The Hidden Power of Alexander Nevsky's Fourth Movement

Topics: Sergei Eisenstein, Music, Sergei Prokofiev Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: February 10, 2011
It is fair to say that every piece of composition has a hidden significance behind it as well as a certain impact on the listeners. Alexander Nevsky's fourth movement Arise, Ye Russian People, composed by the famous Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev, was a cantata (vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment) designed to fit the film directed by Sergei Eisenstein on the thirteenth-century Russian hero Alexander Nevsky. Although this movement is relatively short, but the music as a whole was extremely powerful, and by powerful I mean the feeling of strong sense of nationalism and heroism as a listener.

The coordination of the chorus and the instruments used in Alexander Nevsky's fourth movement has a great impact on the piece as a whole. The usage of instruments such as the flutes, bass drum, horns, trumpets and harps etc. enriched the piece with “explosive power”, a power of strong nationalism. With the aid of the chorus and the texts, the music was so powerful that it easily makes the reader to feel the spirit of nationalism evoked at the thirteenth-century period when Russia was fighting with invaders from Sweden and Germany.

The music form used in this particular movement also has a dramatic effect on the audience. Prokofiev used the ternary from, or the ABA form throughout the piece. The first A section of the music, which is until measure thirty-three, is a tense and powerful part. The high pitch that came out as the chorus sings make people feel nervous and inspired. The B section, which is from measure thirty-four to measure sixty-five, was changed from Eb to D major. It is a softer and the more romantic part of the song if the texts doesn't exist. Although the high pitch sounds are lowered down, the song is still powerful due to the texts and the chorus. Then the last section of the piece, which is from measure sixty-six to measure ninety, it is like a summarize for the entirely music. Similar to the first section, the chorus suddenly...
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