West Road Concert Hall
Sat 1 December
City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra

Mendelssohn, Elgar, Britten and Debussy

Mezzo-soprano: Julia Portela Piñón

Note: Tickets for this event are no longer available to buy online, but can still be bought at the door before the concert.

Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture
Elgar Sea Pictures
Britten Four Sea Interludes
Debussy La Mer

Mezzo-soprano: Julia Portela Piñón
Conductor: Robert Hodge

The oceans have a hundred moods, many of which can be relished in this imaginative programme, devoted entirely to the sea. Mendelssohn’s ‘Hebrides’ Overture, also known as ‘Fingal’s Cave’, was inspired by the composer’s tour of the Hebrides. Indeed, he jotted down the memorable musical phrase that opens the work inside the cave itself. Elgar set five poems by five different poets, one of them his wife Alice, each of whom responded to the sea in a different way. This wonderful work is pure Elgar, pure sea, and will be sung by Spanish mezzo Julia Portela Piñón.

Listening to Britten’s ‘Sea Interludes’ from his opera ‘Peter Grimes’, we feel the spray, smell the ozone and hear the roar of the ocean. Britten was an experienced composer for film, and this fine work may be thought of as ‘visual’, given its remarkable power of evocation. But such brilliant capture of mood predates the advent of film music. Debussy’s La mer is gloriously colourful and descriptive, complementing the picture that adorned the cover of the programme at its première in 1905: ‘The Hollow Wave’ by the Japanese artist, Hokusai.



135 minutes


West Road Concert Hall


£18, £16, £8, £5

West Road Concert Hall is one of Cambridge's premier music venues. Ideally situated only minutes' walk from the famous Cambridge Backs and King's College, it is renowned for its superb acoustic qualities.

Please note there is restricted viewing from some of the balcony seating.


Three wheelchair spaces are available in the concert hall with easy access at ground floor level throughout the building.

The main entrance to the venue has a double width door, with a push button for automatic opening.



West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road
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