Wednesday 20 March 2024

Elegant. Vivid. Bring Tissues: Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri at the Glasshouse

Dinis Sousa conducting the Royal Northern Sinfonia
Dinis Sousa conducting the Royal Northern Sinfonia
Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri (Paradise and the Peri) is one of those works that you might have heard of, but never heard live. Sir Simon Rattle, who clearly has a fondness for the piece, conducted it at the 2023 BBC Proms, but it remains rather a rarity. Partly because it is difficult to pin down; part oratorio and part opera, a choral and orchestral cycle that seems to unfold in continuous song. 

Now there is a chance to catch the work live in Gateshead, when Dinis Sousa conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia in Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri at The Glasshouse on 14 April 2024 with the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia and a cast of soloists including Louise Alder.

So what is it about?

Dinis Sousa explains, the story "follows a Persian mythological creature called Peri, who is sent away from Paradise. If she wants to be allowed to come back she has to find a present for the gods. So she travels across the world – Egypt, Syria, India – and the music paints some of these places really evocatively.  It’s a journey of redemption so it has many reflective and tender moments, as well as some incredibly dramatic ones (there are even battle scenes). The music flows so gracefully with some beautiful harmonies and melodies taking unexpected turns. I absolutely love it."

Or as the Glasshouse website describes it 'Elegant. Vivid. Bring Tissues'

Schumann wrote it in 1843 and based the story on a tale from Thomas Moore's Lallah Rookh. The work was premiered in Leipzig in 1843 with the composer conducting and went on to have well-received performances in Dresden and Berlin, even Richard Wagner praised it!

Full details from the Glasshouse's website.

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