Four Last Songs
Jan 24 2019
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2 Lanyon Place, Belfast,
Enjoy a night of music by Strauss at The Belfast Waterfront.
Strauss was six when he wrote his first song and 84 when he wrote his last. Four Last Songs was completed the year before he died, but he did not live long enough to hear its premiere. Inspired by the poets Josef von Eichendorff and Herman Hesse, the Four Last Songs tackles the subject of death with serenity and acceptance, written with Strauss’s characteristic Romantic orchestration and inspired lyricism for soprano voice, with which he had a life-long love affair.
Shostakovich was midway through writing the Fourth Symphony when Pravda denounced him for the first time – but this symphony was no way to reclaim his reputation. The Fourth requires a huge orchestra and is a grandiose work in the heroic style.
Listen to the Fourth Symphony and you hear the story of a man who was under enormous pressure and threat from the State, but who was determined to persevere, to testify, and in his creative expression gain release from his circumstances.