Love and death theme for Thaxted Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:34 21 April 2009 | UPDATED: 07:14 30 May 2010

LOVE and death is the theme of this year s Thaxted Festival - even though the very first work of the opening concert given by the Southbank Sinfonia (Friday June 19) is about birth! Wagner s Siegfried Idyll was a birthday present for his wife Cosima after

LOVE and death is the theme of this year's Thaxted Festival - even though the very first work of the opening concert given by the Southbank Sinfonia (Friday June 19) is about birth!

Wagner's Siegfried Idyll was a birthday present for his wife Cosima after the birth of their son, Siegfried. She awoke to the sound of the music being played by musicians on the stairs of their house.

In fact love predominates for the first weekend.

The Saturday concert, a Lieder recital by the tenor, Adrian Thompson, includes Schumann's Dichterliebe, one of music's most famous song cycles.

On the Sunday, the vocal group Opus Anglicanum will entertain in somewhat lighter vein with Love Songs and Love Letters.

This imaginatively designed programme takes the audience, in cleverly matched words and music, from childhood to courtship and marriage, through falling out and partings, to the evening of life.

Death gets its turn in the end at the conclusion of the third weekend.

Successful youth choir Cantate sing Mozart's Requiem.

The Alberni Quartet play Schubert's aching masterpiece, Death and the Maiden, at the start of the final weekend; and the Harlow Chorus sing Verdi's dramatic Requiem, more opera than cantata, as the festival's finale on July 12.

The 75th anniversary of Gustav Holst's death is a sub-theme to this year's festival. In 1916 Holst started his first festival at Whitsun in Thaxted where he was working on The Planets.

The piano duet version of this masterpiece is one of the works played by Pascal and Ami Roge at the start of the third weekend; the earlier concert by the English Sinfonia includes two other works by Holst.

Visit www.thaxtedfestival.org.uk to see the full programme, check ticket availability and download a booking form. Ring 01371 831421 for a brochure.

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