[Daily article] December 21: Lieutenant Kijé (Prokofiev)

Lieutenant Kijé is music by Sergei Prokofiev originally written to
accompany the film of the same name, produced by the Belgoskino film
studios in Leningrad and released in 1934 (poster pictured). It was his
first attempt at film music, and his first commission from within the
Soviet Union; he had lived abroad since the 1917 October Revolution. In
the early days of sound cinema, among the distinguished composers ready
to write film music, Prokofiev was not an obvious choice for the
commission. Based in Paris for almost a decade, he had a reputation, at
odds with the cultural norms of the Soviet Union, for experimentation
and dissonance. Nevertheless, he was anxious to return to his homeland,
and saw the film commission as an opportunity to write music in a more
accessible style. After the film’s successful release, he adapted the
music into what became a popular orchestral suite, his Op. 60. First
performed on 21 December 1934, it became part of the international
concert repertoire, and one of the composer’s best-known and most
frequently recorded works. Elements of its score were used in several
later films, and in two popular songs of the Cold War era.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Lamberto Scannabecchi was elected Pope and took the name
Honorius II.


The Rochdale Pioneers, usually considered the first successful
co-operative enterprise, opened their store in Rochdale, England, and
formed the basis for the modern co-operative movement.


After serving two years in prison for encouraging people to
resist military conscription, anarchist Emma Goldman was deported from
the United States to Russia.


Nepal and the United Kingdom signed a treaty, the first to
define the international status of Nepal as an independent and a
sovereign nation.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length cel-
animated feature in film history, premiered at the Carthay Circle
Theatre in Los Angeles.


In accordance with the Oslo II Accord, Israeli troops withdrew
from the city of Bethlehem in preparation for the transfer of its
control to the Palestinian National Authority.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

A cross between a glove and a mitten, often in the form of a fingerless
glove with an attached mitten-like flap that can be used to cover the

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  It is infinitely better that the profane and loose be unmasked
than to be muffled up under the veil and hood of traditional hypocrisy,
which turns and dulls the very edge of all conscience either toward God
or man.  
–Roger Williams

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