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Sergei Prokofiev:
The Story of Lt. Kije


Lt. KijÚ is the story of an imaginary soldier, created when the Russian Tsar misread a smudged name on a list of his men. Everyone around the Tsar was too afraid to tell him there was no such person, so they just invented an entire life for the nonextistent KijÚ. He gets married and become a hero -- all on paper. When the Tsar finally demands to meet KijÚ, the military holds his funeral.

Other shows about Sergei Prokofiev:
Peter and the Wolf
About Sergei Prokofiev
Musical Sleigh Rides
How Suite It Is

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About Sergei Prokofiev
4/23/1891 - 3/5/1953
Born in Ukraine

Russian composer and pianist Sergei Prokofiev was born in 1891 in Sontsovka, a small village in Ukraine. Early on, it was clear that he had musical talent. His mother, who was a very good pianist, encouraged him, and taught him to play the piano. Sergei began composing at the age of five. When he got a bit older, he and his mother moved to St. Petersburg, so that he could study music there.

After Prokofiev graduated from school, he traveled around Europe to learn more about music. World War I and the Russian Revolution made living and working in Russia very difficult, so Prokofiev left the country in 1918. Paris eventually became his home, but he also spent time in the United States and the Bavarian Alps. But the whole time he was away from Russia, Prokofiev longed for his homeland. In 1936, he made the unusual decision to move back to the Soviet Union.

Prokofiev was a master at using music to tell a story. One of his most famous musical stories is Peter and the Wolf, which was written for Russia's Central Children's Theatre. You may have seen it performed in school, or on the concert stage.

In addition to symphonic music, Prokofiev wrote ballets, operas, and music for films -- like Lieutenant KijÚ

See other composers born in Ukraine

 

This Week's Quiz:

1. What is different about Lt. Kije?

He is very young.

He likes the Army.

He is always afraid.

He doesn't exist.

He has a dog.


2.What new instrument did Prokofiev use in the Lt. Kije Suite?

Timpani

Saxophone

Harp

Piano

Violin


3. What does NOT happen in Lt. Kije's fictional life?

He gets married

He receives a promotion.

He meets the Tsar.

He is sent to Siberia.

He is honored as a hero.



 

Sergei Prokofiev
Lt. KijÚ Suite


Composed in 1933
Performed by Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Mogrelia, conductor

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