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Prokofieff, Serge: Egyptian Nights op. 61 - Symphonic Suite (1934) 18'
for orchestra

Scoring

2.picc.2.corA.2.bcl.tsax.2.dbn-4.2.3.1-timp.perc(3):t.bells/cyms/ tam-t/tgl/cast/BD/SD/tamb-harp-pft-strings

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Repertoire Note



Prokofieff’s 1933 stage music for Alexander Tairov’s exotic-sounding amalgamation of Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw and Pushkin is one of the wildest and most unexpected products of his imagination. In this suite, he brings together the four contrasted worlds of the drama: sinuous waltz-music for Cleopatra, an almost tragic slow-march for Mark Anthony, ‘oriental’-style wailing and drumming for the land of Egypt, and brutal military thunder for the might of ancient Rome. The scoring, throughout, is heavily coloured by the sound of tenor saxophone, trumpets and percussion, which gives this astonishingly vivid music a barbaric and strikingly immediate feel.

Note by Gerard McBurney



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