Oxford Harmonic Choir
Our spring concert consists of two highly expressive choral works, together with Smetana’s well-known symphonic poem Vyehrad. The Music Makers is a setting of Ode by the Victorian poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy. It is intensely personal: Elgar wrote ‘I have written out my soul | I have shown myself’, and he includes quotations from earlier works, including the famous theme from Nimrod. The work moves between triumph and melancholy, ending quietly with the opening words; ‘We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.’ Brahms was responding to a poem by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Halderlin, Schicksalslied, which contrasts the everlasting bliss of the immortals with the suffering of humanity, both wonderfully evoked in Brahms’s music.
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