Jakub Hrůša – conductor
Steven Isserlis – cello


Mussorgsky Night on a Bare Mountain Listen

Kabalevsky Cello Concerto No. 2 Listen

— Interval —

Mussorgsky (arr. Stokowski) Pictures at an Exhibition Listen

Jakub Hrůša and the Philharmonia Orchestra paint vivid musical pictures, joined by eminent British cellist Steven Isserlis.

The drama is turned up to 11 from the very first bar of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain, familiar to millions of music-lovers from Walt Disney’s Fantasia. This fearsome description of a witches’ Sabbath on a mountain outside Kyiv really gives the Philharmonia musicians licence to let go of their inhibitions.

The opening of Kabalevsky’s Second Cello Concerto couldn’t be more different – the cello enters with quiet pizzicato (plucked) notes, mysterious and alone. The piece runs the gamut of the cello’s expressive potential, now agitated and full of energy, now singing with heartfelt intensity. Steven Isserlis gave the London premiere of this piece back in 1981. He was due to perform it with Hrůša and the Philharmonia in 2020 – it’s sure to be worth the wait.

Mussorgsky’s best-loved work crowns this evening’s programme. It’s a musical promenade around an exhibition of paintings and designs by the composer’s friend Viktor Hartmann, encompassing country scenes, characters from Russian legend and the imposing Great Gate of Kyiv.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£15 – 70

Multibuy offer available; under-18s and concessions discounts available

Running time

1 hr 30 mins, including an interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Programme notes

Free printed programmes will be available at the venue. Digital programme notes available here.

Box office

Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm


Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road

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