Archive for Sergei Prokofiev

Prokofiev, Grieg and Beethoven at St David’s Hall

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2018 by telescoper

This afternoon found me once again at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, waiting for a concert to start.

This time it was the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera under the direction of Tomáš Hanus. And very enjoyable it was.

The first number was a bit of a taster for the forthcoming WNO season, which includes Prokofiev’s War and Peace and Rossini’s Lá Cenerentola. The latter being the story of Cinderella, it made sense to include Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suite from the ballet he wrote in the 1940s.

After that we had the evergreen Grieg’s Piano Concerto, by Grieg, played by the excellent Peter Donohoe, exactly how I like it: with all the right notes in the right order, and the Orchestra not too heavy on the banjoes.

Following the wine break we had Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, a work which has to be one of his most uplifting pieces. Beethoven was very good at ‘uplifting’ so that means it is very special indeed.

A lovely concert, warmly received by the audience and a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Alexander Nevsky

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on July 31, 2011 by telescoper

I had the good fortune to catch last night’s Promenade Concert, featuring the excellent City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelsons,  the best part of which was Sergei Prokofiev’s patriotic cantata Alexander Nevsky, which comprises music he wrote for the film of the same name directed by Sergei Eisenstein.  I thought it was a wonderful performance (which you can still see on iPlayer at least for a week) of an amazing piece and was glad I stayed in to watch it. Apart from everything else it reminded me of going to see the film at the Arts Cinema in Cambridge when I was a student. Here is a segment from the thrilling Battle on the Ice. Shot in 1938, without benefit of digital effects, the photography of this sequence is absolutely amazing, as is the music. The point at which  battle commences – and the music falls silent – is one of the greatest heart-stopping moments in all cinematic history.