Sea Interludes


21/02/2021 - 21/02/2021

Sea Interludes

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What does the magic of a ninth symphony or the power of opera mean in 1945? Dmitri Shostakovich’s Ninth, one of his ‘war symphonies’, was called on to commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over Germany in World War Two. But how do you glorify a victory that has cost countless human lives and how do you honour your worst enemy? While everyone was expecting a triumphant symphony, Shostakovich wrote a short, light work that was an acerbic criticism of Stalin’s policies. That same year, Benjamin Britten completed his magnum opus, Peter Grimes, an opera in which the ‘Four Sea Interludes’ express existential doubts and depict the overwhelming power of nature and of the mass confronting the individual. How many different ways are there of coming to terms with the traumas of a human catastrophe?


Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, op. 33a (1945)
Symphony No.9 in E-flat major, op. 70 (1945)

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