June 12th, Moscow/Moalboal. In a sensational discovery new personal letters of the legendary late Russian composer Sergei Sergejewitsch Prokofiev were found in a corner of the archive of the Moscow Institute of Music, the institution which Prokofiev had left his archives to. The letters give us a fascinating insight into the motivations and values of the great composer, and shed new light on some of his most famous works.
Prokofiev seemed to have significantly modified “Romeo and Juliet”, the ballet considered to be his greatest masterwork, based on economic pressures. In a letter to his agent Prijnew, the composer wrote that the “Dance of the Knights” was originally meant as an homage to schooling sardines. The fascinating group dynamic of schooling fish is what inspired him to write this piece.
“Поток в поведении стайных рыб является то, что композитор музыки может только надеяться, чтобы воспроизвести„ (“The flow in the behavior of schooling fish is what the composer of music can only hope to reproduce”) the great master wrote. However, there was no money in animal group dynamics, and so much commercial potential in romantic ballet that Prokofiev changed the context of the music he wrote. He was obviously very irate by this change he felt he had to make, as the harsh language he used indicates: “Пошел романтический балет!» (“Fuck romantic ballet!”).
Here you can see the “composer’s cut”, Prokofiev’s brilliant piece of music together with footage of a massive school of sardines:
Sergei would have been so happy to see this! This was shot in Moalboal, right in front of Savedra – the dive shop I’ll be working with starting July! You can see these sardines just 50 meters from the door of our dive shop, and I’ll play Prokofiev for you after the dive if you like. Because, Пошел романтический балет!