of some tonal center). These 10 characteristics create both variety and unity within the set: they link the pieces together while creating contrast. Chapter 4 provides an aural examination of Prokofiev's gramophone recording of the Visions Fugitives. From this recording, I will focus on Prokofiev's style of interpretation and pianism concerning the Visions. This recording also offers evidence that the Opus 22 does not need to be performed in its entirety nor in numerical order. Finally, a chart in the appendix outlines the analysis of chapter 3. ^

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Recommended Citation

Moellering, Steven, ""Visions Fugitives", Opus 22: Insights into Sergei Prokofiev's compositional vision" (2007). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3262189.