#ChoralMarch: March 12th, “Arise Ye Russian Peoples”, from Alexander Nevsky, Sergei Prokofiev

Is Sergei Prokofiev’s score to Alexander Nevsky, the Eistenstein tale of a heroic Russian unifier defeating a Teutonic foe which was naturally enough suitable propaganda for Stalin, the greatest soundtrack of all time? Watching the movie is somewhat unnerving, with its deChristianised orthodox steeples and evidently propagandist purpose. The soundtrack, by a composer who was one of the very very few who was an exile from the Bolsheviks to subsequently return to Stalin’s Russia and survive purges and the war (to die on the same day as Stalin, just as C S Lewis and Aldous Huxley died the day of Kennedy’s assassination which naturally overshadowed their deaths), is a superbly dramatic piece of work with atmospheric highlight after atmospheric highlight. None more so than this stirring anthem:

 

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