Music Monday # 17 – The Birth Date of Two Sergeis

April 23, 1873 is the birth date of Sergei Rachmaninoff and April 23, 1891 is the birth date of Sergei Prokofiev .  Both men would be important in 20th century music.

Rachmaninoff was the son of two amateur pianists and came from a noble family that had been in the service of Czars since the 16th century.  He is regarded as one of the finest pianists of the 20th century, while his reputation as a composer is more controversial.

Prokofiev has the only child of a pianist and a relatively wealthy agricultural engineer.  At a very young age he was inspired by his mother practicing the piano and would start composing.  Prokofiev would study along side older students at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and  be viewed as arrogant and eccentric. Musically he would develop the reputation of a rebel.

Both men would spend time living as exiles in California.  Rachmaninoff would die in California and be buried in Valhalla, New York.  Prokofiev would live in Paris and in the Bavarian Alps for several years. But in 1936, Prokofiev returned permanently to the Soviet Union.  He is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

You Tube links:  Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev plays Prokofiev

2 thoughts on “Music Monday # 17 – The Birth Date of Two Sergeis

  1. Prokofiev was a favourite of mine in school. We did SO much music history that I tended to tune out on occasion, but his music always swayed me.

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