Music: Brilliant Angel

When he was conducting his Third Symphony in Rome in 1934, Composer Sergei Prokofiev made a rare admission to a visiting musicologist. "This," said he, "is my best work, but only because The Flaming Angel is my greatest." Prokofiev had, in fact, lifted the Third Symphony almost entirely from The Flaming Angel —probably because he despaired of ever seeing his monumentally difficult opera produced. He never did: Flaming Angel had its first stage performance in Venice (TIME, Sept. 26, 1955) 2½ years after the composer's death. At Italy's Spoleto festival, which closed last week, Angel appeared again—in a performance that justified...

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