London, October 1, 2014

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Chopin Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2

Alma Mahler ‘Laue Sommernacht’ from Fünf Lieder; ‘Der Erkennende’ and ‘Lobgesang’ from Fünf Gesänge

Zemlinsky ‘Irmelin Rose’ from Irmelin Rose und andere Gesänge, Op. 7

Gustav Mahler ‘Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht’ and ‘Ging heut’ morgen über’s Feld’ from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Zemlinsky Three Pieces for cello and piano (1891)

Korngold Piano Trio in D major, Op. 1


Olivia Ray mezzo-soprano

Ania Safonova violin

Oleg Kogan cello

Ronan O’Hora piano


Illustrated talk by Patrick Bade


It was the litany of lovers and husbands in what he described as ‘the juiciest, spiciest, raciest obituary that it has ever been my pleasure to read’ that inspired Tom Lehrer’s famous song about Alma Mahler:


‘Her lovers were many and varied,

From the day she began her beguine.

There were three famous ones whom she married

And God knows how many between.’


Alma Schindler Mahler Gropius Werfel was not one of those celebrated beauties who retained her allure into old age. Colour film footage of her from the 1950s in conversation with her daughter Anna presents a raddled and formidable matron. And how did all those sensitive artists endure that grating voice? In photographs taken of her in her prime, we can admire her flawless profile and magnificent bosom. Were these features enough to fascinate a small army of gifted men? In an evening of chamber music and songs (some by the lady herself) we shall explore the enigma of Alma Mahler and the impact she had on the culture and music of her time.


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