Part of FR1 Friday Evening 1
About This Performance
Lisa Batiashvili’s passionate and poetic approach is ideally suited to Tchaikovsky’s thrilling Romantic concerto. With its wonderfully dancing tunefulness and vivid orchestration, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet score follows in the footsteps of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet music.
The history of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is so strange as to be almost comical, except that fear, oppression, even execution are connected to it. When it was performed by the Kirov Ballet five years after being written, sections of the original had been moved around, 20 minutes of music had been cut, the orchestration had been altered, all at the insistence of the Soviet authorities. So what transgression was this bowdlerized version supposed to correct?
Astonishingly, the thought police enforced these changes upon Prokofiev’s creative vision in order to defend Shakespeare’s classic. The composer and his collaborators had originally envisioned a happy ending to the tragedy, because, as Prokofiev put it, “living people can dance, the dead cannot.” It is a testament to the power of Prokofiev’s music that, even drastically altered, it has become a beloved masterpiece.
Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability subject to change.