Donald Macleod focuses on the genesis of Prokofiev's ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet, listening to the work with fresh ears in a host of dazzling and unusual arrangements.
Donald Macleod explores the genesis of Prokofiev's ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet - exploring the work with fresh ears in a host of dazzling and unusual arrangements.
Sergei Prokofiev died the same day as Stalin; there were no flowers left for his funeral. It was the grimly ironic end to a return to his Russian motherland that had begun in triumph in the mid-1930s and descended terrifyingly quickly into a fight for his life, in the face of the state's purges of artists and intellectuals. This week, Donald Macleod explores a host of masterpieces - including Romeo and Juliet, Peter and the Wolf, War and Peace, Alexander Nevsky and the Sixth Symphony - leading to Prokofiev's final, devastating denunciation by the cultural commissars in 1948, a blow from which his music and health would never recover.
Today's episode is devoted entirely to Prokofiev's much-loved ballet Romeo and Juliet. Donald Macleod tells the story of the work's troubled genesis in the face of meddling from the cultural commissars, as the Prokofiev family prepared to make a permanent move back to the Soviet Union. He introduces a host of unusual and imaginative arrangements of highlights from the score - including for brass band, marimba and cello quartets, trombone, viola duo and jazz ensemble.
Prokofiev: Dance of the Knights (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Drabkin)
Rastrelli Cello Quartet
Prokofiev: The Death of Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Schonstädt)
german hornsound 8.1
Simon Rosler, percussion
Hannes Krämer, conductor
Prokofiev: The Young Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Lindberg)
Christian Lindberg, trombone
Roland Pöntinen, piano
Prokofiev: Masks (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Heifetz)
Gil Shaham, violin
Orli Shaham, piano
Prokofiev: Morning Serenade (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Borizovski)
Matthew Jones, Rivka Golani, violas
Michael Hampton, piano
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Before Parting (10 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op 75)
Bernd Glemser, piano
Prokofiev: Dance of the Girls With Lilies (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Drabkin)
Rastrelli Cello Quartet
Prokofiev: Juliet's Death (Romeo and Juliet) (arr Tarkmann)
Lutz Kohler, conductor
Prokofiev: Dance of The Knights (arr Yuri Markin)
Yuri Markin Jazz Quartet:
Yuri Markin, piano
Sergey Rezantzev, alto sax
Andrey Doudchenko, double bass
Peter Talalay, drums.