Saturday 29 September 2018 7:30PM

Steven Isserlis cello; Connie Shih piano

Composers and their Muses


  • Steven Isserlis cello
  • Connie Shih piano

Steven Isserlis highlights significant relationships between Clara and Robert Schumann, Vitezslava Kaprálová and her teacher Martinů with her 1940 Ritournelles, and Augusta Holmès and her teacher César Franck with an extract from her 1895 scène lyrique.

"The intertwining of music and love is an endlessly fascinating phenomenon. The three pairs of composers represented in this programme were all, it seems, deeply involved with each other in a way that exercised a strong influence on their music – at least for a period of their lives. The story of Robert and Clara Schumann, their love violently opposed by Clara’s father but finally prevailing, their subsequent increasingly troubled marriage and Schumann’s final catastrophic breakdown and incarceration, is well-known. The curious and tragic story of Kapralova and Martinu is less so, as is that of Franck’s passion for the alluring Augusta Holmes (although the latter is the subject of an absorbing novel by Ronald Harwood, ‘César and Augusta’). All three couples provided mutual musical inspiration, which we hope to illustrate through this programme."
In an exclusive essay for Wigmore Hall, Steven Isserlis explores the theme of his upcoming concert and examines the individual stories behind each piece in the programme. Read now

  • Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
        • 3 Romances Op. 22 (arr. Isserlis)
  • Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
        • Fantasiestücke Op. 73
  • Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940)
        • Ritournelle Op. 25
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
        • Cello Sonata No. 1
  • Interval
  • Augusta Holmès (1847-1903)
        • Récitatif et chant from La vision de la reine (arr. Isserlis)
  • César Franck (1822-1890)
        • Sonata in A for cello and piano
  • Encore
  • Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
        • Romance in F Op. 36

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