Conductor Klaus Mäkelä

Klaus Mäkelä © Marco Borggreve

Madness and hallucinations

  1. 8 Songs for a Mad King
  2. Symphonie Fantastique
  1. Klaus Mäkelä conductor
  2. Thomas Florio baritone

Klaus Mäkelä conducts music about the dark corners of the human mind. Peter Maxwell Davies’ tragi-comic Eight Songs for a Mad King depicts King George III’s mental disorders and Hector Berlioz’ Symphony Fantastique depicts a desperate young artist under the influence of opium.

The English composer Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016) had a career full of contrasts. For ten years starting in 2004 he had the title of Master of the Queen’s Music and was the house composer for the Royal Household of the United Kingdom. When he became famous in the 1960s it was rather due to quite experimental music that audiences found shocking. Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969) is based on the historical King George III’s mental illness. In the eight monologs scored for a baritone soloist, Maxwell Davies uses extended techniques to express the King’s madness.

Symphonie fantastique (1830) by Hector Berlioz (1803–1869) is one of the great milestones in the history of orchestral music. The symphony depicts the heartache of a young artist, based on the composer’s own desperate infatuation with actress Harriet Smithson. In his despair the young artist takes opium, which Berlioz had personal experience doing. In the fourth movement, the effects of it kick in. During a hallucination he becomes a witness to his own execution and then in the last movement he is dragged into a vulgar and grotesque witches’ Sabbath.


  • Adult: 170 - 560 NOK
  • Senior: 170 - 450 NOK
  • Student: 170 - 280 NOK
  • Child: 150 NOK
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