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Santtu conducts Brahms, Schumann and Sibelius | Philharmonia Orchestra

Thursday March 30, 2023 at 19:30
Royal Festival Hall, London
£15-£70; multi-buy offer available; under 18s and concessions discounts available; discounted tickets for students via Student Pulse (limited availability)
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  1. Academic Festival Overture Op 80 - Johannes Brahms
  2. Konzertstück for 4 horns and orchestra Op 86 - Robert Schumann
  3. Symphony No 5 in E flat Op 82 - Jean Sibelius

Our Principal Conductor pairs Sibelius with a feast for fans of the French Horn.

Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5 would make it into many listeners’ top ten. It begins with a whisper from horns and timpani, which spreads through the woodwind section in a glorious evocation of sunrise. The second movement is a set of variations on a simple, wistful theme. Then comes the moment Sibelius fans have been waiting for – the magnificent ‘swan’ theme of the finale, with its jubilant horn chords and sweeping strings. Sibelius wrote it after witnessing the awe-inspiring sight of 16 swans in flight: “One of the great experiences of my life! God, how beautiful,” he wrote in his diary.

Our renowned horn section is in the spotlight in Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück, a concerto for four horns and orchestra. The valved horn was a recent development in the mid-19th century, and Schumann gives his soloists the opportunity to show off the new versatility of their instruments, with blazing fanfares, rich singing harmonies, and acrobatic virtuosity.

First comes Brahms’s boisterous Academic Festival Overture, composed in recognition of an honorary degree. Brahms sneaked in the melodies of several student drinking songs, which must have raised a few academic eyebrows at the graduation ceremony.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road

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