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Concert: Sat 13 Jul 2019

Venue:Clifton Cathedral
Conductors:Michael Cobb
Soloist:Soloist TBC
Start time:19:45


Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Smyth: Act 2, Prelude, The Wreckers, On the Cliffs of Cornwall
Smyth: Overture, The Wreckers

Written between 1902 and 1904 and inspired by stories heard on holiday in Cornwall of the isolated communities in Cornwall who lured ships onto the rocks of the coast and the attempts by their Wesleyan ministers to stop them, Dame Ethel Smyth's opera, The Wreckers is considered to be "the most powerful English opera between Dido and Aeneas and Peter Grimes." Dame Ethel Smyth was an ardent supporter of the suffragette movement, as well as a golfer, cyclist, mountaineer, adventurer, writer and an outspoken lesbian. She was also the first female composer to be granted a damehood. In this concert, we perform the Overture and Prelude to Act 2 from the opera.

Dame Ethel Smyth also greatly admired Gustav Mahler, commenting that he was "far and away the finest conductor I ever knew". In 1907, Mahler was considering a production of the Wreckers at the Vienna State Opera before he was forced out. By then Mahler had written his Symphony No. 5 - composed between 1901 and 1902. It is huge in many respects, beginning with a funeral march and ending with a triumphant rondo. It requires large orchestral resources. It lasts for over an hour. There are solos for trumpets, horns and strings to name but a few. It also includes the haunting adagietto, so familiar from the film score of "Death in Venice". It is not to be missed.