Alexander Nevsky, a seven-movement cantata for mezzo-soprano, choir and orchestra, is based on Prokovievâ€™s score for Eisensteinâ€™s 1938 film of the same name which celebrated the thirteenth-century Russian prince Grand Duke Alexanderâ€™s decisive victory over an invading force of Teutonic knights. The filmâ€™s creation was motivated by the Soviet stateâ€™s need for propaganda to counter the rise of Nazi Germany. The film was a huge success, and Prokovievâ€™s score hailed as a masterpiece. Rachmaninovâ€™s secular choral masterpiece, The Bells, predates the Revolution and features Edgar Allan Poeâ€™s poem â€˜The Bellsâ€™ at its heart. It is scored for soprano, tenor, baritone and choir, and is divided into four movements, mirroring the journey from birth to death. The Gregorian Dies Irae chant (also prominent at the end of his Paganini Rhapsody) is heard in various guises, though the work overall is in the composerâ€™s richly Romantic orchestral vein. Rachmaninov called The Bells his â€˜Choral Symphonyâ€™, and he considered it his favourite composition.
This concert will serve as a reminder of the incredible contribution of Russian music to the Western canon. With performers of the highest calibre, this will be a truly evocative concert.
The Royal Choral Society was formed in 1871 for the opening of the Royal Albert Hall.
The choir has been conducted by such luminaries as Verdi, Gounod, DvorÃ¡k, Elgar and Sargent, and today performs traditional choral repertoire and other more unusual music at events at venues around the UK and abroad.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the UKâ€™s most prestigious orchestras, celebratedÂ 70 years of music making in 2016. The orchestra frequently performs across the UK and throughout the world, with its repertoire encompassing every strand of music from the core classical repertoire to music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Tickets: Â£12 - Â£29, plus 75p per ticket booking fee capped at Â£5 per transaction.
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