BRATTLEBORO—On Sunday, May 19, Windham Orchestra will present “Human Condition” featuring works by Strauss and Shostakovich, a performance that is in part a tribute to Orchestra violinist Gudrun Weeks following her death last year.
The concert — set for 3 p.m. at the Latchis Theatre — “is a profound, gorgeous and, one might even say, joyful exploration of different spiritual states,” Musical Director Hugh Keelan said in a news release. “These works show us that tragedy is not necessarily sad — it can actually also be elevating.”
Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs are the composer’s final works. They include Frühling (Spring), September, Beim Schlafengehen (When Falling Asleep), and Im Abendrot (At Sunset).
As Keelan notes, “The last music we think Gudrun played with us was the violin solo from the song When Falling Asleep; this will be both difficult and essential for us to play.”
Soprano Jenna Rae sings the inspiring and elevating cycle, and “the music offers the message that life goes on, even if life does not go on,” Keelan says. “That concept, of course, is hard to put into words, which is why we have music.”
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 continues the tour of the “Human Condition,” he explains, “spotlighting conflict, strife, waiting, and the movement towards love and peace.”
Like Beethoven, Shostakovich’s work follows a “tragedy to triumph” progression, “but, like Beethoven, he does it in a very non-linear way. It is not an easy transition from one to the other.”