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Orchestra of Santa Cecilia: Mahler's Sixth Symphony

Conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano

Santa Cecilia & Antonio Pappano

The music director of the Royal Opera brings his Italian orchestra to the Barbican, in the life-and-death struggle of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.

They say that art imitates life – but Mahler’s symphonic drama of a hero felled by three hammer blows of fate eerily foreshadowed his own early death. Well, that’s the legend anyway: the reality of this massive tragic symphony is even more overwhelming.

So it’s a gripping way to discover what London’s own Sir Antonio Pappano can do in partnership with the orchestra that he directs in Rome: the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Pappano and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra have an intense rapport – ‘flamboyant, fiery and thrillingly full-on’ was how The Guardian described an earlier London concert. That sounds ideal for music that demands absolute emotional commitment.

The performance is expected to finish around 9pm.

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Composer Focus – Episode 3: Gustav Mahler with Sir Antonio Pappano

In episode three, host Edward Seckerson is joined by conductor and pianist Sir Antonio Pappano to discuss Gustav Mahler, whose extreme, powerful and raw symphonic writing stretches both conductors and orchestras to their limits.

an orchestra playing classical music in the barbican hall in central london

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Barbican Hall