On this day in classical music: Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev was born in the Ukraine in 1891. Because of his adventurous harmonic language, which often shocked listeners with its acerbic dissonances, Prokofiev became known as the enfant terrible of the Russian musical world. His extensive output features seven symphonies, five piano concertos, numerous operas, ballets and film scores. Listen to the march from his popular suite “Peter and the Wolf.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctsWdUaHsHM
On this day in the musical theatre: A year before Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick created the musical theater classic “Fiddler on the Roof,” they collaborated on “She Loves Me,” an intimate, charming 1963 musical based on the play “Parfumerie” by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo. In it, two store clerks become pen pals but are unaware that they’re writing to each other. “She Loves Me” charmed Broadway audiences all over again when it resurfaced in 1993.
Musical musings: When you have nothing new to say, camouflage your inability by pelting the hearer’s ears with cacophonies. The recipe for this sort of composition is as simple as that for boiling an egg. Write anything that comes into your head no matter how commonplace. Then change all the accidentals, putting flats in the place of sharps, and vice-versa, and the thing’s done. – From a review of Prokofiev playing his own works in recital in the New York World, Nov. 21, 1918.