The Crossing Borders Festival seeks to celebrate refugees by performing some of the great works of music written by famous composers who, at some point in their lives, suffered displacement. This year the festival's ensemble starts Refugee Week with Arnold Schoenberg's "Verklärte Nacht” alongside Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence".
Arnold Schoenberg was a cellist, a composer and an artist. The rise of the Nazi party saw Schoenberg's music labelled as degenerate and in 1934 he emigrated to the United States of America. "Verklärte Nacht" (1899) was Schoenberg's first masterpiece. A deeply Romantic work and heavily influenced by Wagner, it is based on a poem by Richard Dehmel about a woman who only meets the man she truly loves when she is already pregnant.
The displacement suffered by Tchaikovsky was both internal and geographic. The social mores of the time, along with the fact that homosexual acts were a crime in Russia, meant he was terrified of his homosexuality becoming exposed. He dealt with this by spending considerable time travelling abroad. Away from Russia, he longed to return to it, while, when there, he felt constrained. By turns lyrical, Romantic and joyous, the sextet "Souvenir de Florence" demonstrates the solace he found in music.
The members of the Crossing Borders Festival ensemble are Krassimira Jeliazkova and Nicola Bates (violin), Ros Hanson-Laurent and Stephen Giles (viola) and Siriol Hugh-Jones and Ivana Peranic (cello).
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|Time||7:30 pm - 9:30 pm|
|Venue||St Mary’s Church|
61 St James's Street
Crossing Borders Festival