Summer in the Alps
Elgar, Mahler, & their contemporaries
Summer 2021
  Date:  Summer 2021
  Venue:  Online via ZOOM
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In the autumn of 1894 Edward and Alice Elgar enjoyed a holiday in Upper Bavaria, mostly at Garmisch. Upon their return to England, Alice wrote a set of six poems with words “adapted from the Volkslieder and Schnadahüpfler”, and Edward duly set them to music. These six songs, collectively entitled From the Bavarian Highlands, were dedicated to Mr and Mrs Slingsby Bethell, the proprietors of the Garmisch pension where the Elgars had stayed. Composed in 1895, we sing them in their original form with piano accompaniment.

Garmisch is just a few miles from the border with Austria, and over that border, just a few years later, Gustav Mahler composed his Rückert-Lieder. These five songs exist in both full orchestral and piano accompanied versions by Mahler, and it is the latter that our Musical Director has adapted as a choral arrangement. Another classic of the period, Morgen! by Richard Strauss, is also hear in a choral version by our Musical Director.

Back in England, an almost exact contemporary of Elgar, Ethel Smyth, was also obsessed with the music of Austria and Germany, and her opera, Der Wald, is full of Wagnerian intent, and begins with a wonderful choral prologue, with woodland spirits and a natural storyline.

Completing the programme is Cursch-Bühren’s mixed choir arrangement of the original male-voice chorus version of Johann Strauss II’s The Blue Danube.


Northampton Bach Choir

Conductor -
Lee Dunleavy

From the Bavarian Highlands - Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Rückert-Lieder - Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) arr. Lee Dunleavy
Prologue from Der Wald - Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)
An der schönen, blauen Donau - Johann Strauss II (1825-99)
Morgen! - Richard Strauss (1864-1949) arr. Lee Dunleavy