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Santtu conducts Strauss

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Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor


R Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra Listen

— Interval —

R Strauss An Alpine Symphony Listen

The grandest entrance: we return to our Basingstoke residency in style with two of the most majestic pieces ever written for orchestra, under the baton of our new Principal Conductor.

Celebrating the start of his tenure as just the sixth Principal Conductor in the Orchestra’s 75-year history, Santtu’s opening season focuses on our fragile planet and humanity’s place within it. He takes the helm for our first performance at The Anvil in almost two years with an all-Strauss programme inspired by the natural world.

No one could have imagined during lockdown that the pandemic would keep us from our Basingstoke home for so long. But with the sound of that famous sunrise opening of Also sprach Zarathustra – made famous through 2001: A Space Odyssey – promising rebirth and a brighter future, there could surely be no more poignant way to open the programme. Strauss’s musical poem contemplates humanity’s role in the world, celebrating our joys and longings, our science and arts, across one passionate journey filled with lush melodies reminiscent of Hollywood films. Blazing through the score, the orchestra’s trumpets are unleashed in jubilant fashion.

From humanity to nature: the second half of our programme takes us to the rugged untouched landscapes of the Alps with one of the most awe-inspiring orchestral pieces ever written. Calling for 125 musicians, including wind and thunder machines and 16 extra offstage brass, Strauss’s Alpine Symphony remains to this day an unforgettable musical experience. Evoking our shared wonderment at the beauty of the natural world, we travel past dramatic glaciers and joyous flowering meadows, climbing ever upwards to the summit where finally the earth meets the sky in a sweeping vista. As clouds draw in and we become engulfed in a thunderstorm, the raw power of the full brass and percussion sections gets unleashed in one dramatic scene.

But the thunder and lightning eventually pass. And as the music comes to a close with a gentle sunset, it’s a chance to share in our responsibility to protect the fragile, beautiful world that surrounds us.

Need to know

Prices & Discounts

£16 – £42

£11 tickets available for under-25s and full-time students. Group discounts available.

Running time

1 hour 50 minutes, including 20-minute interval

Recommended age

From 7+

Box office

The Anvil box office: 01256 844244


The Anvil, Basingstoke

The Anvil

Churchill Way
RG21 7QR

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