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.
Video link: https://youtu.be/8M-zu5V2wYY
· 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.
· 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.