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London Symphony Orchestra/Rattle

Melodic Revolutions

Photo of Sir Simon Rattle conducting

Brahms’ most lyrical symphony meets three composers who redefined the power of sound. For Sir Simon Rattle, Wagner, Ligeti, Webern and Brahms all speak to each other, and to us.

Not all revolutions are noisy. Wagner’s rapturous visions, Webern’s haunted Viennese miniatures and Ligeti’s mind-expanding soundscape all break music down to its elements to create sounds that defy the imagination. Together, they make a ravishing prelude to Brahms’ sunniest symphony.

And they’re all about the emotional power of sound. Brahms wrote his Second Symphony while on holiday in the Austrian Alps, but as Rattle has said, it’s ‘far from conventional’ – and Brahms’ way of shaping and colouring a melody was the launch pad for Webern’s and Ligeti’s imaginations, as well as a powerful challenge to Wagner. Together, they’re a tonic for the ears as well as the heart.

The performance is expected to finish around 9.30pm, including a 20 minute interval.

Barbican Hall