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London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Antonio Pappano

Questioning Everything – Strauss, Liszt & Kendall

Alice Sara Ott

Pop culture’s most famous fanfare sets the mood – this is music that tells you: wake up! Sir Antonio Pappano and Alice Sara Ott present a programme of Liszt, Strauss and a premiere by Hannah Kendall.

A blast of trumpets, a pounding of timpani: the opening of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra heralds the rise of the sun. Stanley Kubrick used it to grab viewers’ attention in his film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

But for Strauss, this is the dawn of an age full of questions: what does it mean to be alive? Joining the debate, Liszt’s Totentanz is a ferocious vision of mortality, complete with ghoulish jangling bones. And there’s a new work by Hannah Kendall, a composer whose music, in Pappano’s own words, ‘has an amazing ability to really grip the listener’.

In his first concert as Chief Conductor Designate of the LSO, Sir Antonio Pappano brings emotional depth to the music’s thrills and chills. Alice Sara Ott masters the breakneck glissandos of Liszt’s showpiece music for piano.

This performance will end at approximately 8.40pm, including a 20-minute interval.

Produced by the London Symphony Orchestra