Piotr Ilitch Tchaikovski
Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly Shakespeare most popular play which inspired the composers of this programme. If the Shakespeare’s play was an immediate success it is curious to note that the pieces we shall hear were received with poor enthusiasm when they premiered. Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette was heard for the first time in 1867 but only 30 years later this opera was accepted by the public. Tchaikovski had to rewrite twice his Ouverture Romeo and Juliet and premiered it only 1870. Prokofiev disheartened with the cold reception of the ballet he had composed for the Kirov decided between 1936 and 1937 to adapt it for 2 Orchestral Suites which evoke the crucial moments of the tragedy of the two unfortunate young lovers from Verona. It is with “Romeo and Juliet”, the paradigm of the tragic love written by Shakespeare between 1591 and 1595, that we celebrate once again the 400 years of his death.