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Brahms Academic Festival Overture starts the concert with a mixture of student drinking songs, conjuring a picture of student revelry and humour showing a light-hearted side to Brahms that lacks nothing in technical mastery.

Then follows the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss. These are settings of beautiful and haunting poems, all infused with feelings of peace, nostalgia, ending and repose. Written by Strauss at the very end of his life, they express deep acceptance in music of indescribable loveliness.

Mussorgsky's suite Pictures at an Exhibition is perhaps the best known and most popular piece from the group of Russian Nationalist composers known as The Mighty Handful. Originally written for piano, orchestrated here by Ravel, it depicts a stroll round an art exhibition. The combination of Mussorgsky’s melodic genius with Ravel’s brilliant orchestration succeeds in painting these pictures in music that is utterly convincingly, from the bustling market at Limoges, through the hut of the witch Baba Yaga on its chicken legs, to the glorious Great Gate of Kiev.

 

Tickets: £16 Under 18s first 3 free then £8. Friends discount applies

 


 

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