The tragic story of the brilliant French sculptor, Camille Claudel, has inspired both writers and composers. Like many of the women composers featured in this Festival, she was a creative genius in an era when a woman on her own was rarely taken seriously. She is forever associated with Auguste Rodin, her mentor, teacher and lover. Their stormy romance followed by her struggles to live and work on her own led to her eventual breakdown and her 30-year incarceration by her family in a remote asylum. Jake Heggie’s song cycle for mezzo and string quartet begins on the day she is to be taken to the asylum. Her story alone would break your heart, with the music and inspired performers it is devastating.
Schubert’s extraordinary G major Quartet stands at the very pinnacle of the repertoire alongside Beethoven’s C sharp minor that was composed at exactly the same time. Both players and audience have to delve much deeper to comprehend this music that was so far ahead of its time.
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