MUSIC FOR Galway will begin 2018 on a romantic note - no, not exclusively the romantic music era of c1780-1910 - but rather on music written by major composers when they were madly, and sometimes inapproiately, in love.
Beloved - Composers In Love, Music for Galway's 2018 midwinter festival takes place at the Town Hall Theatre from January 19 to 21. The programme features Brahms, Beethoven, and Schubert, and has been programmed by pianist Finghin Collins, who will also perform at the festival, along with the ConTempo Quartet, Derbhla Collins, Sarah-Jane Brandon, James Gilchrist, Simon Aspell, Christopher Marwood.
"Last year the festival was about prodigies and the music they had composed by age 18. This year I decided to focus on the next big stage in composers’ lives - the moment when they fall in love," he said. "Falling in love - whether happily or not - appears to have inspired the most glorious outpouring of music from composers across all centuries, particularly the 19th century Romantic period. Each piece has a love story behind it, giving people a narrative in which to engage with the music."
The festival will feature performances of Brahms’ String Sextet in G major, inspired by the composer's hopeless love for Agathe von Siebold; Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, composed when he fell in love with one of his piano pupils, Giulietta Giucciardi; another teacher-pupil 'romance' work, Schubert’s Fantasie in Fm, inspired by Schubert's pupil, Karoline Esterhazy is also on the bill.
The programme also features Janacek’s string quartet Intimate Letters, written in 1928 after he fell for a married woman 38 years his junior - a ‘manifesto on love’ or 'soundtrack to a midlife crisis'? That is for the audience to decide. There will also be Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and songs by Mahler, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Strauss. Musicologist Richard Wigmore presents two talks on composers in love.