Based on a synopsis created by Adrian Piotrovsky (who first suggested the subject to Prokofiev) and Sergey Radlov, the ballet in its original form was completed by Prokofiev in September 1935, on commission by the Kirov Ballet, since when he first presented the music to the Bolshoi Ballet that year, they claimed it was "undanceable". The original version had a "happy" ending, but was never publicly mounted, partly due to increased fear and caution in the musical and theatrical community in the aftermath of the two notorious Pravda editorials criticising Shostakovich and other "degenerate modernists" including Piotrovsky. The conductorYuri Fayer met with Prokofiev frequently during the writing of the music, and he strongly urged the composer to revert to the traditional ending. Fayer went on to conduct the first performance of the ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre.
More pieces by Prokofiev
- Romeo and Juliet (excerpts from the three Suites)
- Violin Concerto No. 1