Death and Desire

Strauss and Dvorák


With major event restrictions still to be lifted to a point where we can perform for you in the concert hall, we regret that this MSO performance will not proceed.

We are committed to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the MSO, and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. We will, however, keep the music going! We invite all music-lovers to enjoy free online concerts via our YouTube channel.

If you hold a ticket to this performance, instead of requesting a refund, we ask you to consider donating the value of your ticket to enable us to live stream more free events and continue the mission of the MSO, to enrich lives through music. Please email our Box Office prior to the performance date at if you would prefer to do this and we thank you in advance if you choose to donate during this uncertain period. MSO gift cards (valid for 3 years) and fee-free exchanges are also available.

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Further information can be found on the Cancelled and Rescheduled Concerts page


Fabien Gabel conductor
Daniel Müller-Schott cello


R. Strauss Don Juan
R. Strauss Death and Transfiguration
Dvořák Cello Concerto

About the performance

Love and death and musical heaven.

French conductor Fabien Gabel leads the MSO through a program of Strauss and Dvořák dedicated to the principle forces of nature: death and desire.

In music, these two great forces are often shown in harmony or opposition, like magnets attracting and compelling. Richard Strauss dealt directly with both themes, in his tone poems Don Juan and Death and Transfiguration.

Strauss’ version of Don Juan seduces scores of women as he searches for femininity’s ideal, and when he can’t find it he wills death to come to him. The piece conjures all the swagger and mortification that this scenario suggests, with some magisterial parts for the horns and beautifully sensual woodwinds.

Death and Transfiguration opens with a long, mournful largo evoking the sick artist, slowly fading, before plunging into a violent and clamorous battle between the forces of life and death. The transfiguration, when it comes, is a glorious and deeply moving release.

To complete this grand meditation is Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, played by talented German cellist Daniel Müller-Schott. Dedicated in part, to the composer’s dying sister-in-law, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto is a piece brimming with yearning and the tenderness that accompanies impending loss.

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