great music for kids: prokofiev’s the love for three oranges

you have my father to thank for this one.

when i was a little girl, i loved to march around the living room to prokofiev’s march from the love for three oranges. the version we had was by an orchestra; my father has always loved symphonic music. in fact, i still remember when i was my father’s “date” to see the garden state philharmonic play. i couldn’t have been more than 6, and i felt so grown-up and thrilled to be seeing a real-live show. i couldn’t tell you what they played; but i just remember revelling in all the sound. (a far cry from when i was 9 and my parents took me to see the bolshoi ballet perform swan lake at the garden state arts center. i went home and promptly threw up. stomach upset or not a tchaikovsky fan? you make the call.)

but back to our friend prokofiev, a man who started out as a child prodigy, much like i did. (ha ha, just seeing whether anyone was still with me.) seriously, though, the kid wrote his first opera at age nine (so you moms out there who think your child is gifted need to seriously reassess whether junior is simply really good in math. or science. or reading. or in not picking his nose and eating it.) he ended up as an obnoxious and disliked enfant terrible in school (moms with supposedly gifted kids also take note: this could be your kid if you overinflate his/her ego.) fortunately, for him, his talent was real, so it didn’t matter whether he was maladjusted. all geniuses end up pretty screwed up.

it’s the price we pay 😉

anyway, you can read his thrilling history in many places, chockablock with crazy datapoints including the fact that he ended up dying the same day as stalin (which made his burial somewhat problematic.) but i’ll focus on the march. the opera itself is a nutty bit of Commedia Dell’Arte, fluffy stuff that matters little. but the march and the music? i think prokofiev figured that one out, as he threw together a suite for orchestras to play — no tenors needed, thankyouverymuch.

so put it on, and tell your child to imagine what’s happening in the music. march along with your kid. and hell, afterwards, break out some oranges.

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4 Responses to “great music for kids: prokofiev’s the love for three oranges”

  1. A “Red Sea pedestrian”? Hilarious! I’ve never heard that one before. “Landsman,” “member of the tribe,” of course. Yes, I am a full-blooded RSP. 😉 I haven’t listened to “The Love for Three Oranges,” but his “Peter and the Wolf” as narrated by Sterling Holloway back in the 1960s is wonderful. You just made my blogroll, Wreke!

  2. aw, thanks! i’ll do the same!

    and i also loveloveloved the peter and the wolf narrated by sterling holloway when i was a kid–had the album. are you sure we didn’t grow up together? 😉

  3. i love Prokofiev too and haven’t listened to that piece in years. used to have it on vinyl, now must get it again.

  4. me, too! i’m ashamed to say i do not own it. my dad has it on vinyl…somewhere…

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