New York Philharmonic Presents Eisenstein's Film Alexander Nevsky, With Prokofiev's Complete Score

Classic Arts News   New York Philharmonic Presents Eisenstein's Film Alexander Nevsky, With Prokofiev's Complete Score
 
It's the ultimate in silent movie accompaniment, getting what could be the ultimate in performance. In three concerts tonight through Saturday (October 19-21), the New York Philharmonic will screen Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky as conductor Xian Zhang leads the orchestra, with the New York Choral Artists and contralto Meredith Arwady, in Sergei Prokofiev's complete score to the film.

Prokofiev composed the music for Alexander Nevsky, set for contralto, chorus and orchestra, in 1938; he revised the film score into a cantata the following year. Prokofiev never published his original work for the movie; the Philharmonic will perform William D. Brohn's 1987 reconstruction, which is based on a transcription of the film soundtrack as well as the cantata. Texts are by Prokofiev and Vitaly Vasilevich Lugovsky.

These three concerts are the New York Philharmonic's first performances of the complete film score. The orchestra first performed the cantata in 1945, at Madison Square Garden under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, in a benefit concert for the American Society for Russian Relief.


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