November 2021

Chester Philharmonic Orchestra New Season – Plenty to Sing About!


Join us for our first concert of the season where we take a tour around Europe, featuring works by Mahler, Mendelssohn and Canteloube.

Following her critically acclaimed performance of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs in 2014, April Fredrick makes a much anticipated return to the orchestra with a double-billing as soprano soloist in Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. 

The concert opens with Mendelssohn’s Concert Overture Die Schöne Melusine (The Fair Melusine). It is based on a German legend about a water nymph who marries a Count. However, a condition of the marriage is that he must never enter her room on a Saturday, when she takes on the form of a mermaid. Throughout the piece, the effervescence of the overture reflects the movement and fluidity of the river. 

Canteloube travelled extensively across France for the purpose of collecting folk songs. In Songs of the Auvergne, he distills the essence of this landscape and its people, not only in the songs themselves, but also in the orchestration. The evocative language featured in the songs is Occitan, an old French dialect.  

Symphony No.4 is one Mahler’s shorter symphonic works when compared to his other symphonies. It is classically proportioned, featuring a smaller orchestra than his usual symphonic scorings. The second movement depicts ‘Death takes the Fiddle’ with a solo violin tuned a tone above the rest of the orchestra and giving a good natured yet ghostly view of death throughout the movement. The final movement features a soprano solo which presents a child’s vision of heaven: the ’Heavenly Life’. 

Soloist April Fredrick has a passion for nuance and text which gets to the heart of both music and character. She discovered Mahler during her first year at the Royal Academy, where she gained a Masters and Doctorate. She states that she has never found another composer who moves her in quite the same way! 

Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to extend a warm welcome to Richard Howarth, our conductor for the evening. Richard is highly regarded for his ability to inspire orchestras and audiences alike with the depth of his experience both as a professional violinist and conductor. 

The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the North West’s premier non-professional orchestras. Further details of upcoming concerts, including a concerto appearance by Sheku Kaneh-Mason, can be found on the Orchestra’s web site:

For other information please contact Andrew Ball by email on or 07398295239 or 01606 593260