Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev

Lina and Serge The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev Serge Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century s most brilliant composers yet is an enigma to historians and his fans Why did he leave the West and move to the Soviet Union despite Stalin s crimes W

  • Title: Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev
  • Author: Simon Morrison
  • ISBN: 9780547391311
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Serge Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century s most brilliant composers yet is an enigma to historians and his fans Why did he leave the West and move to the Soviet Union despite Stalin s crimes Why did his astonishing creativity in the 1930s soon dissolve into a far less inspiring output in his later years The answers can finally be revealed, thanks to Simon MorrisSerge Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century s most brilliant composers yet is an enigma to historians and his fans Why did he leave the West and move to the Soviet Union despite Stalin s crimes Why did his astonishing creativity in the 1930s soon dissolve into a far less inspiring output in his later years The answers can finally be revealed, thanks to Simon Morrison s unique and unfettered access to the family s voluminous papers and his ability to reconstruct the tragic, riveting life of the composer s wife, Lina.Morrison s portrait of the marriage of Lina and Serge Prokofiev is the story of a remarkable woman who fought for survival in the face of unbearable betrayal and despair and of the irresistibly talented but heartlessly self absorbed musician she married Born to a Spanish father and Russian mother in Madrid at the end of the nineteenth century and raised in Brooklyn, Lina fell in love with a rising star composer and defied convention to be with him, courting public censure She devoted her life to Serge and to art, training to be an operatic soprano and following her brilliant husband to Stalin s Russia Just as Serge found initial acclaim before becoming constricted by the harsh doctrine of socialist realist music Lina was at first accepted and later scorned, ending her singing career Serge abandoned her and took up with another woman Finally, Lina was arrested and shipped off to the gulag in 1948 She would be held in captivity for eight awful years Meanwhile, Serge found himself the tool of an evil regime to which he was forced to accommodate himself.The contrast between Lina and Serge is one of strength and perseverance versus utter self absorption, a remarkable human drama that draws on the forces of art, sacrifice, and the struggle against oppression Readers will never forget the tragic drama of Lina s life, and never listen to Serge s music in quite the same way againhbooks linaandserge

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    1 thought on “Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev”

    1. BBC Blurb: Simon Morrison's new biography of Lina Prokofiev tells the story of the remarkable woman who married the brilliant composer Serge Prokofiev. Today, music and romance.Lina Prokofiev's compelling story unfolds with the intrigue of a spy novel. Serge Prokofiev's glamorous wife fell madly in love with the brilliant composer while she was working as a secretary in Brooklyn where she lived with her Russian emigre parents. She soon followed him to Paris where his star continued to rise, and [...]

    2. From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Simon Morrison's moving biography about the wife of composer Serge Prokofiev

    3. Lina and Serge is a sympathetic, moving and sensitive portrait of the great composer's long-suffering wife. It is an incredibly sad story, A beautiful and ambitious opera singer who spoke five languages, Lina Prokofiev had a Spanish and Russian heritage, and she was brought up in Brooklyn. While working for cultured Russians, she met the brilliant composer. They had a troubled and distant relationship, and Serge, who was also a bit of a womaniser, didn't want to get married. However, they marrie [...]

    4. Glad I stuck with it because it came to life once the Prokofiev's had moved to Moscow. But up until then I found the excess of detail dragged the story. E.g. not only were we told which car Prokofiev bought, but which cars he CONSIDERED buying. It felt like "we've DONE this research and, by God, you're going to read it." Did we really need to know full lists of people met on tour to Chicago in the 1920s? Of the train times? Of everything played at various concerts, whether or not by Prokofiev?Th [...]

    5. Where in the world did the author get the vast day-by-day (almost hour by hour) detail to write this book? The first 100 pages are excruciatingly boring. He failed to bring Lina or Serge to life any more than any other average person at that time. Probably because they are simply average people one of whom happens to have an incredible talent. The remainder of the book is better but not great.

    6. Weak writing but an interesting story. Prokofiev left his wife for someone roughly half his age, a 23-year-old. His wife ended up in the Gulag for eight yearshadn't known this before.

    7. What a waste of a good subject! Quite an achievement to make such extraordinary people and lives feel so tedious and boring.

    8. This was a great read. As the author notes in his introduction "This book chronicles a totalitarian nightmare but begins with a young woman's dreams." Thus begins such a tale of human defiance in the face of adversity that one wonders why she ever persevered. And again it is the story of so many shattered dreams in a country that could have achieved so much more for it's citizens. And it is also a story of love and betrayal, of glory and reflection, and struggle, hope, and despair. It is one of [...]

    9. This is a kind of joint biography, tracing the intertwining lives of Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife, Lina, and how they each met a horrible fate in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Lina's life is diverse and extraordinary, and only the presence of a great artist like Prokofiev could have submerged it and made it (almost) lost to history. Morrison is an expert on Prokofiev, so he's exhaustively researched this couple and the cultural forces that brought these two worldly expats to contemplate [...]

    10. The soprano Lina Prokofiev died on January 3,1989,aged 91. No recordings of her singing are know to have survived - From Lina &Serge - the love and wars of Lina Prokofiev. By Simon Morrison Well I just finished this book and wow, I knew a Lil about her husband, but I never thought the book would be like this. She was a talented well loved girl, I feel sorry her life turned out like this. She had to fight for everything it seems. She kept a great attitude over her years of early marriage, to [...]

    11. I was delighted to receive this book thru GoodReads Giveaways!This book is Well-Written and you can tell the result of extensive reseach with lots of details of a tragic story of a talented woman raised in Brooklyn who became the lover and then the wife of one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Sergei Prokofiev, and paid a huge price.I would highly recommend this book.

    12. The music of the 20th century - the lights of Paris in the 20s, Milan and the carnivale in the 30s, the despair of the gulag in the 40s. A beautiful biography.

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