The work is fully representative of the composer's later style with its curious, shifting harmonies, the almost Prokofiev-like grotesquerie of the outer movements and the focus on individual instrumental tone colors throughout (highlighted by his use of an alto saxophone in the opening dance). The opening three-note motif, introduced quietly but soon reinforced by heavily staccato chords and responsible for much of the movement's rhythmic vitality, is reminiscent of the Queen of Shemakha's theme in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Golden Cockerel, the only music by another composer that he had taken out of Russia with him in 1917.

Date of composition 1940 in New York, NY, United States
Premiered 1941, January 7th
Type Symphonic Dance
Catalogue Op. 45
Approx. duration 40 minutes
Instruments Orchestra
In listings Famous Works
Autotranslations beta Sergueï Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
Sergej Vasil'evič Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
Sergei Wassiljewitsch Rachmaninow: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45