A Conversation for Sergei Prokofiev

Lieutenant Kije

Post 1


For those who like the small print - here's the way the Lt. came into existence:
An account of a battle was being read aloud to the Tsar, who was not paying proper attention.
One item in the account identified (for heroic mention and possible reward) "certain lieutenants, who ..." did all sorts of heroic things. At this point, the Tsar picked up on the words. In Russian, one way of forming a plural is to add "ki" to the end of the singular form, so the sentence fragment "... lieutenants, who ..." sounds like: "leftenantki, je ..." , but the Tsar heard it as "Leftenant Kije" ... and a (non-existent) star was born.

Lieutenant Kije

Post 2


Too easy to mention that the second movement of the Kije suite, "troika" - "sleigh-ride" - was nicked by Greg Lake as the music to "I Believe in Father Christmas" (but was still technically in copyright, as Prokofief died in 1953 and Lake released the bittersweet Christimas song circa 1977?)

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