Monday, 26 February 2018

Chamber Mahler in a magical venue

The Octagon Library, Queen Mary University of London
The Octagon Library,
Queen Mary University of London
Arnold Schoenberg founded the Society for Private Musical Performances in Vienna in 1918, to present performances of newly composed music. Schoenberg also did chamber versions of more well-known works (even Strauss waltzes), and worked on a chamber arrangement of Mahler's Das Liede von der Erde

To help celebrate the centenary of the Society for Private Musical Performances, Finnegan Downie Dear is conducting a chamber version of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde at the The Octagon Library, Queen Mary University of London on 8 March 2018, with Richard Dowling (tenor), Kate Howden (mezzo-soprano) and the Shadwell Ensemble. There is a pre-concert talk at 6pm, with the concert at 7.30pm.

Das Lied von der Erde will be performed in Iain Farrington's new chamber version, which includes trumpet, trombone and bassoon rather than relying on piano and harmonium as Schoenberg's version does. This means the orchestral sound is more readily retained whilst still being able to focus on the transparency of Mahler's often remarked upon chamber music textures with a full orchestra.

The Octagon is a remarkable space, created in 1886 as part of the People's Palace at Mile End. A vast and magnificent hall which boasts a rich and beautiful acoustic, it was created as a library and based on the design of the Reading Room at the British Museum.

Finnegan Downie Dear comments that 'the incorporation songs into symphonic form has always been for me the most intriguing aspect of Mahler's music, the beauty it inspires completely astonishing. I wouldn't say that comparing it to the full orchestral version is particularly useful or pertinent - of course the impact of the piece's full orchestral textures in a chamber version are lost; the transparency of the music perhaps comes across more readily. I would say that the opportunity to hear these two wonderful young singers in the genuinely and extraordinary transportive venue of The Octagon Library, Queen Mary University of London, will provide the music with a directness and immediacy quite different to what is experienced in a concert hall with a full orchestra.'

8 March 2008 at The Octagon Library, Queen Mary University of London
There is also a performance at St Anne's Church, Kew Green on 7 March.

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