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Austrian Premiere: Original Music to the Film “Ivan the Terrible”

On 16 September 2016, the world premiere of Sergei Prokofiev’s original music to the film “Ivan the Terrible” was given at the Musikfest Berlin as a co-production between ZDF/ARTE, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the European Film Philharmonic, Hans Sikorski International Music Publishers and Deutschlandradio Kultur.

The Austrian premiere will now be presented on 23 June 2017 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The reconstruction made by the conductor Frank Strobel will be performed live at the same time as the film, the images and sound of which have been extensively restored. Interpreters will be the soloists of the premiere, Marina Prudenskaya (alto) and Alexander Vinogradov (bass), together with the Vienna Singakademie and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Frank Strobel.

The film is concerned with the life of the Grand Prince Ivan IV, who lived from 1530 to 1584 and was given his epithet “the Terrible” due to his uncompromising politics and his cruelty. Ivan Grosny asserted himself against the mighty Boyars and Tatars in the east and the south. He was the first Grand Prince of Moscow who was crowned tsar. Russia was able to considerably expand its territory under his reign. The (unsuccessful) Livlandic War and the campaigns of conquest in Siberia occurred during the period of his reign. As a result of his frequently violent outbursts, he killed his first wife and possibly also the second by poisoning, and even his son and heir to the throne Ivan, later saying about himself: “From Adam up to this day I have surpassed all sinners. I have besmirched my soul in a most beastly and depraved way.”

Although Sergei Eisenstein was awarded the Stalin Prize First Class for the first part of the film, which tells of the rise of the first Russian tsar, the second part of the film (Ivan’s development into a despot) was censured and only publicly shown in 1958, ten years after Eisenstein’s death, as part of the de-Stalinisation taking place at that time.

23 June 2017
Konzerthaus (Concert House), 6:30 PM
Austrian premiere: Sergei Prokofiev / Frank Strobel
Original music to the movie “Ivan the Terrible”
Presentation of the reconstruction film with live orchestra
Marina Prudenskaya (alto)
Alexander Vinogradov (bass)
Wiener Singakademie (direction: Heinz Ferlesch)
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Frank Strobel (direction)

Copyright of the Frank Strobel photo: Kai Bienert


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