Price: $2750.00


Autographed 4 bar musical quotation (4.5” x 6.5”) of the cornet solo from the middle of the “Folk Dance”, of his beloved and oft performed ballet, “Romeo and Juliet”, 1947.  The specific reference is section 163, page 220 of the Schirmer full score of the 22nd dance of the work which opens Act II. We offer with a vintage, matte 5” x 7” photograph, 2nd state of the composer; very typical of Soviet images of the time.


In December, 1934, Prokofiev (1891-1953) was commissioned by the Leningrad State Theater of Opera and Ballet (Kirov after 1935) staff directors (not choreographers) Adrian Piotrkovsky and Sergei Radlov for a ballet based upon the Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet”. This was the seventh of nine ballets and eventually would become the most famous.  Radlov had previously directed Prokofiev’s Russian Premiere of “A Love of Three Oranges” in 1926.  Despite being the leading Shakespearian Director in Russia at the time, Radlov was known for his avant garde productions which did not please Stalin.  Piotrkovsky wrote the plot outline and Radlov became the stories librettist.  Shortly after the contract was signed, Leningrad Communist Party Director, Sergei Kirov was assassinated and Stalin used the assassination to purge the theater of staff of which he did not approve and both Radlov and Piotrkovsky were purged of their positions. The contract with the theater was then voided.


Radlov did not give up on writing the libretto and continued with the project. The composer, living in France in 1935 with his family came to Russia alone in the early Summer of 1935 to begin composing the work. To get the ballet performed, the composer inked a deal with Nikolai Golovanov the Music Director of the Bolshoi for a performance there.  By July, Act II was complete in the piano form and Act III in August and the complete score was ready by early September.  Some early work was done at the Summer residence of the Bolshoi Ballet, but in the end, that contract was not fulfilled.


Disappointed, in 1936, Prokofiev decided to move his family back to Russia.  The ballet still in flux, Prokofiev decided on an alternative plan and created two suites from the music for orchestra. The concept was if the public liked the music, the ballet would be staged.  In fact, the public was enthralled with the music, however, politically, the first performance would not be on Russian soil, but instead in Brno, Czechoslovakia at the Mahen Theater and directed by on December 30, 1938, choreographed in a single act by Ivan Psota three years after the completion of the work.  The Composer now ensconced in Russia was not allowed by the Communist Party to attend the rehearsals, nor the performance.


Leonid Lavrovsky, the young 35 year old “it” choreographer of the Kirov finally decided to produce the work at the Kirov. He took Radlov’s work and revised it to be a three Act drambalet, the leading ballet genre there at the time.  He also worked with Prokofiev to rework certain areas and to add variations for the characters of Romeo and Juliet and additional incidental music.  The ballet successfully premiered on January 11, 1940 featuring the young and unknown ballerina Galina Ulanova and Konstantin Sergeyev.  Her dynamic dancing in the ballet described as “dynamic” in the role of Juliet, launch her career.  The Bolshoi premiere did not take place until 1946.  Since that time, the work has been performed world-wide and thrilled audiences on every continent, sometimes with the original Lavrovsky choreography and at times with other famous choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton.  One of Prokofiev’s most famous works and the Folk Dance, one of the best loved musical moments within the ballet.


Perfect for display!




Phone: 212-860-5541