Prokofiev: Seven, They Are Seven Op.30

Edition Zeza
SKU EZ-3125
Weight 7.00 LBS
Difficulty Advanced
Instrumentation 2.2picc.3.corA.3.bcl.3.dbn- BD/SD/tamb-2harps-strings
Duration ca. 7 minutes
Set of Parts Includes Strings count
Extra Strings Available on request
Vocal Score Only available with the purchase of the Set of Parts
Score Type


Seven, They Are Seven (Russian: Семеро их) (op. 30) is a cantata by Sergei Prokofiev composed in 1917 for large orchestra, chorus, and dramatic tenor soloist. It was composed in Yessentuki and Kislovodsk, and the words are taken from the poem Ancient Calls (Зовы древности) by Konstantin Balmont. It was revised by Prokofiev in 1933.

This short cantata, which indeed lasts about seven minutes, is a fantastic work which feasts on its own hypnotic repetitions and bizarre sound world. Prokofiev himself related his excitement at composing the work; periodically he had to seek relief from the task, owing to overwhelming anxiety that developed from his enthusiasm. This was among Prokofiev's first truly revolutionary large compositions, and it must have been a disappointment that he never saw it performed in Russia. It was, however, premiered in France, in 1924.

Seven, They Are Seven uses a text by Konstantin Balmont, which in turn was inspired by a Chaldean exorcism, an ancient prayer used to drive demons away. The work begins violently with a snare drum roll and seething orchestral music, with the chorus then entering the chaos in hysterical but dramatic style. The tenor incites the chorus, which sings with delicious fanaticism many repetitions involving the word "seven." A dark, grim rhythmic buildup then begins as the sinister tenor sings, seemingly possessed, above the ensemble. Suspense mounts, and the music reaches a fever pitch of bizarre and fantastic sounds; it detours briefly for a descent to some dark hell, after which tension builds anew. A climax of surreal manner is reached, with the orchestra roiling wildly. Finally peace comes, as the music fades to the dark sounds of the drums and bass singers. This is a thoroughly distinctive masterpiece and one of the most underrated works of its kind.

2.2picc.3.corA.3.bcl.3.dbn- BD/SD/tamb-2harps-strings
ca. 7 minutes
Set of Parts:
Includes Strings count
Extra Strings:
Available on request
Vocal Score:
Only available with the purchase of the Set of Parts
Product Type: