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Sibelius in Basingstoke

The first of our two concerts this season as Orchestra in Association at The Anvil. Maxim Emelyanychev leads a programme of Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Grieg and Glinka.
Basingstoke, The Anvil £16 - £44 Info & Tickets

Sibelius is without doubt one of the Last Romantics. Along with his younger contemporary Rachmaninov, he kept faith with the common building blocks of music in the latter half of the 19th Century well into the 20th. But both had a non-conformist streak and began to find ways to move away from the prevailing styles of their time. In tonight’s concert we put four ‘romantic’ pieces under the microscope of the OAE’s historically informed performance practice to look at how their composers probing for a native identity led to a quiet radicalism.

When the horns take flight in the finale of Sibelius Fifth Symphony it is the Romantic gesture par excellence. A soaring melody in the heroic key of E flat, a moment that profoundly stirs the listener, conjuring swans winging across imagined Nordic skies. Rachmaninov’s fantasia The Rock, composed in 1893, has deep, brooding melodies that evoke a Chekovian world whilst wispy flutes add a touch of the supernatural. Glinka’s punchy overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila unleashes five minutes of swirling strings, sorcerous motifs and full-throated melodies. Grieg Peer Gynt Suite No. 1  contains the hugely popular ‘Morning Mood’ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, but despite the miniaturist nature of the work also displays a profound emotional core in ‘The Death of Åse’.