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Friday Series: Peace and Serenity

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Richard Strauss: Sextet from the opera Capriccio
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Ró [Serenity]
Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung

Stefan Solyom

Siggi String Quartet

This Friday concert pairs two masterful chamber works, one by Richard Strauss and the other by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and caps the programme with Strauss’ magnificent tone poem Death and Transfiguration.

Strauss wrote Capriccio, his last opera, in 1941, in the midst of World War II. The subject matter is art: that is, the question of whether music or libretto is more important in the creation of an opera. The work opens with a beautiful string sextet that has its own place in the musical canon and is one of Strauss’ most remarkable chamber works.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir is in the front ranks of contemporary composers, and her works are programmed regularly by leading orchestras around the world. The chamber work Ró [Serenity] has been highly successful since it was written in 2013. The critic from Gramophone magazine notes its “extraordinary focus”, and the New York Times critic called it “strikingly unusual and beautiful.”

The hour-long programme concludes with Richard Strauss’ provocative musical description of an artist on his deathbed, eliciting the entire palette of the orchestra as only Strauss can do.

Further information on the concert can be found on the Iceland Symphony Orchestra website.