Summer 2017 Concert

The Summer 2017 concert will place on Saturday, 15 July 2017, 7.30pm, at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre.

Wagner: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder (soloist Paula Sides), Bruckner: Symphony No. 7.

SBS is lucky to to once again be able to collaborate with the renouned soprano, Paula Sides, who previously sang with us for a performance of the Strauss Four last songs.

Tonight's song cycle is the Wesendonck Lieder by Wagner, a setting of five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck written by Wagner while he was working on his opera Tristan und Isolde. This shows Wagner in a quite different mode from the usual one of an opera composer we are used to, and the songs are lighter in character than the famous opera works and are quite beautiful.

Bruckner's 7th Symphony was in some sense his "breakthrough" piece, being instantly recongnised as a great work and still arguably his most popular work of all. Conceived on an epic large scale and featuring a large orchestra a performance of this work is an experience not to be missed.

Bruckner was of course strongly influenced by Wagner's music both in its orchestration and in harmonic aspects, though Bruckner generally preferred to remain with more traditional genres, and typically wrote "pure music" (including his 9 symphonies) that stand on thier own without a story line attached, rather than "programme music" or opera.

But, as opener, what better for this concert than a short extract from Tristan und Isolde? Tristan und Isolde was in some ways Wagner's break though work: it was the work in which he managed to find expression for the new style of harmony he had been working towards (the famous "Tristan" chord) and it was the work that allowed Wagner to break his composers-block and complete the "ring". The Wesendonck Lieder are clearly studies for Tristan und Isolde, and some themes are shared between these works.