Nowhere is the oft-cited Russian soul more palpably evident than in Russian music literature: love and anguish are portrayed with gusto and melancholy, with a sadness that is sometimes almost relished. Starting from Modest Mussorgsky’s song cycle Songs and Dances of Death we embark on an exploration of the world of Russian opera. Boris Godunov, Herman the gambler, Aleko and Marfa the tsar’s bride are all fortune hunters, driven by a vague greed for fulfilment of their longing, though what they long for is of no consequence. Love, if it exists, is always found near death. In the end they all fail, but not before fulfilling their dreams at least for a moment. Scenes and arias by Modest Mussorgsky, Peter Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Friday, 16 October 2020, 7 pm