Alexander Nevsky – Discover the meaning behind the music

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3rd May 2018
Thu 7.30pm

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Alexander Nevsky – Discover the meaning behind the music

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Barber: Agnus Dei
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky
In this innovative rendering of Alexander Nevsky, the passion of the music and the poetry of the words are enhanced by a visual exploration of the piece’s conception and composition, with a portrayal of the composer as the audience’s guide.

 

 

Royal Festival Hall, London

Orchestra - Philharmonia Orchestra

Conductor - David Hill

Chorus - The Bach Choir

Contralto - Hilary Summers

Countertenor - Simon Ponsford

Actor in the role of Prokofiev - David Bamber

Concert Synopsis

Discover the meaning behind the music

The Bach Choir presents their first ever performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s cantata Alexander Nevsky, brought to life with world-renowned actor David Bamber as Prokofiev. Based on his score for Eisenstein’s 1938 epic film of the same name, Prokofiev conducted the cantata’s first performance in Moscow in May 1939. In this innovative, dramatic performance of Alexander Nevsky, the passion of the music and the poetry of the words are enhanced by David Bamber’s portrayal of the composer as the audience’s guide. We extend an invitation to those who are intrigued to see, as well as to hear, the power of classical music.

Bamber is passionate about orchestral and choral music, and is thrilled to be partnering with The Bach Choir. He hopes that audiences will be attracted to the harmonisation of the spoken and the sung word, and be fascinated and intrigued by the result.

Alongside David Bamber’s role, recordings of narrator Edward Cross, and poets Anna Gelich and Helen Baranova will be played between the Cantata’s movements, with sound design by Stefano Fasce, composer for film, television and video games.

Notes From the Composer / Conductor

David Hill writes:  “Prokofiev stated it took him more time to solder together a cantata from the film music score than it would have taken to write a new work!  That’s surely testament to his belief in the original score and its musical ideas, portrayal of the text and power to excite and move the listener.  Inventive, intense and highly melodic, Alexander Nevsky is a choral cantata which sadly receives few performances. I am really looking forward to assembling the forces of The Bach Choir, Philharmonia and Hilary Summers alongside the dramatic elements including the famous actor David Bamber. This dramatic addition is such an important additional element and experience.”