Alexander Waugh

Bittersweet Symphony

The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev

By

Harvill Secker 336pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Sergey Prokofiev: Diaries 1924–1933 – Prodigal Son

By

Faber & Faber 1125pp £30 order from our bookshop

Lina Codina, a Spanish coloratura soprano (born in Madrid, brought up in Brooklyn, trained in Paris and Milan), married Sergey Prokofiev at Ettal in Germany on 8 October 1923. It was not a perfect match. Prokofiev was cold, self-obsessed, bad-tempered and not much in love. He had been dating her for several years and had made it clear he was in no hurry to be married. He disliked her singing, tried to avoid accompanying her in concerts and never made any effort to secure her parts in his operas. At their wedding she was six months pregnant. Lina’s mother thought him a cad. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,