What is enlightenment?

Faust: The Life of a Composer

Music by Mahler, Wagner and Schoenberg comes at the cost of a man’s soul in this chamber concert.
London, Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall £10 - £60 Book now

Wagner Prelude to Act 3 from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (arrangement)
Pfitzner Prelude to Act 2 from Palestrina (arrangement)
Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No.1, Op.9
Webern Concerto for 9 instruments, Op.24
Mahler Kindertotenlieder (arrangement)

Geoffrey Paterson conductor
Dominic Sedgwick baritone

Free pre-concert talk, 6pm | Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer

Legend has it that guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil to become a great blues musician.

The German writer Thomas Mann imagined a composer who did the same, entering a Faustian pact guaranteeing him 24 years of musical genius and a radical new method of musical composition, similar to Arnold Schoenberg’s serialism.

This concert features music referenced in Mann’s subsequent novel, Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkühn, Told by a Friend, performed in new arrangements for our chamber orchestra.

It’s an extraordinary tour of key moments of German Romantic music.

These include Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Schoenberg’s revolutionary Chamber Symphony No.1.

Behind Mann’s updating of the Faust legend lies a chilling analysis of Germany’s fall into nihilism and then Nazism in the 1930s.

"An extraordinary tour of key moments of German Romantic music."