1 February 2011

Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet

Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite ballets. It's beautiful to watch and to listen to, and also has some of the most well-known pieces of classical music ever. So a lot of you will have heard this before, it's used in countless commercials, films, tv shows etc. It is an incredible piece of music:

Sergei Prokofiev - The Montagues and Capulets (also known as Dance of the Knights) from "Romeo and Juliet".

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is another one of my favourite composers (I do like the Russians a lot), apart from Romeo and Juliet he wrote a bunch of operas (my favourite is The Love for Three Oranges), some more ballets, 7 symphonies, 6 amazing piano concertos (especially the 3rd, which I will definitely write about soon), 2 violin concertos, 2 cello concertos and well, lots more. I think that apart from Romei and Juliet his most famous work might be Peter and the Wolf, for narrator and orchestra. Prokofiev spent a couple of years living in the USA, because he felt there was no place for his music in Russia (which was probably true). He did return to Russia in 1935 which in a way was kind of unfortunate, because there was really still no place for his music in Russia. Like Shostakovich, Prokofiev was vilified by the Russian authorities for writing "formalist" music, and a lot of his works were never performed, or cancelled after only a few performances (and even worse, his wife was actually arrested for being a "spy" and sentenced to 20 years!). Prokofiev died on exactly the same day as Stalin, although I wish he would've outlived him and could've seen how well-loved his music is now.

If you enjoy this piece of music, give the rest of the ballet a listen, like The Death of Tybalt, Juliet as a Young Girl and Masks (with actual ballet footage), and also the piano version (played by Evgeny Kissin).

And I want to say thank you for those of you that comment on the posts! I really do want to hear what you think of the pieces.


  1. I can no longer listen to this without thinking of The Apprentice. Darn The Apprentice! It is great, though! The piece, not The Apprentice.

  2. I did know Peter and the wolf but I've never heard that much of Romeo and Juliet, so that was a nice discovery :)

    I quite liked the music of Masks and it was really nice to see the ballet with it.