Prokofiev’s First Symphony, Haydn, and Prokofiev


Prokofiev2 Prokofiev3

“It seemed to me that if Haydn had lived into our age, he would have preserved his own way of composing and, at the same time, absorbed something from the new music. That was the kind of symphony I wanted to write: a symphony in the classical style.” – Sergei Prokofiev

The First Symphony is especially intriguing in light of the view of Prokofiev as a leading figure of the Russian avant-garde in the early decades of the twentieth century. The work’s anachronistic “Classical” moniker seems particularly apt in respect to a number of its features.

The symphony is in a familiar four-movement form:

I. Allegro
II. Intermezzo. Larghetto
III. Gavotte. Non troppo allegro
IV. Finale. Molto vivace

Pictured: Prokofiev’s First Symphony, Haydn, and Prokofiev