Music is uniquely placed to provide comfort and solace when other things cannot, and the final music composed by Richard Strauss is a breathtaking example. At the age of 84, shortly before he passed away, he took four poems and set them to music. These songs for soprano and orchestra went on to become known as Strauss’ Four Last Songs, and to hear them live in concert is a moving and powerful experience. Performed by Australian soprano Emma Pearson, there is no better way we could finish off our concert year. The concert also features one of Debussy’s great masterpieces, La Mer, an invocation of the sea so strong, you can almost smell the salt and hear the waves.