Danish and a Diva

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1925 specializes in performing the works of Danish composer Carl Nielson and they began their CAMA  sponsored visit to the Granada Theatre with a rousing performance of his most famous short orchestral piece, the Helios Overture. The piece follows the journey of the sun from pre-dawn to sunset, going from barely audible to full-throated and celebratory as the sun reaches it’s mid-day peak, then the energy slowly dissipates at day’s end. The orchestra and conductor Fabio Luisi were joined on stage by the lovely person and voice of soprano Deborah Voigt for Richard Wagner’s “Wesendonk Lieder, WWV91.” These somewhat low-key (for Mahler) songs of yearning and melancholy were inspired by 5 poems written by Mathilde, wife of Swiss financier Otto Wesendonk who had taken in Wagner and his wife during part of the time they were in exile from Germany. They are not typical of Wagner arose from of his infatuation with his hostess.