This concert was filmed at Glyndenbourne Festival in 2021 as part of a series of concerts curated by Glyndebourne’s Music Director, Robin Ticciati.
The word ‘symphony’ has its origins in the idea of voices ‘sounding together’, and it’s this togetherness – a return to shared music-making and listening after so much time in silence and isolation – that Robin Ticciati is keen to celebrate in these performances.
Schools of the Romantic Heart puts the 19th-century preoccupation with love ‘under the microscope’, says Ticciati. Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 may be absolute music, but running right through the work and its history is Clara Schumann, to whom the composer once wrote, ‘I can do nothing but think of you’. Mathilde Wesendonck, wife of Wagner’s patron and inspiration for Tristan und Isolde, sits similarly in the background of the composer’s sensuous Wesendonck Lieder, with their echoes of the opera’s rapturous love music. In Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette – a work whose musical passion, and poison, runs directly into the veins of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde – and in Weber’s Der Freischütz we see love in the opera house in all its drama and intensity.
Schools of the Romantic Heart offers a rare opportunity to hear this 19th-century music performed on period instruments. ‘It’s a totally different soundworld,’ says Ticciati. ‘As instruments get more technically assured, safer, louder and
more practical, you could question whether they lose something of that human spirit, that fragility, that really brings you close to nature.’
Adapted from an article by Alexandra Coghlan that first appeared in Glyndebourne’s Festival Programme Book 2021. It is reproduced here with permission.
Weber Der Freischutz – Overturte
Berlioz Romeo et Juliette – Love scene
Wagner Wesendonck Lieder
Brahms Symphony No 1
Karen Cargill soprano