The Tale of the Stone Flower (Prokofiev)

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Vladimir Preobrazhensky in a scene from the ballet (1954)

The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118 (Russian: Сказ о каменном цветке), is Sergei Prokofiev's eighth and last ballet, written between 1948 and 1953. It is based on the Russian Ural folk tale The Stone Flower by Pavel Bazhov and is also the last of the trilogy of ballets Prokofiev wrote in the Russian ballet tradition. It was premiered posthumously in 1954, conducted by Yuri Fayer.

Numbers[edit]

Prologue
1 The Mistress of the Copper Mountain
2 Danila and his work
Act I
Scene 1
3 Danila in search of the flower
4 Danila meets some fellow villagers
5 Scene and Duet of Katerina and Danila
6 Interlude
Scene 2
7 Round Dance
8 Katerina dances with her friends
9 The Peasant Girls' Dance
10 Danila's and Katerina's Dance
11 The unmarried men's dance
12 Severyan's Dance
13 Altercation over the malachite vase
14 Scene of Katerina and Danila
15 Danila's Meditation
Scene 3
16 Danila enticed away by the Mistress of the Copper Mountain
Act II
Scene 4
17 The Mistress shows Danila the treasures of the earth
18 Duet of the Mistress and Danila
19 Scene and Waltz of the Diamonds
20 Dance of the Russian precious stones
21 Waltz
22 Danila's Monologue and the Mistress' Reply
23 The Mistress shows Danila the stone flower
24 Severyan and the Workers; The Mistress' Warning
Scene 5
25 Scene and Katerina's Dance
26 Severyan's Arrival
27 "Where are you, sweet Danila?"
28 The Appearance of the Mistress; Katerina's Joy
Scene 6
29 Ural Rhapsody
30 Interlude
31 Russian Dance
Scene 7
32 Gypsy Dance
33 Severyan's Dance
34 Solo of the Gypsy Girl and Coda
35 Katerina's Appearance and Severyan's Rage
36 The Appearance of the Mistress and Scene of Severyan transfixed to the earth
37 Severyan follows the Mistress
38 Severyan dies
Scene 8
39 Katerina sits by the fire and yearns for Danila
40 Scene and Dance of Katerina and the skipping of the Fire Spirits
41 Katerina follows the Fire Spirits
42 Dialogue of Katerina and the Mistress
43 Danila turned to stone
44 The Joy of the reuniting of Katerina and Danila
45 The Mistress presents gifts to Katerina and Danila
46 Epilogue

Analysis[edit]

Instrumentation[edit]

The work is scored for an orchestra consisting of 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets (1st doubling E-flat clarinet, 2nd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contrabassoon), 4 french horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (triangle, castanets, wood blocks, tambourine, snare drum, cymbals, bass drum, tam-tam, tubular bells, xylophone), harp, piano, and strings.

Premiere[edit]

12 February 1954, Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, conducted by Yuri Fayer. Choreography by Yuri Grigorovich. Dancers included Marina Kondratieva (one of the title roles)Raissa Struchkova (Yekaterina), Galina Ulanova (Yekaterina's sister), Aleksey Yermolayev (Severyan), Maya Plisetskaya (Icy Rusalka of the Copper Mountain), Vladimir Preobrazhensky (Danila's brother), Gennadi Lediakh (one of the good bailiffs), and Yuri Grigoriev(Danila) and more.[1]

Recordings[edit]

Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format
Radio Philharmonie Hannover des NDR Michail Jurowski CPO 1995/7 CD
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Gianandrea Noseda Chandos Records 2003 CD
Bolshoi Theater Orchestra Gennady Rozhdestvensky Melodiya 1968 CD/LP

Orchestral suites from The Tale of the Stone Flower[edit]

As usual, Prokofiev extracted music from the ballet for concert performance.

Wedding Suite, Op. 126 (1951)[edit]

Available recordings:

Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format
Royal Scottish National Orchestra Neeme Järvi Chandos Records 1989 CD
Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra Arnold Katz Russian Season 1997 CD
USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra Gennady Rozhdestvensky Melodiya LP

Gypsy Fantasy, Op. 127 (1951)[edit]

Available recordings:

Orchestra Conductor Record Company Year of Recording Format
Moscow Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra Gennady Rozhdestvensky Melodiya LP

Urals Rhapsody, Op. 128 (1951)[edit]

There are no available recordings.

The Mistress of the Copper Mountain, Op. 129[edit]

Unrealized.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Israel V. Nestyov, trans. Florence Jones, Prokofiev, 1960

External links[edit]