Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Dennis Parker


Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 125, written between 1950 and 1952, was a thorough-going revision of the less successful Cello Concerto, Op. 58, composed between 1933 and 1938. The purpose of this monograph is to analyze and explain Prokofiev's unique tonal style through a comparison of themes and their separate treatment in the first movements of these works. The monograph is in three main parts: a brief history of Prokofiev and the background of these two pieces, a comparison of the first movement themes of these works, and an analysis of Prokofiev's key relations and modulatory devices. Almost all of the thematic material of the Concerto appears in the Sinfonia Concertante. However, Prokofiev adapts and expands the themes in the Concerto's ternary movement to create a quasi-sonata form in the Sinfonia Concertante. A comparison of themes and motives in these works indicates the degree to which Prokofiev's composition of these works was a process of arranging clearly conceived thematic ideas. Richard Bass's theory of "Chromatic Displacement" is employed to explain Prokofiev's melodic chromaticism. The strongly diatonic themes frequently contain chromatically shifted fragments which have the initial characteristics of ornamental chromaticism. Tonally, individual melodic lines may briefly go out of phase with the prevailing key. Or they may contain chromaticism implying one tonal desination while contrapuntally arranged to support the sonorities of a contrasting key area.