Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Palmer, Christopher. "Prokofiev, Eisenstein and Ivan." The Musical Times 132 (April 1991): 179-81.

The 1941 film Ivan was produced and directed by Sergei Eisenstein in Moscow, Russia, based on the life of Ivan the Terrible. The film's score, by Sergei Prokofiev, borrows heavily from Russian folk and ecclesiastical idioms to convey nationalistic sentiments. The Russian folk songs "Russian Sea" and "Song of the Beaver" are used and both a "round dance" and an ardent love song are modeled on the folk idiom. Humming of a liturgical chant results in a "devil's parody." Close modeling on the works of Rimsky-Korsakov are evident through the thematic material in his first opera, The Maid of Pskov, a narrative of Ivan the Terrible, and the similarities of folk idiom use in Act III of The Snow Maiden, where the woodland festivities begin with a "round dance" and "Song of the Beaver." Prokofiev may or may not have intentionally borrowed from the folk traditions or from Rimsky-Korsakov, but the fact that the score is so saturated with Russian folk and ecclesiastical idioms shows how conversant he was with his own musical heritage.

Works: Sergei Prokofiev: score for Ivan (179-81).

Sources: Russian traditional song: Russian Sea,Song of the Beaver (179); Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov: The Maid of Pskov,The Snow Maiden,The Tsar's Bride (179).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Film

Contributed by: Kathleen Widden

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