The focus of the London Song Festival Autumn Season which runs from 29 October to 10 December is Obsessions.
Song has always been an obsession of Director Nigel Foster which inspired the first London Song Festival (LSF) back in 2007, and the title of this season’s concerts.
Many of the concerts have a distinctly French flavour including ones devoted to settings of Baudelaire: An Obsession with Decadence, the relationships between poets Verlaine and Rimbaud A dangerous Obsession and to the entire city of Paris: An Obsession with Pleasure. However, one of the concerts, on 19 November, features English Song: A Tenor Obsession.
Tenor Mark Milhofer and pianist Nigel Foster have devised this concert to mark the centenary of the deaths of two great tenors, Enrico Caruso and Gervase Elwes.
English tenor Gervase Elwes was known as the greatest interpreter of the role of Gerontius (Elgar). Composers including Vaughan Williams and Roger Quilter wrote some of their finest songs for him with the programme including favourites such as Love’s Philosophy and Fair House of Joy.
Also included is Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge and songs specifically written for Elwes by Rebecca Clarke, Thomas Dunhill and Poldowski.
This programme celebrates and contrasts the two very different types of songs written for and by these two great tenors, who both died 100 years ago this year.
Find out more about the autumn season at https://www.londonsongfestival.org/concerts-1