Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Prokofiev

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! P is for Prokofiev. Sergei Prokofiev was a Russian and Soviet composer who lived from 1891 to 1953. Today’s video is a performance of Montagues and Capulets, also known as Dance of the Knights, from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet suite performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Gaffigan.
 




   ·   Sergei Prokofiev was a child prodigy. He composed his first piano piece at age 5 and his first opera at age 9.
 
   ·   He became interested in chess at age 7 and later played with world chess champions. He beat José Raúl Capablanca in a match in 1914 and played several matches against Mikhail Botvinnik in the 1930s.
 
   ·   After the Russian Revolution, Prokofiev believed that Russia “had no use for music at the moment,” and after obtaining his passport and official permission to leave, he moved to the United States. He also lived in Germany and Paris before returning to Moscow in 1936.
 
   ·   Prokofiev was friends with Igor Stravinsky, who described Prokofiev as the greatest Russian composer of his day, after himself.
 
   ·   He made a record of his third Piano Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra at London’s famous Abbey Road studios.
 
   ·   Contrary to Shakespeare, Prokofiev’s original Romeo and Juliet ballet had a happy ending, but he was strongly urged to revert back.
 
Disney's Peter and the Wolf book

   ·   You may be familiar with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, which is a children’s story told by a narrator with an accompanying orchestra. Each character in the story is represented by a different instrument. When I was a child, this was my first introduction to the sounds of different instruments.


 
For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. The video I added today features a different “P” composer plus some laughs. The comedic and talented quartet, PaGAGnini performs their own variation of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.


 
Have you ever played chess? Are you familiar with Peter and the Wolf? Which character in Peter and the Wolf did the clarinet represent? Answer tomorrow.

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for introducing me to him...I hadn't known about him before!

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  2. you are doing great with this challenge

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  3. That Peter and the Wolf cover art looks very familiar. Wonder if I had a copy or one of my friends did.

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    1. Tamara, Disney also made a short cartoon of Peter and the Wolf.

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  4. Hadn't heard that piece before; it was nice! I do remember Peter and the Wolf but of course I can't remember who represented the clarinet!

    Fascinating man Prokofiev was; so talented at such a young age!

    I do play chess, haven't in a long time. It is a good game for the brain I think!

    betty

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    1. Betty, my brother once taught me to play chess, but I did not pay attention. One of these days, I might try to learn it again.

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  5. I love these comedic trailers you've been showing!

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    1. Sandra, the comedy videos are part of the reason I wanted to have two each day :)

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  6. His Romeo and Juliet had a happy ending? I'd like that one better.

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    1. Alex, I wish he wouldn't have listened to the naysayers, it would have been nice if he kept his Romeo and Juliet that way.

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  7. I know that song! From childhood...what does that say about me that one of the classical pieces I recognize most is a children's one?!

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    1. Stephanie, I'm sure you would recognize more than you think, I've been picking some pieces that aren't as familiar :)

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  8. Peter and the Wolf has an oboe in it. I loved it for that reason. (I played the oboe in school.)

    Liz A. from
    Laws of Gravity

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    1. Liz, I became fairly familiar with the oboe because my best friend in the church youth group played one. She was always talking about the lack of oboe solo pieces :)

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  9. Gosh I love this piece and I believe I have that record....I have to look through and see if I have it. I know I did and listened to it when I was a kid. I have no clue who was represented by the clarinet. I have to say I am loving your posts!

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    1. Thanks Birgit! I don't think my family had any classical music records, but I had my own personal collection of cassettes. It was pieces by Beethoven and maybe Mozart.

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  10. An immense moonlike of commendation, reserve it up. premium wordpress themes

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  11. I think many of us were first introduced to the orchestra though Peter and the Wolf.What a wonderful choice of topic. I linked to pieces of music for the 2015 challenge, but your posts are in far more depth than mine were.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Greenpatches! I might go check out your 2015 theme :)

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