In works by four great composers of the 19th century, the next performance in Penrith Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 concert season, titled ‘Music For Eternity’, explores four vastly different perspectives on the afterlife.
From the sublime to the ghoulish, there’s something on the program for everyone.
The concert opens with the ‘Russian Easter Festival Overture’ of Rimsky-Korsakov, in which the composer evokes the transition from the gravity and mystery of the evening on Passion Saturday to the unbridled pagan-religious celebrations of Easter Sunday morning.
In the famous ‘Danse Macabre’ by Saint-Saens, Death is represented by a diabolical fiddle as the Devil calls the dead from their graves at midnight on Halloween to join in a nocturnal dance of death. ‘Totentanz’, by Liszt, is also inspired by a dance of death.
In this pianistic showpiece, the orchestra will be joined by the Conservatorium High School’s 2011 Outstanding Student of the Year, the young and incredibly gifted, Cowley Fu. In contrast with such varied and arguably eccentric responses to death is one of the best-loved of all 19th century choral works – Gabriel Faure’s setting of the ‘Requiem Mass’.
This work will conclude the concert with an altogether, more serene and uplifting, view of the afterlife.
The sublime ‘Pie Jesu’ will be sung by gifted local boy soprano Matthew Phillips (pictured). ‘Music For Eternity’ takes place at the Joan next Saturday, May 26 at 8pm.