Overture On Hebrew Themes, Op.34
For Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Clarinet
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) is one of the most famous composers of the 20th century and needs no introduction. Most, however, are only familiar with his compositions for orchestra or his concerti or his film scores. He did not ignore chamber music and composed two string quartets, a quintet for piano and winds, several instrumental sonatas and this Overture, a sextet for piano, string quartet and clarinet.
The Overture was composed in 1919 while Prokofiev was living in New York. Most critics say it was written in part as a comic but affectionate caricature. The work was premiered with great success and Prokofiev was hailed as perhaps the only non Jewish composer who had truly captured the essence of Eastern-European Yiddish music. Fifteen years on, Prokofiev was urged to orchestrate the work which he did. (Our sound-bite presents a little less than half of the work)
The Overture has either been out of print or very expensive and virtually every prior edition has made it impossible to smoothly perform because of the horrid page turns. Our edition has carefully arranged the music to avoid this problem and is the first which allows players to perform the music without either memorizing, cutting, pasting or taping.