Sergey Prokofiev

Sergey Prokofiev

In the autumn of 1919 the Jewish “Zimro” ensemble came to America. It consisted of a string quartet, a clarinet and piano, all of them former fellow students of mine at the Petersburg Conservatoire…
They had a repertoire of rather interesting Jewish music for diverse combinations of instruments: for two violins, trio, etc. They asked me to write them an overture for a sextet, and gave me a notebook of Jewish themes. I refused at first on the grounds that I used only my own musical material. The notebook, however, remained with me, and glancing through it one evening I chose a few pleasant themes and began to improvise at the piano. I soon noticed that several well-knit passages were emerging. I spent the next day working on the themes and by evening I had the overture ready. It took ten more days to whip it into final shape.

Sergei Prokofiev: Autobiography, Articles, Reminiscences
Sergei Prokofiev