Past Event

Mahler & Schubert

1 Jan 2012

Roderick Williams Baritone
Britten Sinfonia
Jacqueline Shave Leader/director

Schubert arr. Webern German Dances
Webern Five Movements
Schubert arr. Webern Lieder
Mahler Four Rückert-Lieder
Schubert Symphony No.5 in B flat major

Due to family illness Mark Padmore has regrettably had to withdraw from his appearance with the Britten Sinfonia. At short notice, the orchestra is delighted to announce that the fine young baritone Roderick Williams will be the replacement soloist. The programme for the evening remains unchanged.

Schubert’s Fifth Symphony followed hot on the heels of its darkly brooding predecessor, the ‘tragic’ Fourth. Light, lyrical and owing an acknowledged musical debt – ‘the magic notes of Mozart’s music still gently haunt me…’ – it echoes with the exultant optimism of youth.

Like Schubert, Mahler had a deeply melodic sensibility and could render the most abstract of human emotions with deceptive simplicity. Never more so than his collection of lieder (1902) set to the words of Schubert contemporary Friedrich Rückert. Rückert’s themes – love, death, loneliness and spiritual transcendence – were positively Mahlerian in their scope. That the latter should distil their ‘romantic’ essence so sublimely is testament to a musical and textual match made in heaven.

Last heard by Brighton Dome audiences in December 2011 singing Berlioz’s L'enfance du Christ, Roderick Williams has worked with many orchestras throughout Europe, including all the BBC orchestras in the UK, and his many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Aldeburgh. He has an extensive discography and his recordings of English song with Iain Burnside have received particular acclaim.

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