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Yamada conducts Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony | Philharmonia Orchestra

Sunday May 7, 2023 at 19:30
Royal Festival Hall, London
£10-£65; multi-buy offer available; under 18s and concessions discounts available; discounted tickets for students via Student Pulse (limited availability)
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  1. Pavane pour une infante défunte - Maurice Ravel
  2. Concerto for violin and orchestra - Alban Berg
  3. Symphony No 3 in C minor, 'Organ' Op 78 - Camille Saint-Saëns

Hearing the huge Royal Festival Hall organ playing with a full orchestra is something you experience not just with your ears but with your whole body.

Let the sound fill you from top to toe as we perform Saint-Saëns’s Organ Symphony. Saint-Saëns poured his soul into what he considered his finest work, saying “I gave everything to it I was able to give.” The majestic organ writing, fragments of plainsong and fugal passages recall the 20 years he spent as a church organist – the best in the world, according to Franz Liszt. And the addition of two pianists to the orchestra is perhaps a nod to his later career as a concert pianist. But more than a musical autobiography, or simply a showcase for the organ, this is a spine tingling orchestral masterpiece.

Charismatic conductor Kazuki Yamada opens the evening with Ravel’s haunting Pavane, conceived as a stately dance for an imaginary little princess of the Spanish Golden Age. Then Latvian violinist Baiba Skride joins the Orchestra in Berg’s Violin Concerto. Berg dedicated it “To the memory of an angel”, the 18 year old Manon Gropius. Its anguished central sections are framed by a gentle Prelude and a hymn like Adagio.

Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road

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