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Schoenberg and Bruckner l Oxford Symphony Orchestra

Saturday June 17, 2023 at 19:30
Oxford Town Hall, Oxford
£16, over 60s £14, students 16–25 and on benefits £5, accompanied under 16s free
Phone for tickets: 01865 305305
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. 5 Pieces for Orchestra Op 16 - Arnold Schoenberg
  2. Symphony No 8 in C minor - Anton Bruckner

Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra is not based on melodic line but on sounds, colours and textures: each movement has a theme. The first, 'Premonitions', is at times ominous, but also colourful and bombastic. The second movement, 'Yesteryears', is delicate, maybe evoking a sleepless night in the woods, and illustrates Schoenberg's talent for texture and sensitivity. The third, 'Summer Morning by a Lake', breaks up a melodic line amongst different instruments. “Peripetia” then takes the listener on an energy-filled ride ending in a climax. The final movement, 'The Obligatory Recitative' is lyrical and bucolic, with a single melodic line running through the whole orchestra and a happy ending.

Bruckner's 8th was his last completed symphony, and it is truly magnificent in its size and splendour. Bruckner's symphonies are sometimes compared to orchestral cathedrals, and this work certainly demonstrates the complexity and richness of its grand Wagnerian construction. However, among the contemplation, and the rich soundscape of low brass, also lurks unsettling drama. The impressive finale manages to combine the opening themes from all the movements at once.

Oxford Town Hall
St Aldate's

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