Orchestral suite in four movements
Written in 1914-15
Includes piano and celesta
I. Invocation to Veles and Ala
II. The Evil God and the Dance of the Pagan Monsters
IV. The Glorious Departure of Lolli and the Cortège of the Sun
The music was originally intended for the ballet Ala i Lolli, commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev, an art critic, patron and ballet impresario. Diaghilev rejected the score before its completion and Prokofiev reworked it into a suite.
Invocation to Veles and Ala includes barbaric and colorful music describing the Scythians’ invocation of the sun.
In The Evil God and the Dance of the Pagan Monsters, the Scythians make a sacrifice to Ala, daughter of Veles, and the Evil God performs a violent dance surrounded by seven monsters
In Night, the Evil God harms Ala and the Moon Maidens descend to console her.
Lolli, the hero, comes to save Ala in The Glorious Departure of Lolli and the Cortège of the Sun. The Sun God assists him in defeating the Evil God. They are victorious and the suite ends with a musical picture of the sunrise.
INSTRUMENTATION: piccolo, 3 flutes (3rd doubling alto flute, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets (3rd doubling E-flat clarinet), bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns, 4 (optional 5) trumpets (3rd doubling E-flat trumpet), 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, bass drum, snare drum, tambourine, glockenspiel, xylophone, 2 harps, celesta, piano, strings