“By the time of its premiere in Moscow in January of 1945 under the composer’s direction, distant celebratory artillery fire would cause Prokofiev to pause, arms raised, as he prepared to begin the performance – the Russian army had crossed the Vistula…
The Fifth was his first symphonic effort in some fifteen years, his Fourth having failed in Paris.
He had changed his own approach by this time, writing:
“Music has definitely reached and passed the greatest degree of dissonance and of complexity that it is practicable for it to attain. Therefore I think the desire which I and many of my fellow composers feel, to achieve a more simple and melodic expression, is the inevitable direction for the musical art of the future.”
Classical Music, Gould