Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.


St Mary Redcliffe Church
12 Colston Parade


Henry PurcellDido's Lament (arr. Stokowski for strings)
Ralph Vaughan WilliamsDona Nobis Pacem
Hector BerliozSymphonie Fantastique, H 48


Charlotte Newstead – soprano
Martin Le Poidevin – baritone
Stefan Hofkes – conductor

Bristol Concert Orchestra

Programme Note

This concert of two halves opens with Stokowski's string arrangement of Purcell's heartrending Dido's Lament ('When I am Laid in Earth'), providing an incredibly effective prelude to Vaughan Williams' empassioned plea for peace Dona nobis pacem (written after the composer's experiences as an ambulance driver in World War I) and recognised as a neglected choral masterpiece.

For the second half, the incredible Symphonie Fantastique - the 'programme symphony' written by a 27-year-old Berlioz telling the (autobiographical) story of "an artist gifted with a lively imagination" who has "poisoned himself with opium" in the "depths of despair" because of "hopeless, unrequited love." The five movements of this hallucinatory tale include a beautiful waltz, the famous 'March to the Scaffold' and concludes at the funeral of the hero attended by sorcerers and monsters. 
Or, as Leonard Bernstein put it "Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral." Fantastical indeed…


There will be a retiring collection in aid of The Stroke Association.

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