Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstien, 1938): Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Here's the Barbican's introduction to what looks a pretty special screening: The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s film events are always popular, and this
presents one of the great collaborations of all time – Prokofiev’s
coruscating score to Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky. It is
said that the director was so impressed with the precision with which
Prokofiev captured each mood, he encouraged him to write the music first
for some parts. The epic tale of the medieval prince defeating the
Teutonic knights on a frozen lake was particularly welcomed by the
Soviet authorities in 1939, but it’s proved to be a timeless classic.
The BBC Symphony Chorus provides the rich, rousing choruses while a
mezzo-soprano soloist gives voice to the heart of the story in her
poignant song as she searches for rival suitors on the field of the
Chicago Reader review:
'Sergei Eisenstein turns the story of the great Russian prince into an
abstract exercise in visual and aural counterpoint—it's more theory than
movie. But Edouard Tisse's superb photography and Prokofiev's stirring
score contribute to a rhythm that is well-nigh irresistible, culminating
in the famous battle on the ice. Made in 1939, it was Eisenstein's
first sound film—Stalin had sidelined him for a decade.'
Here is an extract.