Music: Prokofiev's Farewell

At 60, tired, ailing and scarred by writing to please his Soviet masters, Sergei Prokofiev, Russia's finest modern composer, sat down to write his Seventh Symphony. His aim, he told Pravda, was to "create in music a picture of bright youth." In Philadelphia last week, five weeks after his death, Prokofiev's "Youth Symphony" got its U.S. premiere. The last work of the master turned out to be as pretty and inconsequential as a Hollywood film score.

As Conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra unrolled the 32-minute work, the audience caught a succession of light, volatile themes. There were times when the...

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