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Wednesday 25 Mar 2020 7:00PM
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Faust: The Life of a Composer
Wagner Prelude to Act 3 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (arrangement)
Pfitzner Prelude to Act 2 Palestrina (arrangement)
Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No.1
Mahler Kindertotenlieder (arrangement)
Geoffrey Paterson conductor
Music by Mahler, Wagner and Schoenberg comes at the cost of a man’s soul in this chamber concert.
Legend has it that guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil to become a great blues musician.
The German writer Thomas Mann created his own version of this tale, about a composer entering an imaginary pact guaranteeing him 24 years of musical genius and a radical new method of musical composition, similar to Arnold Schoenberg’s serialism.
This concert features music referenced in Mann’s subsequent novel, Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend, performed in arrangements for the OAE’s chamber group.
It’s an extraordinary tour of key moments of German Romantic music.
These include Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Schoenberg’s revolutionary Chamber Symphony No.1.
Behind Mann’s updating of the Faust legend lies a chilling analysis of Germany’s fall into nihilism and then Nazism in the 1930s.