11 March 2011

Prokofiev & The Star-Crossed Lovers

copyright (c) 2009 Sharon Edmunds
Prokofiev & The Star-Crossed Lovers, Acrylic/collage on Canvas, 18" x 14"

Sergei Prokofiev is the second portrait from my "Russian Icon" series.

His biography could have been a Tolstoy novel, a life full of starts and stops, as the world intervened.

His music was new, modernist, full of dissonant harmonies and strange time signatures. It perfectly mirrored the times he lived in: World War I, The Russian Revolution, Stalin's Reign of Terror, & World War II.

His death would be no different than the odd circumstances of much of his life. He would die in Moscow, on the same day that Stalin's death was announced to the Soviet Union. There would be no flowers available for his funeral and the music played would be on tape. The piece chosen was his "Funeral March" from the Ballet, "Romeo & Juliet".

Almost everyone knows his "Dance of the Knights" from "Romeo & Juliet". One of my absolute favorite musical pieces is his "Balcony Scene" from the same ballet.

Here is a short piece from Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet" that I always enjoy. A light hearted moment, right before Romeo meets Juliet:

(Uploaded by Plumbago,
2:44, May 25, 2007)


  1. Hi Sharon-I'm not familiar with this Russian. I tried listening to some classical music last night while painting. I eventually switched to my "dance" playlist. Guess I'm not too cultured! This one has a great graphic quality to it.

  2. Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment. There is a strength to Prokofiev's work that I wanted to emphasize, but also didn't want to ignore the lightness that is also there.

    I've never met a painter who doesn't work to music...and you might be surprised if you knew what my extended playlist looks like! I refuse to place limits on something as essential as music.