Strauss includes masterpieces like Frühlingsfeier, Wiegenlied and Cäcilie, but at the end of the letter, he chooses to offer something further: in a now-historic sentence in the Philharmonia’s history, he suggests…
It is a sentence which is monumental in the history of one of our resident orchestras, the Philharmonia Orchestra, because, not only did Flagstad accept Strauss’ offer, she chose to perform his Four Last Songs with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Just over a year on from the composer’s original letter, and eight months on from his death, Flagstad and the Philharmonia premiered Strauss final works at the Royal Albert Hall.
On Thursday 6 December, 2018 soprano Sophie Bevan followed in Flagstad’s footsteps, performing the Four Last Songs with the Philharmonia Orchestra under their Principal Guest Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali.
The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of four resident orchestras to call Southbank Centre their home.