Richard Strauss "Vier letzte Lieder" for Voice and Orchestra
Richard Strauss "Eine Alpensinfonie"
A highlight on the 2017/18 symphony concert programme, this concert is entirely dedicated to music by Richard Strauss. One of Strauss's seminal works, "An Alpine Symphony" is scored for a large, late-Romantic orchestra, creating a sublime sound panorama. As a boy, Strauss experienced an Alpine adventure similar to the one described in the symphony: he and a group of climbers lost their way heading up a mountain and were caught in a storm and soaked on the way down. The 1915 symphony traces his impressions of nature and is filled with overwhelming emotion; yet it goes far beyond plain illustration. On the contrary, Strauss managed to masterfully marry his own philosophical convictions with his symphonic idiom: influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's atheism, he demanded absolute self-responsibility, "moral purification through one's own efforts, liberation through work and the adoration of eternal, glorious Nature".
Strauss's late work, the "Four Last Songs" deals with the cycles of nature and of life. Melancholic, lush, comforting and filled with delightful lyrical writing, this work is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful scores in the symphonic repertoire.
GMD Patrick Lange conducts this special final concert of the season, while Swedish star-soprano Maria Bengtsson is the soloists in the "Vier letzen Lieder".