The oceans have a hundred moods, many of which can be relished in this imaginative programme, devoted entirely to the sea. Mendelssohn’s ‘Hebrides’ Overture, also known as ‘Fingal’s Cave’, was inspired by the composer’s tour of the Hebrides. Indeed, he jotted down the memorable musical phrase that opens the work inside the cave itself.
Elgar set five poems by five different poets, one of them his wife Alice, each of whom responded to the sea in a different way. This wonderful work is pure Elgar, pure sea, enhanced by our distinguished mezzo-soprano soloist: Julia Portela Piñón. Listening to Britten’s ‘Sea Interludes’ from his opera ‘Peter Grimes’, we feel the spray, smell the ozone and hear the roar of the ocean. Britten was an experienced composer for film, and this fine work may be thought of as ‘visual’, given its remarkable power of evocation. But such brilliant capture of mood predates the advent of film music.
Debussy’s La mer is gloriously colourful, one might say descriptive, complementing the picture that adorned the cover of the programme at its première in 1905: ‘The Hollow Wave’ by the Japanese artist, Hokusai.
Admission: £18, £16 (concessions), £8 (students), £5 (under 14)
- Phone: 01223 300085 (12:30 - 16:00 on Monday, 12:30 - 19:00 Tuesday - Friday, and 15:00 - 19:00 on Saturday).
- In person: ADC Box Office, Park St, Cambridge, CB5 8AS – just off Jesus Lane