We begin this evening concert with the second work in our series featuring famous women in their own words. These five dramatic portraits describe five strong women who carved their mark into history. Camille Claudel, the outstanding sculptress; the great Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo; the Swedish Queen Kristina, who abdicated her throne; Rosa Luxembourg, communist revolutionary and Louise Michel, the pétroleuse of the Paris Commune, tell us fragments of their stories in letters, diaries, poems and speeches. Fauré’s Second Piano Quartet is famous for recalling in the Adagio the peal of church bells that used to drift across the fields whenever the wind blew from the west. Their sound,
he wrote, gives rise to a vague reverie which, like all vague reveries, is not translatable into words. Perhaps it is a desire for something beyond what actually exists; and there music is very much at home.
The other three movements are far from vague reverie.