This vigorous and inventive four-movement piece of 1929 is almost a symphony in miniature, light-hearted and lively in the manner popular during Prokofieff’s Paris years, but with occasional shades of darkness in the background. Three of the movements are symphonic recreations of material originally written for the ballet and naturally the feeling of dance-music is everywhere to be heard in them. The first and third play with music from a ballet about circus artists, Trapeze, while the finale consists of ideas cut from The Prodigal Son. Only in the second movement, the larghetto, does Prokofieff leave off dancing for a moment to create a wistful little poem of contemplation.
Note by Gerard McBurney