240210 Rhapsody Image Madeleine Small


Brahms - Schicksalslied

Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini


Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.5 in E minor

Approx. 2 hours


Bertie Baigent - conductor

Madeleine Brown - piano

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Saffron Hall box office | 01799 588 545 Monday to Friday, 10am – 5.30pm

£25, £18, £12 | Concessions: £22.50, £16, £10 | Cambridge University Students: £5

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Two flagship University ensembles, the Cambridge University Orchestra and Chamber Choir, join forces under the baton of Bertie Baigent for an evening of musical masterpieces by Brahms, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky.

Delve into Brahms’s captivating Schicksalslied, a choral masterpiece contrasting divine happiness with human struggles based on Friedrich Hölderlin’s poem. Brahms, who often liked to provide consolatory endings, struggled with the work, ultimately deciding to provide a serene conclusion for orchestra alone. In the version performed in this concert, Brahms brings back the chorus for the final bars, undercutting the negative conclusion of the poem. Join us for what might be the first public performance of this extraordinary version of Schicksalslied!

Rachmaninov’s iconic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a work that epitomizes the romantic era’s brilliance. Rachmaninov’s variation on Paganini’s Caprice No.24 for solo violin showcases his unparalleled creativity and virtuosity. Winner of the 2022–2023 Concerto Competition, Madeleine Brown, takes on the fiendish piano solo.

The program culminates in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5 – a testament to the composer’s resilience and artistry. Written in 1888 after a challenging period following the premiere of his Symphony No.4, the reception to Symphony No.5 was initially muted, leaving Tchaikovsky disheartened. However, posthumously, this symphony gained immense popularity for its powerful evocation of fate and Tchaikovsky’s masterful orchestration, solidifying its place as one of his most beloved creations.

more about Cambridge University Orchestra

Cambridge University Orchestra is the University’s flagship orchestra, performing the most ambitious repertoire with world-class professional conductors and exceptional student and professional soloists.

more about Cambridge University Chamber Choir

Cambridge University Chamber Choir (CUCC) aims to provide advanced singers with the opportunity to expand their vocal and artistic skills. Often performing without a conductor, its core group of 16 exceptional singers fashion a distinctive repertoire, including many pieces rarely performed by college choirs.