Trapeze (Prokofiev)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sergei Prokofiev's Trapèze Ballet is scored for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass. The ballet, closely related to Prokofiev's Quintet, Op. 39 (1924), contains eight movements (in five parts) and lasts 20–25 minutes.[1] The complete ballet in eight movements was first performed in Gotha, a small German town near Hanover, on 6 November 1925.[1]


In 1924, when Prokofiev was staying in Paris, a travelling troupe commissioned a chamber ballet from him. However, the ensemble that provided music accompaniment to the troupe only contained five members. This provided Prokofiev an opportunity to write more chamber music. His most recent chamber piece had been the Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34 (1919).

Later, Prokofiev incorporated the ballet music into two pieces: Quintet, Op. 39 (1924) and Divertimento, Op. 43 (1925–29).


The Trapèze Ballet, recently reconstructed, is in five movements:[1]

  1. Overture
    1. Moderato, molto ritmato
  2. Matelote
    1. Allegro
  3. The Ballerina
    1. Tema con variazioni
    2. Andante energico
  4. Dance of the Tumblers
    1. Allegro sostenuto, ma con brio
    2. Adagio pesante
    3. Allegro precipitato, ma non troppo presto
  5. Mourning the Ballerina
    1. Andantino

The related Quintet is in six movements as follows:

  1. Tema con variazioni
  2. Andante energico
  3. Allegro sostenuto, ma con brio
  4. Adagio pesante
  5. Allegro precipitato, ma non troppo presto
  6. Andantino

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Becker, Samuel. "Prokofiev: Trapeze". Retrieved 24 April 2012. 


  • Press, Stephen D. (2006). Prokofiev's Ballets for Diaghilev . Ashgate Publishing Limited. ISBN 0754604020

External links[edit]