Prokofieff himself was very fond of his First String Quartet, written for the Library of Congress, and considered the andante from the piece worth transforming into this independent piece for string orchestra. The result is a surprisingly complex and involved single-movement piece that holds up impressively by itself. Prokofieff replaces his usual feeling for drama and lyrical story-telling with a more abstract and intense concentration on the distinctive properties of his musical ideas. This is a piece that would fit well in the midst of a programme of contrasted works for string orchestra.
Note by Gerard McBurney