🎻♫♪ – Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Sergei Prokofiev

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
Progress:
 25/501Title: Lieutenant Kijé Suite
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Nationality: Russian
Year:
 1934

Another classical piece so soon? And one that broke the streak of different blog entries? This should be a special piece of music! Well to me it is and, now that I have listened to the whole suite, it has become even more so.

To start of with, I picked Lieutenant Kijé Suite as the next classical piece as it’s ‘little grey dove’ refrain from the Romance movement is the only piece of classical music that I was actually able to memorise during the mandatory school music lessons (I am not counting ‘Hot Cross Buns’ on the recorder as a classical piece’). Now that I hear this refrain within the context of this classical piece I love it all the more.

What I did not realise was that the Lieutenant Kijé Suite also contained the classic ‘Troika’ movement. So when I first listened to this at work and this piece of  Christmas classical music started to play I became a mess of goosebumps for a solid four minutes.

The whole suite itself has a rather weird history. Originally the Lieutenant Kijé Suite was music to a 1934 film of the same name. So impressed with Prokofiev’s work on the soundtrack, the Moscow Opera Symphony Orchestra commissioned him to turn his fragmented musical pieces into a fully fledged piece for an orchestra. It was part of the Soviet Union happily welcoming Prokofiev back into the fold after his return to his homeland after spending a lot of his time Paris.

As a suite of music it is split into five distinct movements, with the whole piece lasting 20 minutes. Since this being derived from different parts of a movie soundtrack it feels like an EP of 5 distinct tracks than a suite of music… or maybe I just need to start getting used to this terminology as I investigate more classical music.

In any case, for the merit that it gave me incredible goosebumps and it almost made me cry out of joy the Lieutenant Kijé Suite is easily one of the best pieces that I have heard so far for this list. I’ll probably be back in the world of church music for the next classical piece… so someone please pray for me.

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