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Santtu conducts Wagner’s Ring Without Words

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Thursday 04 November 202119:30

Is it possible to take Wagner’s Ring Cycle – four operas lasting a total of 15 hours with a sprawling cast of characters from Norse mythology – and condense it into something that would fit onto a single CD, in which not a note is sung?

Composer and conductor Lorin Maazel accepted the challenge, and the result is The Ring Without Words (or as a New York Times headline put it, ‘One Ring to Shrink Them All’). All the great moments of The Ring are here. From our first glimpse of the bubbling waters of the Rhine, to the final destruction of Valhalla, via the lives, loves and deaths of heroes and dwarves, dragons and gods, the story is told in Wagner’s inimitably dramatic orchestral writing.

Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, too, deal with life and death, but in a much more intimate and peaceful way. Strauss was 84 when he set these intensely moving poems contemplating autumn, sunset and sleep. At Strauss’s request, they were premiered by the Philharmonia, which he had conducted on several occasions, and soprano Kirsten Flagstad. Our soloist is Miah Persson, ‘one of the most intelligent Strauss sopranos of our time at the peak of her powers’ (Bachtrack). 

Price: £65, £48, £38, £29, £20, £13

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