Wagner Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Respighi The Pines of Rome
Baritone: Julien van Mellaerts
Conductor: Robert Hodge
The first concert of the CCSO’s 2017–18 season is crammed with colour and incident. A huge orchestra is exploited to add edge and excitement to these mainly narrative pieces. In 1910, Igor Stravinsky was composing Petrushka as a concert piece until the impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, persuaded him that it should be a ballet, and the result was sensational. The ballet depicts the loves and losses of three puppets who were finding difficulty in getting hitched. Not so Elsa and Lohengrin in Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. The short and exuberant Prelude to Act 3 contains melodies that everyone knows, leading, in the stage version, straight into their wedding service.
Gustav Mahler is famous for his monumental symphonies. Almost equally well known and well-loved are his ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’, with verses by the composer. They describe the trials of life set against an exquisite orchestral background. The CCSO is delighted to welcome our distinguished baritone soloist Julien van Mellaerts, winner of the Kathleen Ferrier award in 2017.
Ottorino Respighi composed three colourful tone poems exploring aspects of Rome’s geography and history. The ‘Pines of Rome’ depicts the pine-clad countryside and pine-lined avenues, creating bewitching and thrilling opportunities for impressionist effects and rousing marches. Written in 1924, it is top-notch film music without a film, as recognised by film composers who followed, including John Williams of ‘Star Wars’ fame.