MUSICAL STORYTELLING: THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS
Together with Händel’s Messiah and Britten’s War Requiem, Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius is one the most significant musical works ever written. The oratorio tells of the soul of a dying man, whose life is scrutinised before God. Elgar, known for his march Pomp and Circumstance, demonstrates his incredible skill and the wealth of colours in his musical palette. Do not miss the Berwaldhallen première of this immensely popular work with soloists Ann Hallenberg, Andrew Staples and Simon Keenlyside.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras, with a worldwide reputation and a repertoire that combines the major classical works as well as exciting new music. In collaboration with the most important conductors, soloists and composers, there is a constant striving to break new ground. The orchestra’s extensive and high-quality music-making has been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades and they regularly perform at international festivals and concert halls. “The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!” he continues. The first radio orchestra was formed in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and since then the orchestra’s concerts have always been broadcast by the Swedish Radio. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967 and over the years has had such distinguished chief conductors as Sergiu Celibidache, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Swedish Radio Choir is like a leading mountaineer in the world of music. The choir’s former chief conductor Peter Dijkstra has described the ensemble as “the group that leaves base camp first and stakes out the course for others to follow.” Three hundred years of Swedish a cappella tradition, combined with an ambitious and culturally diverse repertoire with some of the world’s finest conductors, has established the Swedish Radio Choir as one of the foremost ensembles of its kind. The 32 professional singers are as equally at home in completely new music by today’s most exciting composers as they are in classic favourites from the rich international treasure trove. Through the Swedish Radio’s broadcasts and website the choir not only reaches concert audiences but also radio listeners everywhere.
Mikaeli Chamber Choir (Mikaeli kammarkör) was founded in 1970 by Anders Eby, who is still the conductor and artistic leader of the ensemble. The artistic aim has always been to repertoire, which has made the field of activity broad. The repertoire is equal parts secular and sacred. It includes the great works for choir and orchestra, as well as folk music and Swedish choir lyricism. However, the focus has come to rest on the great contemporary a cappella works.
The tenor Andrew Staples is a diligent concert singer who has performed with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Andrew Manze and Robin Ticciati. Most recently, he has played Froh in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Royal Opera House in London. He also toured Europe with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Simon Rattle, performing Bach’s St John’s Passion, as well as with the Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding, performing Britten’s War Requiem. In addition, he will soon debut at both Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and the Metropolitan Opera. Andrew Staples is also a frequent guest at Berwaldhallen where he will be performing several times during the season of 2019-2020.
Prästen och Dödsångestens ängel
Approximate concert length: 1 hour 40 min (no intermission)
UPBEAT: Friday, October 18 at 6 – 6.30 pm, the Swedish Radio’s Europapodden with presenter Claes Aronsson visit Berwaldhallen for a talk on Brexit.