Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky

When & where

Saturday 5 September, 8.00 p.m.
Stresa, Congress Hall

See the map

What

D. Shostakovich, Symphony no. 9
S. Prokofev, Concerto for violin and orchestra no. 1
Cantata Alexander Nevsky op. 78 *

* with projection of extracts from the movie by S.M. Eisenstein

 

Read the concert’s notes

 

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Tickets

The concert is sold out

Tickets are refundable, within 5 days, only if the concert is cancelled

Venue

palacongressiStresa Congress Hall

Stresa Congress Hall is situated in the heart of the town, few meters from the railway station and from all the most important hotels and restaurants.

 

Congress Hall map

The three pieces in this evening’s program were composed in times of great social upheaval and deep international tension. Prokofiev composed his first violin concerto during the First World War, and although it did not directly affect Russia itself, the germs of the October Revolution were fast taking seed, shortly to explode.
The Cantata Alexander Nevsky, from the sound track Prokofiev composed for Eisenstein’s film of that name, dates from the years just before the Second World War broke out and betrays a sort of academic approach which, however, is really the mask the composer had to put up so his music could be performed and he himself could survive Stalin’s purges.
Shostakovich’s 9th Symphony then celebrates the end of Second World War, and Russia’s victory over the enemy. You would expect a pompous, pretentious composition, in line with the dictates of the Soviet regime; instead we get a sober, almost classical symphony, certainly with more irony than joyful celebration.
Prokofiev and Shostakovich seem to be trying to exorcise the ugliness, the violence and evil, at the same time refusing to depict the suffering and injustice that war and revolution inevitably carry with them. They seem to be speaking to us, pushing us to develop our critical capacities, our freedom of judgment, and the independent thought that they strenuously defended, despite their apparent abeyance to the regime.
That is the only way we can avoid such tragedies in the future.

Gianandrea Noseda

Stresa

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