Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prokofiev, Donetsk, Ukraine.

Donetsk airport before the fighting.
Photo: Michael1238
The other day I was looking at pictures from Donetsk, in Eastern Ukraine, a city ravaged by the on-going conflict. Some of the fiercest fighting has been around the international airport in Donetsk.

The airport is named after Sergei Prokofiev, the great composer, one of the finest melodists ever, the author of many of the top 100 world favourites and some of the most recognisable Russian patriotic tunes, including the theme for Eisenstein's 'Alexander Nevsky' 'Arise, you Russian people.'

Why is Donetsk airport named after Prokofiev? After all, it's mostly known as the industrial heart of Ukraine with its many mines and steel mills. It turns out that Prokofiev was born in the Donbass region (Donetsk and the surrounding mining villages). The village where he was born was called Sontsovka at the time (Sunnyville), now Krasnoye. It used to be in Yekaterinoslav guberniya (governorate), but is now in Donetsk oblast (region).

 Here is the Dance of the Knights (Montague and Capulets) from Prokofiev's balet 'Romeo and Juliet'.

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