Songs For The Dead

Commissioned by BAC for their Matters of Life and Death season in 2000, this “installation concert” stages a collection of extraordinary pieces of music written as a response to death.

The production, featuring eight musicians, is entirely promenade – the audience is free to move wherever it pleases, encountering an arresting sequence of images: Purcell’s Dido’s Lament sung from a bathtub; Schnittke’s Piano Quintet with the musicians imprisoned by a cage of stones suspended in the air; Elliot Carter’s String Quartet played amongst a field of red carnations in milk bottles.

Other featured pieces include Stravinsky’s Elegy for Viola, Paul Clark’s Feast During the Plague Suite, Ligeti’s Homage to Hilding Rosenberg, Messiaen’s Pièce pour le Tombeau de Paul Dukas and Morton Feldman’s Only.


Directed by Suzy Willson
Designed by Sarah Blenkinsop
Lighting by Sarah Gilmartin
Conducted by James Keane

Commissioned by BAC and performed there in 2000 and 2001


Chris Allen, Malcolm Allison, James Keane, Calina de la Mare, Rose Redgrave, Nick Stevenson, Matthew Ward.