Cardiff University Symphony Chorus and Orchestra with Kenneth Hamilton
10/04/2014, 7:30 pm
- Liszt Totentanz, Paraphrase on Dies irae
- Richard Strauss Wandrer’s Sturmlied
- Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
- Cardiff University Symphony Chorus Dominic Neville (conductor)
- Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra, Mark Eager (conductor)
Goethe’s poem telling the story of the poet, who wanders through a storm thinking of his beloved, asking his Genius, rather than God, to protect him from the storm, is the text of Strauss’s Wandrer’s Sturmlied, written in 1884, but the music was influenced by Brahms, specifically Brahms’s Gesang des Parzens. So from death to storm to unrequited love, we arrive at Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.
Berlioz fell in love with Irish actress, Harriet Smithson, after attending a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Paris with her in the role of Ophelia. He sent her numerous love letters, all of which went unanswered. When she left Paris they had still not met. The symphony he composed to express his love premiered in Paris on 5 December 1830; Harriet was not present.
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