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Philharmonia Orchestra – Santtu-Matiasat Bedford Corn Exchange

Wednesday 20 May 2020


Take a musical journey with “the hottest conductor in Finland” (The Times), from the excitement of a piece chosen by you, our audience, to the ecstatic heights of Sibelius.

Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony 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 sixteen swans in flight: “One of the great experiences of my life! God, how beautiful,” he wrote in his diary.

Violinist Nemanja Radulović topped the classical charts with his recording of Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon in 2018. He has all the virtuosity required for the folk-infused first movement, the soulfulness for the second movement’s melancholy song, and the flamboyance for the fiery finale.

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