The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).
Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet by The London Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by André Previn
- Triple disc box set with enclosed booklet released in 1973. It includes all of the music from the ballet, first composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1935 and revised in 1940 prior to its premiere in the Soviet Union. It is based on the famous play by William Shakespeare.
- My interest in classical music started with my father, who had many records in his collection, particularly by Russian composers like Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Prokofiev. I liked the “bigness” that these composers brought to their orchestrations. I took a further liking to Prokofiev after watching a 1980 film called The Competition, about an aging pianist who enters piano competitions and falls in love with a young woman who aspires to outperform him at these competitions. The film featured Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto #3, a complex masterpiece that I wrote about in an AWESOME post from May 17, 2017 (check it out).
- With a newfound interest in Prokofiev, I began to listen to more of his work, and I discovered his ballet Romeo and Juliet. I purchased the box set brand new (unusual for me – I usually bought used albums). It is a two and a half hour listen, with 52 different sections that follows the classic story of Romeo and Juliet. It became one of my favorite pieces of classical music.
- Here’s a clip of a more recent recording (2008) of the London Symphony Orchestra, with Valery Gergiev conducting a famous passage from the ballet – the dramatic and mysterious No. 13 Dance of the Knights. So settle in, get cultured, and have a listen!