Montagues and Capulets is a piano transcription of the original ballet piece called Dance of the Knights. It is a score reduced by Sergei Prokofiev himself to be included into Ten Pieces for Piano, Op. 75. The original piece (Op.64, No.13) is from Act I, Scene 2 of the balletRomeo and Juliet.
A dark and atmospheric piece, it has become a de facto signature tune for the Soviet era, and is used as the soundtrack for numerous dramas, documentaries and advertisements that have Soviet subject matter.
It was used as the background music in a popular 1990s French commercial for Chanel's Egoiste fragrance, and it was the competition music for the Canadian television mockumentary Kenny vs. Spenny.
The piece has also been used as the theme for the English football club Sunderland who play at the Stadium of Light in order to evoke a stirring mood before kick-off and to trouble the nerves of visiting opponents. Since the stadium opened in 1997, Dance of the Knights is played, in full, before the teams walk out onto the pitch before the game. Porto come out to the piece at home European matches.
The composition was used as title music for the movie Caligula. The music compliments and at times even highlights the darkness and debauchery portrayed in the movie.
The German technical death metal band Necrophagist uses a portion of this piece at the end of their song "Only Ash Remains". It is also used in the song "Lords of......