Opera Scotland

Lied von der Erde 1999Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Read more about the opera Song of the Earth

Traditionally, the RSNO had for decades performed a weekly concert programme through the winter season. Friday meant Edinburgh's Usher Hall, Saturday saw the programme repeated in Glasgow City Hall (following the destruction by fire of the St Andrew's Hall in the early sixties).  The regular performances in Aberdeen (Tuesday) and Dundee (Wednesday) traditionally occurred the second week of each month through the winter. season. When the new Royal Concert Hall opened, as a major feature of the 1990 Year of Culture, this format continued for a few years, but eventually the hall management prevailed on the orchestra to make some Saturdays available for 'more popular' entertainments. This allowed the orchestra, from time to time, to venture out of the central belt at the weekend.

Mahler's great symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde, does not seem to have been heard in Dundee previously. Indeed his works were rarely performed at all. The purely instrumental symphonies, plus the fourth, with its soprano in the finale, had all been given at least once over the years. The great song cycles, Kindertotenlieder and Songs of a Wayfarer, were also heard on rare occasions. Das Lied von der Erde, however, was a complete novelty, and very welcome on a Saturday evening in spring.

Alexander Lazarev seemed to be keen to bring large-scale pieces to Dundee's vast and acoustically superb Caird Hall - even the Verdi Requiem and Belshazzar's Feast. Louise Winter was a familiar soloist, and also performed the Rückert songs with this orchestra. Gary Lakes was an American heldentenor not previously heard in the UK. His reputation lay with his performances at the Metropolitan Opera of roles such as Aeneas in The Trojans and Siegfried. To have such a distinguished pair of singers in the Caird Hall really was a treat.

Sometimes the substantial Mahler work has been considered enough of a feast for one evening. However, on this occasion it was preceded by the rousing work by Janáček, the Rhapsody Taras Bulba.

Further dates to be confirmed.

Performance Cast


Louise Winter


Gary Lakes

Performance DatesLied von der Erde 1999

Map List

Caird Hall | Dundee

6 Mar, 19.30

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