War and Peace

War and Peace
Opus:ор. 91
Composer:Prokofiev, Sergei Sergeevich


Opera in two parts (an Epigraph and thirteen scenes), sometimes arranged as five acts, by Sergei Prokofiev to a Russian libretto by the composer and Mira Mendelson, based on the novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Although Tolstoy's work is classified as a novel, the 1812 invasion of Russia by the French was based on real-life events, and some real-life people appear as characters in both the novel and the opera, e.g. Prince Mikhail Kutuzov and Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Part 1 (Peace)

The Overture or the Epigraph usually precedes the action

Scene 1: After dark, in the garden of Count Rostov's country estate, May, 1806

Andrei, who is a guest there, is depressed by the loss of his wife. Natasha, who also cannot sleep, looks out of her window and tells Sonya how beautiful the garden looks in the moonlight, and Andrei recovers his spirits.

Scene 2: New Year's Eve, 1810

At a ball in St Petersburg attended by the Tsar, Pierre encourages Andrei, who is attracted to Natasha, to ask her to dance. Anatole, also attracted to her, asks Hélène to arrange an introduction.

Scene 3: Town house of Prince Nikolai, February 1812

Count Rostov and Natasha visit Prince Nikolai's home. He is the father of Andrei, to whom she is engaged. Andrei has been abroad for a year. Princess Marya indicates that her father will not see them, and Count Rostov departs. However, the Prince, dressed eccentrically and behaving boorishly, does appear, and Natasha realises that he does not approve of the marriage.

Scene 4: Pierre's Moscow house, May 1812

Hélène tells Natasha that Anatole is attracted to her, and, after some hesitation, Natasha hears his declaration of love and agrees to meet him.

Scene 5: Dolokhov's apartment, 12 June 1812

Dolokhov has made the arrangements for his friend Anatole's elopement with Natasha. The coach-driver Balaga, Dolokhov and Anatole drink to the escapade and to the latter's mistress Matriosha.

Scene 6: Later that night

Natasha discovers that Sonya has given away her secret to Madame Akhrosimova, with whom they are staying. Anatole and Dolokhov are sent away by Gavrila, and Akhrosimova reduces Natasha to tears. Pierre arrives, reveals that Anatole is married, and agrees to ask Andrei to forgive Natasha. He shyly admits that he himself would want to marry her if he were free. Natasha makes her peace with Sonya.

Scene 7: Later still

Hélène is entertaining Anatole, Metivier and an Abbé. Pierre, returning home, upbraids Anatole and demands that he leave Moscow immediately. He agrees, and Pierre is left alone to bemoan his own circumstances. Denisov arrives with the news that Napoleon and his army are crossing into Russia. War is inevitable.

Part 2 (War)

The Epigraph is usually performed here if it was not used at the start of Part 1.

Scene 8: Near Borodino, 25 August 1812

Amid preparations for the defence of Moscow, Andrei and Denisov discuss utilising partisans to make life difficult for Napoleon's army. Pierre, wanting to observe the scene, arrives, and he and Andrei embrace, perhaps for the last time. Field-Marshal Kutuzov offers Andrei a position on his staff, but Andrei prefers to go into battle with his own regiment. The battle starts.

Scene 9: Later that day

Napoleon ponders his position, first refusing to commit more men, then agreeing. An unexploded cannon-ball lands at his feet and he kicks it away.

Scene 10: Two days later

Kutuzov and his generals are holding a Council of War at Fili, near Smolensk. The army will be at risk if Moscow is to be defended to the last - but if the army retreats, Moscow will be at the mercy of the French. Kutuzov decides that only by retreating, and potentially sacrificing Moscow, will there be any hope of victory.

Scene 11: Moscow is burning

The city is on fire because its citizens try to avoid a surrender. Pierre is caught up among some Muscovites, including the veteran Platon Karataev, who are accused by the French of fire-raising. As the asylum and theatre burn, lunatics and actresses flee - but Napoleon has to admit that the courage of the people has frustrated his plans.

Scene 12: In a peasant's hut at Mitishi

The wounded Prince Andrei, delirious, has been evacuated with the Rostovs from Moscow. Natasha, who had been unaware that he was among her fellow evacuees, visits him. She tries to apologise for her conduct, but he again declares his love for her, and they sing of their happiness as Natasha reassures him that he will live. He falls asleep, and his heartbeat (conveyed by an offstage chorus) stops for ever.

Scene 13: November, 1812

On the road to Smolensk, the retreating French are escorting a group of prisoners through a snow-storm. Karataev cannot keep up and is shot, but Pierre and the others are rescued by the partisans. Denisov tells Pierre that Andrei is dead but that Natasha is alive and well. Kutuzov and his men rejoice in their victory, and celebrate the indomitable will of the Russian people.

Show more...
1 01. The forces of two and ten European nations have invaded Russia 3:52 8.85 Mb 320 Kbps buy
2 02. Scene 1. The radiance of sky in spring 4:02 9.24 Mb 320 Kbps buy
3 03. I won't, I can' to sleep 2:20 5.33 Mb 320 Kbps buy
4 04. She has not care for my existence 2:55 6.69 Mb 320 Kbps buy
5 05. Scene 2. Polonaise 3:13 7.37 Mb 320 Kbps buy
6 06. Chorus 'Let the chorus begin' 3:41 8.42 Mb 320 Kbps buy
7 07. The Tsar is to grace us with his presence! 3:19 7.59 Mb 320 Kbps buy
8 08. Sonya, there's another familiar face Bolkonsky 3:48 8.70 Mb 320 Kbps buy
9 09. When I was at Otradnoye in May 6:35 15.09 Mb 320 Kbps buy
10 10. Scene 3. The young Prince's fiancee! 3:11 7.30 Mb 320 Kbps buy
11 11. Ah, Count... how nice to see you 2:17 5.24 Mb 320 Kbps buy
12 12. Ah, Madam, young lady... Countess Rostova 2:20 5.34 Mb 320 Kbps buy
13 13. What right do they have, to decide that they don't want to accept me into the family 4:01 9.21 Mb 320 Kbps buy
14 14.Scene 4. The charming, delightful Natasha! 3:35 8.20 Mb 320 Kbps buy
15 15. She's wonderful and beautiful 2:32 5.81 Mb 320 Kbps buy
16 16. Only you can decide my fate 5:09 11.78 Mb 320 Kbps buy
17 17. Scene 5. At ten o'clock in the evening, she'll be waiting 4:23 10.02 Mb 320 Kbps buy
18 18. Balaga! 5:04 11.58 Mb 320 Kbps buy
19 19. Scene 6. Oh, my dear Miss Natasha 2:53 6.59 Mb 320 Kbps buy
20 20. A fine young lady you are! 5:00 11.45 Mb 320 Kbps buy
21 21. Bezukhov? Show him in! 1:53 4.33 Mb 320 Kbps buy
22 22. I've sought to avoid her 4:45 10.89 Mb 320 Kbps buy
23 23. Pyotr Kirillovich, Prince Bolkonsky has always been your friend 5:08 11.76 Mb 320 Kbps buy
24 24. Scene 7. Picture the scene, Countess 7:37 17.45 Mb 320 Kbps buy
25 25. I long to go away, anywhere 1:50 4.20 Mb 320 Kbps buy
26 26. Scene 8. Come on, lads! 3:46 8.64 Mb 320 Kbps buy
27 27. Our Kutuzov came to the people 2:50 6.51 Mb 320 Kbps buy
28 28. Denisov, her first fiance 3:35 8.22 Mb 320 Kbps buy
29 29. Pierre Bezukhov 4:26 10.17 Mb 320 Kbps buy
30 30. In the old way, as Suvorov taugt 1:27 3.32 Mb 320 Kbps buy
31 31. There is no people greater than ours 1:26 3.27 Mb 320 Kbps buy
32 32. The Phanagorian Grenadier Regiment 2:52 6.55 Mb 320 Kbps buy
33 33. It's a shame, but you're right 4:15 9.72 Mb 320 Kbps buy
34 34. Scene 9. The wine is uncorked 9:27 21.62 Mb 320 Kbps buy
35 35. Scene 10. And so, gentlemen, the question is 9:43 22.26 Mb 320 Kbps buy
36 36. When, oh when was this dreadful business decided.mp3 4:47 10.94 Mb 320 Kbps buy
37 37. Scene 11. Moscow is deserted! 3:12 7.32 Mb 320 Kbps buy
38 38. Where did you get such a good going-over, lads! 1:08 2.61 Mb 320 Kbps buy
39 39. Davout, the cruel Davout 2:07 4.86 Mb 320 Kbps buy
40 40. Nothing matters now, nothing 2:16 5.21 Mb 320 Kbps buy
41 41. Just look at how this fire is blazing 3:07 7.14 Mb 320 Kbps buy
42 42. What a dreadful scene 3:02 6.95 Mb 320 Kbps buy
43 43. Scene 12. It's stretching higher and further 5:37 12.85 Mb 320 Kbps buy
44 44. What's that? Something's pounding against the walls 7:14 16.55 Mb 320 Kbps buy
45 45. Scene 13. We've burnt our bridges... 4:50 11.06 Mb 320 Kbps buy
46 46. And what of Moscow? 2:12 5.05 Mb 320 Kbps buy
47 47. The Commander-in-chief is coming! 1:56 4.42 Mb 320 Kbps buy
48 48. Hurrah! We came to fight to the death for our country 2:35 5.91 Mb 320 Kbps buy

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