BWW Reviews: ALEXANDER NEVSKY with Music by Prokofiev Performed by BSO
For those unaquainted with their 13th century Russian history (I sure was ignorant of it), it's a true story of this champion warrior who took on Teutonic invaders and defeated them in a herioic victory in 1242.
1n 1938, Russians were very aware of the German Army and the possibility of an invasion. The film portrays the Germans in a very hostile manner and that is why Stalin loved it.
The music is just stunning. The Germans are represented by harsh trumpets while the sympathetic Russian forces are represented by folk-like instruments such as woodwinds and strings often playing folksong type music.
There were several standout portions. "Arise, ye Russian People" was so powerful and inspirational that it made want to sign up to join Nevsky's army.
"The Battle of the Ice", the longest movement was written to accompany the death of the enemy drowning under sheets of ice.
And finally, "The Field of the Dead" demonstrates a young girl kissing the eyelids of the dead heroes and features a gorgeous vocal solo sung by the superb Irena Tchistjakova who was perched on a high balcony alone about the orchestra.
All in all one learned a lot about Russian history, saw a terrific and classic film and listened to some stirring and inspirational music.
What a night.
Next up at the BSO is more Russian music "Ravishing Rachmaninoff" on Sunday afternoon, January 20, 2013. On on Saturday evening, the popular "Off the Cuff" concert at 7 p.m. features Garrick Ohlsson and Maestra Alsop talking about and performing the famous Third Piano Concerto.
For tickets, call 410-783-8001 or visit www.BSOmusic.org.