Opening Night: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Kemp, Alder, Spence, Henschel

13 October 2017, 7:30pm - 9:30pm


The Festival gets offto a stunning start, welcoming a stellar team of musicians to the Sheldonian Theatre.

Please note that Louise Alder will replace Kate Royal in tonight's concert.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Thomas Kemp, perform two of Mahler's great vocal works in chamber orchestrations, created for salon-style performances. A renowned Mahlerian, baritone Dietrich Henschel begins the concert with Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (‘Songs of a Wayfarer), Mahler's moving settings of his own texts. After this, star soprano Louise Alder performs a selection of Strauss’ best-known songs in newly-uncovered arrangements that were originally intended for the cinemaand silent movies (and the OAE will be back two days later for a live performance of Strauss' own score for the film of Der Rosenkavalier).

The second half of the concert features Mahler’s epic ‘song symphony’ Das Lied von der Erde (‘The Song of the Earth’), with Dietrich Henschel and world-renowned tenor Toby Spence. This transcendental masterpiece, written in a time of great turmoil for Mahler, sets ancient Chinese poetry in German translation, exploring profound themes of life and death.

These glittering orchestrations of Mahler were made by Arnold Schoenberg, to allow performances in salon-type settings, and they bring a new level of intimacy to the works and cast them in a new light: revelatory and refreshing to those who already know them well, and enticing to those who are coming to them for the first time.


This concert is presented in association with Music at Oxford, who present prestigious orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the year. For details of their season see


Members of the Schubert Circle and the Friends of Oxford Lieder enjoy a special reception after this evening's concert. To find out more about this, as well as the other benefits of being an Oxford Lieder supporter and the vital contribution this support makes, please click here


13 October 2017 | 9:00am

The Last of the Romantics - Mahler and fin-de-siècle Vienna

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Festive Supper
13 October 2017, 6:30pm 20 June 2024 - 3:55pm
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Mahler: A life in Song Part I
14 October 2017, 11:00am - 3:00pm

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