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Shostakovich: March from “Love for 3 Oranges”

Here’s a hint: hypochondriacs can use a good laugh…

In Sergei Prokofiev’s bizarre comedic opera The Love for Three Oranges, a hypochondriac prince is being slowly poisoned by the king’s treacherous adviser who slips him a steady diet of trashy, melodramatic literature.

When the king attempts to cure his son by making him laugh, a chain of events leads to the prince laughing at the evil sorceress Fata Morgana.

Morgana curses the prince to go on a ridiculous quest and fall in love with some fruit, and from this point forward, things only get stranger.

Prokofiev received a Russian translation of the original 18th-century farce just before leaving Russia for the US, and by the time his ship docked, the fast-working composer had a draft of the libretto! Prompted by the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, Prokofiev extended his American stay, and the opera was premiered in Chicago.

Music Heard On This Episode

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): March from “The Love for Three Oranges”
Charles Dutoit/Montreal Symphony Orchestra — Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; The Love of Three Oranges Suite (Polygram Records, 1993)
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Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): March from “The Love for Three Oranges”
Charles Dutoit/Montreal Symphony Orchestra — Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; The Love of Three Oranges Suite (Polygram Records, 1993)
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album cover

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