Saturday 30 June 2018, 7.30pm
St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol

Stefan Hofkes  conductor • The Choirs of St Mary Redcliffe Church
Charlotte Newstead (soprano) • Martin Le Poidevin (baritone)

Purcell / Stokowski Dido’s Lament
Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

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This concert of two halves opens with Stokowski’s string arrangement of Purcell’s heartrending Dido’s Lament (‘When I am Laid in Earth’), providing an incredibly effective prelude to Vaughan Williams’ empassioned plea for peace Dona nobis pacem (written after the composer’s experiences as an ambulance driver in World War I) and recognised as a neglected choral masterpiece.

For the second half, the incredible Symphonie Fantastique – the ‘programme symphony’ written by a 27-year-old Berlioz telling the (autobiographical) story of “an artist gifted with a lively imagination” who has “poisoned himself with opium” in the “depths of despair” because of “hopeless, unrequited love.” The five movements of this hallucinatory tale include a beautiful waltz, the famous ‘March to the Scaffold’ and concludes at the funeral of the hero attended by sorcerers and monsters.
Or, as Leonard Bernstein put it “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.”
Fantastical indeed…

This interesting and informative programme on the Symphonie Fantastique is well worth watching:


Tickets: £15, £12, £10 (concessions £2 discount), children £1 [+fee*]

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Tickets are available in advance online only (above).

Tickets will also be available at the door (from 7pm on concert night only).

There will be a retiring collection for The Stroke Association