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SERGEI PROKOFIEV ( ARR . NAUGHTIN ) “ Cinderella ’ s Departure from the Ball ” from Cinderella

SERGEI PROKOFIEV ( ARR . NAUGHTIN ) “ Cinderella ’ s Departure from the Ball ” from Cinderella

ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1891 in Sontsovka , Russia ; died 1953 in Moscow , Russia
• Inspired by hearing his mother practice the piano , Prokofiev wrote his first piece when he was just five years old .
• He developed an interest in experimental music and started exploring dissonant harmonies and unconventional rhythms .
• In his teenage years , Prokofiev was accepted to the St . Petersburg Conservatory where he was viewed by his colleagues as self-important and eccentric . Apparently , he used to keep statistics on fellow students ’ errors — a sure way to make friends !
• Prokofiev made a name for himself in the St . Petersburg music scene for his modern and rebellious music , which shocked some but delighted others .
• As Prokofiev gained notoriety , he was introduced to Sergei Diaghilev , the famous impresario and choreographer who also worked closely with Stravinsky . Diaghilev commissioned Prokofiev to write several ballets . The premiere of his first ballet , The Buffoon , was received with admiration . Stravinsky , who was in attendance , even claimed it was “ the single piece of modern music he could listen to with pleasure ,” and Ravel referred to it as “ a work of genius .”
• During his years in Russia , Prokofiev had to endure censorship and harsh scrutiny from authorities . In the late 1940s , he was denounced , and much of his music was banned from being played , which led to financial hardship for the composer .
• Prokofiev died on the same day as Joseph Stalin , which made the arrangements for his funeral difficult . Only 30 people attended his funeral , one of whom was Shostakovich .
FUN FACT
Prokofiev and Stravinsky maintained a long-lasting , if at times tumultuous , friendship ( frenemies ?). Although on the whole they admired each other , Prokofiev once called Stravinsky ’ s music “ Bach on the wrong notes ,” and Stravinsky once criticized Prokofiev for “ wasting his time writing operas ” after hearing a draft Prokofiev was working on – a comment that nearly led to a fist fight .
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE

1944

MUSIC Hans Krása ’ s children ’ s opera is performed in the Theresiendadt concentration camp where he was later killed .
SPORTS The 1944 Olympics are cancelled during the midst of World War II
COMEDY Agatha Christie ’ s Death Comes as the End
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Prokofiev composed his ballet Cinderella in 1944 .
• The waltz depicts the final dance scene between Cinderella and the Prince at the ball before the clock strikes midnight , and Cinderella must flee the scene . The melodic work has been a source of inspiration for countless choreographers since its debut .
HISTORY German troops occupy Hungary
12 BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA