‘Dance of the Knights’ from the ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Sergei Prokofiev is one of the movements from the suite ‘Romeo and Juliet’ arranged for brass sextet.
The A section begins with a strong pulsating beat from the brass section. This shows motoric rhythm, one of Prokofiev’s signatures. The texture of this opening is almost metronomic, and provides a strong foundation for the dramatic string theme that comes out on top of it. Later on, the brass also takes up a soaring counter theme, and also punctuates the original string theme. In the ballet, this section would show the Capulets dancing in a very slow and dignified way, as this is the music for the Capulet Ball.
The B section provides a stark contrast, as it is in the pianissimo dynamic range and is played by the flutes. Together with the violas, they repeat a glissando throughout the section. It is marked adagio, and is very calm and serene. Prokofiev also utilizes touches of celesta in this section, which was highly unusual in orchestral works. In the middle of this section, there is an oboe solo accompanied by pizzicato strings.
This section is meant to represent Juliet’s entrance to the ball, as she flits about and meets various people. She eventually dances with the Count Paris until the close of this section.
When the A section comes back, it is when Juliet has laid eyes on Romeo. It is much abridged, and the first reprise of the theme is done as a tenor saxophone solo. Eventually, the strings join in, and the piece ends with a very strong cadence.
Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
Instrumentation: 2 trumpets, 2 horns, trombone, tuba, percussion (reduced percussion part included)
Genre: Classical music
You can listen to the arrangement on YouTube
Check out the available sheet music
Copyright (c) 2021 Austris Music. This arrangement.