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Visions Fugitives

IOC's "All Stars Concert" series culminates with Sergei Prokofiev's "Visions Fugitives", performed by Artistic Director, Galina Barskaya on piano and danced by Liza Barskaya.

Visions Fugitives is a collection of twenty short piano solo pieces composed between 1915 and 1917 by Sergei Prokofiev. The collection was an important milestone in Prokofiev's early creative life. Visions Fugitives was first premiered by Prokofiev as a cycle in 1918 and published in the same year.

The inspiration for Visions Fugitives came from an excerpt of a poem titled "I Do Not Know Wisdom" written by the Russian poet Konstantin Balmont:

"I don’t know the wisdom others seem to need, Only little transient things I pour in my verse. Everything that’s transient contains whole worlds for me, Full of rainbow colors, shifting, playing, free."

The word ‘mimolyotnosti’ which means ‘transience's’ in English is the essence of this poem. Some of the pieces in the collection were composed for specific friend's to the composer. Legend has it that Prokofiev performed the collection privately for Balmont and others. Among the audience was a French-speaking friend who immediately provided a French translation of the word, Visions fugitives, which became the title of the work in the non-Russian speaking world. Prokofiev often performed only a couple of pieces from the collection at a time as encores at the end of his performances.

Despite the turbulent period of time in Europe and particularly in Russia (World War I and the Russian Revolution), the general mood of Visions Fugitives is rather meditative and serene. Prokofiev's signature style can be heard throughout each of the pieces, with a combination of tonality, innovative chords and the free use of dissonances. The pieces have a grounding effect on the listener and simultaneously encourage one to use their imagination.


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