Prelude to The Makropulos Case
by Leos Janacek
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
For our next concert we took a thrilling trip back to the start of the twentieth century (the Fin de siècle). Arnold Schoenberg completed the last of his 4 dreamy and romantic songs, Four lieder op. 2, in 1900. We were delighted to premiere a new orchestration by Hamish Brown with tenor, Richard Dowling.
Just a couple of years later in 1902, Claude Debussy’s momentous Pelléas et Mélisande was first performed. A massive Wagner fan, Debussy's conception of opera, featureing symbolism prominently, as well as ‘no time, no place, [and] no big scene’ radically developed the potential of 20th and 21st century opera. We were joined by four talented young singers: Rachel Maby as Melisande, Barnaby Beer as Golaud, Matthew Palmer as Arkel and Timothy Edlin as the doctor.
Peppered around the Schoenberg and Debussy were short, vivid, theatrical and operatic orchestral excerpts by Leos Janacek – surely one of the most unique, remarkable and intimate of composers ever to have lived. We performed the overtures from Katya Kabanova, The Makropulos Case and the premiere of recently completed incidental music from the play Schluck und Jau - the composer's last orchestral work.
Friday 1st April, 7.45pm
St James's Church, Sussex Gardens
London, W2 3UD