Romeo and Juliet, the ballet, was written by Prokofiev in 1936, first as three suites for orchestra and as a piano work. The piano work was later reduced to ‘ten pieces for piano -opus 75’. ‘Girls Dancing with Lilies’ comes in Act III, scene III. It is not one of the better known parts of the ballet. The young girls bring flowers to the window and perform an elegant dance to try and awaken Juliet on the morning of her proposed wedding to Paris..
An elegant melody, it was ripe for butchering by Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra. In this live version, the grace of the Prokofiev original is rendered by Astral Gonad playing an old 1970s organ which was found on the streets of Amsterdam. Ably assisted by Odd Banner and Gaelic Punkt on clarinets, Idea Van Verdi on violin, Mai Que on accordion, Milu Ling on cymbals, Makmed the Miller on blowing things and Bor Berzerka on passive movement.
Some Interesting facts about Prokofiev…
His first composition (aged five) called ‘Indian Gallop’ was in F major but the melody excluded the B flat, since he did not like to touch the black keys.
The premier of his opera ‘The Gambler’, based on Dostoevsky’s novel, had to be cancelled because of the February revolution and the abdication of the Tsar.
In America, the premier of his opera ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ had to be cancelled because of the death of the director.
On 5th March 1953, Prokofiev and Josef Stalin both died as a result of cerebral haemorrhage. The crowds gathered around Red Square mourning Stalin’s death were so dense that Prokofiev’s body could not be carried to his funeral. The funeral was of course held eventually, but only paper flowers were allowed since all the real flowers available had been reserved for Stalin’s funeral.