Opera Tickets Italy

Teatro Filarmonico

Platea, € 32
Galleria, € 32

Rachmaninoff / Lloyd Webber

Rachmaninoff / Lloyd Webber

The beautiful Teatro Filarmonico in Verona hosts a series of concerts featuring the music of Sergey Rachmaninoff, one of Russia's most esteemed musical talents, followed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the famous British impresario and composer. These concerts showcase some of Rachmaninoff's and Lloyd Webber's most serious music. Opening with Isle of the Dead, the Russian composer's symphonic poem which frequently quotes from the Dies irae theme, a melody often used in the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, the concert proceeds with a rendition of Lloyd Webber's Requiem, first performed in 1985.

Rachmaninoff wrote Isle of the Dead after seeing a reproduction of an Arnold Böcklin painting – a Swiss symbolist artist – of the same name while he was in Paris working with Diaghilev's ballet company. However, it was not until two years later, in 1909, that the composer began working on a symphonic version of the image. He completed his composition in April of that year and the work was subsequently premiered in Moscow a couple of weeks later. Using 5:8 rhythms to convey the movement of waves on a shore, the symphonic poem brings out much of the mystery of Böcklin's painting which depicts a small boat on dark waters approaching a desolate island. Rachmaninoff's version shifts into a rhapsodic 3:4 meter before returning to the more tranquil 5:8 rhythm of the opening movement.

Lloyd Webber's Requiem was written in memory of the composer's father who died in 1982. By this time, Lloyd Webber had made a name for himself as a writer of musicals and it was something of a new venture for him to work in a more traditional musical form. Requiem was first performed in New York City in February 1985 and would go on to win a Grammy Award the following year for the Best Contemporary Composition. Like Rachmaninoff, Lloyd Webber also made use of Dies irae for his work. That said, the Pie Jesu section is perhaps the most well-known of all the structural elements that make up his Requiem. It has been recorded many times by artists such as Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman, among others.

With two such thoughtful pieces of music from the twentieth century and a venue that offers audiences the chance to hear both the orchestra and vocalists clearly, given its excellent acoustics, these concerts are sure to fascinate everyone fortunate enough to attend them.

image Teatro Filarmonico Verona / Per gentile concessione Fondazione Arena di Verona / Foto Gilles Alonso