Prokofiev: A Summer Day Op.65bis

Edition Zeza
SKU EZ-3107
Weight 3.80 LBS
Difficulty Easy
Instrumentation 2Fl, 2Ob, 2Cl, 2Bsn, 2Hn, 2Tpt, Timp, Perc, Strings
Duration 15-17 minutes
Set of Parts Includes Strings count
Score Type


Responding to Soviet governmental directives to produce music accessible to children, Sergei Prokofiev wrote an album of short, pictorial piano pieces in 1936. Published as Music for Children, Op. 65, these went over so well that Prokofiev orchestrated seven of the pieces in 1941, calling the result Summer Day: a Children's Suite for Small Orchestra. Prokofiev would eventually recycle the third and sixth of these orchestrated pieces for his final ballet, The Stone Flower.

The suite begins with "Morning," a delicate little woodwind tune uttered tentatively over quiet thuds and shudders at the bottom of the orchestra. "Tip and Run," as the English call it ("Tag" to Americans), is a light scherzo carried by chattering woodwinds. "Waltz" begins with a rather clichéd string melody that serves as a perfect canvas for unexpected rhythmic turns and harmonies.

"Repentance" (also translated as "Regrets") is the suite's longest movement, clocking in at about three minutes. Prokofiev inserts a few winks into this highly atmospheric dirge with his occasionally satirical accompaniment for pizzicato strings. "March" is militaristic only in the sense of parody, rather like the "Children's March" from Bizet's Carmen.

"Evening" offers brief woodwind solos over a restless string accompaniment; although there's no specific program attached to this movement, the gently flittering wind solos might suggest fireflies, and the secondary section's quiet four-note percussion ostinato evokes the gentle rhythms of frogs and nighttime insects. "Moonlit Meadows" is a poetically naive musical scene; the primary element of interest is Prokofiev's passing of thematic fragments among the orchestral soloists, especially the flute and horn, before fading out inconclusively.

Description by James Reel

2Fl, 2Ob, 2Cl, 2Bsn, 2Hn, 2Tpt, Timp, Perc, Strings
15-17 minutes
Set of Parts:
Includes Strings count
Product Type: