Prokofiev: Ouverture Russe Op.72

Edition Zeza
$124.99 - $595.00
SKU EZ-3105
Weight 1.10 LBS
Difficulty Intermediate
Instrumentation Picc, 2Fl, 2Ob, CA, 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, Cbsn, 4Hn, 3Tpt, 3Tbn, Tba, Timp, Perc(4), Pno, 2Hp, Strings
Duration 14 minutes
Set of Parts Includes Strings count
Score type Required


In 1936 Prokofiev returned permanently to the USSR. He showed sketches of the overture to Eugen Szenkar, who accepted it for his orchestra. Prokofiev used a large orchestra, as he had previously in the Scythian Suite and Seven, They are Seven. The overture was completed on 25 September 1936 and premiered on 29 October in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory by Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Szenkar, who subsequently performed it in Paris and elsewhere in Europe. After the premiere, Prokofiev reorchestrated the piece on the advice of Szenkar, reducing the number of brass, woodwind and percussion players. On 15 October 1937, it was given its American premiere by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky. According to Prokofiev's biographer, Simon Morrison, the overture "includes motives derived from Russian folkdance, salon song and liturgical chant."

 Prokofiev fashioned the piece with the intention of creating a nationalistic work. He examined numerous volumes of Russian folk music, in the end using several such themes but also employing some of his own that sound like genuine folk music. The work is laid out in a sort of rondo-like form, but lacks any significant development of materials. It opens with a proud, jaunty horn theme, which alternates with a vigorous and joyous melody of considerable color. A rich, songful tune is then presented by the strings and serves as the perfect foil for the merriment that preceded.

The middle section features another attractive theme, this one a solemn creation whose reverential demeanor will soon produce a glorious outpouring of what for Russian audiences must have represented national pride. Previous material reappears in even more colorful orchestration and the work ends with a playful theme, overtaken by its driving rhythmic elements, vying fanatically for center stage with a brass-dominated rendition of the middle section theme. This masterful work began receiving significant attention in the later twentieth century after nearly a half century of general neglect.

Picc, 2Fl, 2Ob, CA, 2Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, Cbsn, 4Hn, 3Tpt, 3Tbn, Tba, Timp, Perc(4), Pno, 2Hp, Strings
14 minutes
Set of Parts:
Includes Strings count
Product Type: