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Oxford Lieder Festival: Opening Night with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Friday October 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
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  1. Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, 'Songs of a Wayfarer' - Gustav Mahler, arranged by Arnold Schoenberg
  2. Das Lied von der Erde, 'Song of the Earth' - Gustav Mahler, arranged for chamber orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg

The Festival gets off to a stunning start, welcoming a stellar team of musicians to the Sheldonian Theatre.

Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Thomas Kemp, perform two of Mahler's great vocal works in orchestrations by Schoenberg, made for salon-style performances. A renowned Mahlerian, baritone Dietrich Henschel begins the concert with Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (‘Songs of a Wayfarer), Mahler's moving settings of his own texts. After this, star soprano Kate Royal performs a selection of Strauss’s best known songs in newly uncovered arrangements that were originally intended for the cinema and silent movies (and the OAE will be back for more of the same later in the Festival…).

The second half of the concert features Mahler’s epic ‘song symphony’ Das Lied von der Erde (‘The Song of the Earth’), with Dietrich Henschel and world-renowned tenor Toby Spence. This transcendental masterpiece, written in a time of great turmoil for Mahler, sets ancient Chinese poetry in German translation, exploring profound themes of life and death.

Schoenberg’s glittering orchestrations bring a new level of intimacy to the works and cast them in a new light: revelatory and refreshing to those who already know them well, and enticing to those who are coming to them for the first time.

This concert is presented in association with Music at Oxford, who present prestigious orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the year. For details of their season see the Music at Oxford website

Sheldonian Theatre
Broad Street
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