- Overture to Béatrice et Bénédict
- Four Last Songs
- Symphony No. 1
- Susana Gaspar
- Stephen Brearley
In its eighth concert for Freedom from Torture, The Doctors’ Orchestra is joined by the Portuguese soprano Susana Gaspar in a performance of Strauss’s much loved Four Last Songs. Completed in the 86th and last year of the composer’s life, these glorious songs express both the composer’s passion for the soprano voice and a mellow acceptance of life’s approaching end.
Berlioz’s opera Béatrice et Bénédict was also a late work but this time one crackling with wit, humour and vivacity. Rachmaninov’s First Symphony, by contrast, was an early work whose disastrous first performance caused the composer to suffer a nervous breakdown but which has subsequently come to be recognised as a thrilling work of true genius.