Prokofiev: Ivan The Terrible, Op. 116
Strobel, Frank; Vinogradov, Alexander; Prudenskaya, Marina; Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Berlin Radio Choir
Ivan the Terrible – the second joint project of Sergei Eisenstein and Sergei Prokofiev – is, much like Alexander Newski, a historical epic, portraying the rise and fall of the autocratic ruler Ivan IV in the 16th century. Sergei Prokofiev’s musical portrayal is unique in film history, for the score conceives both parts of the film on an epic scale. Prokofiev’s rich melodic invention thrives on the expressive sound palette of his native Russia, mostly as they echo the spiritual works of the Russian-orthodox liturgy. These film scores were not published during Prokofiev’s lifetime. They were arranged as an oratorio for soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Levon Atovmyan, one of Prokofiev’s assistants, in 1961. This version received its concert premiere in Moscow that same year. This, however, is the original, straight from the composer’s hands, receiving its world premiere recording.