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A terse definition of Sergei Prokofiev’s music can be traced back to the words of Friedrich Schlegel : « It is equally fatal for the spirit to have a system and not have a system. Therefore the spirit must try to combine them ». The aim of this article is to illustrate some principles that integrate the several facets of Prokofiev’s neo-tonal language, especially with regard to pitch structures, and to connect them with an interdisciplinary domain that also includes literature. Prokofiev’s compositional techniques are considered in terms of their « immanent » as well as extra- musical values. The symbolic-associative relationship between Prokofiev’s musical language and certain literary works reflects a representative relationship with the cultural milieu (social, historical) of that time.

Prokofiev et la littérature
Carlo Bianchi
University of Pavia-Cremona, Italy
Sizing up Prokofiev's music - Some remarks on a neo-tonal language