Richard Blackford’s Pietà at the Three Choirs Festival

The Stabat Mater is a Latin hymn, probably dating from the 13th century, which commemorates and mediates upon the sorrow and grief of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion, as…

Dyson’s Quo Vadis at the Three Choirs Festival

George Dyson began composing his nine-movement ‘cycle of poems’, Quo Vadis, in 1936 and completed it as the Second World War was ending, in 1945, but if it the grand…

Beyond the Garden: a haunting one-act opera by Stephen McNeff

Theodor Adorno called her ‘the monster’; the wife of the writer Friedrich Torberg derided her as ‘a grande dame and at the same time a cesspool’.  Yet, Alma Mahler was…

Post-Straussian sumptuousness at the Three Choirs Festival

For many, Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs (1948) represent the last great flowering of German Romanticism.  84 years of age, worn down by the tribulations and devastation of the Second…

Coleridge Taylor: The Song of Hiawatha, Three Choirs Festival

The Song of Hiawatha, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor at Gloucester Cathedral, highlight of this year’s Three Choirs Festival.