It was in 1897 that Rainer Maria Rilke, a sensitive and passionate young man of 22, met Lou Andreas Salomé, a woman whom Nietzsche had wanted to marry and whom many years later Freud made a lay analyst. Their relationship began in a burst of passion and intense communion and continued through letters and infrequent meetings for the rest of their lives.
Two years later, in 1899, an equally sensitive and passionate young man of 26 called Arnold Schoenberg wrote one of the great works in the classical repertoire, a string sextet in one movement which he called Verklärte Nacht, Transfigured Night. He was inspired by a poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel, and by his feelings for Mathilde Von Zemlinsky whom he would later marry.
This is a concert about life and love. Above all it celebrates the power of music. The programme includes musical settings and readings from Rilke's Orpheus Sonnets, 55 poems written in, as he described it, a ‘savage creative storm' of three weeks in 1922. There will also be performances of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht in a version for piano trio and of songs by Edvard Grieg, Frederick Delius and Hugo Wolf.
How to book
The event will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, London SW1X 9BZ on Thursday 7 May. Holy Trinity is a few minutes on foot from Sloane Square tube station.
Doors will open at 6.30 pm and the event will start promptly at 7.00 pm.
Tickets for the event are £10 plus a small admin charge. Spaces are limited so please book now on Eventbrite www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rainer-maria-rilke-and-arnold-schoenbergto secure your place.
After the event guests will be welcome to stay on for a glass of wine or light refreshments.
Please note that a collection will be taken for the upkeep of Holy Trinity Church – please give generously.