£17.25 - £32.25

The Symphonic Dances proved to be Rachmaninov’s last work, and the music suggests a new direction he might have pursued had fate granted him more time. In contrast to the lush harmonies and sweeping melodic lines that pervade his earlier style, it offers a more modern sound of leaner textures and sharper harmonies. He creates a wondrous kaleidoscope of instrumental colours, from the mellow crooning of an alto saxophone to the dry-bones clatter of a xylophone. With its incisive dance rhythms inspired by folk and jazz, the work finally explodes with visceral energy. It did not take long for Saint-Saëns’ Second Piano Concerto to become a perennial favourite.

Its novelty shows a youthful high-spiritedness and somewhat inorganic juxtaposed themes and movements. A famous witticism claimed “It begins with Bach and ends with Offenbach” and indeed its unusual introspective, improvisatory opening is reminiscent of Bach. The skill of Saint-Saëns the pianist shines throughout, with its virtuosic passages and arpeggios, ultimately sparking to the finale’s tempestuous pyrotechnics. But this exquisite concerto is a hallmark of Saint-Saëns the composer as well, characterised by his beautiful turns of phrase and harmonic diversions. Ravel greatly admired Schubert’s collection of Valses Nobles and Valses Sentimentales, inspiring him to write his own cycle of eight solo piano waltzes which he later orchestrated – each a sparkling jewel.

Jacek Kspszyk conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor piano


Kids for a quid
Wheelchair users: 50% discount and 50% discount for ONE companion
Disabled customers: NO discount but 50% discount for ONE companion
Full-time students: 50% discount (with valid proof)
Job Seekers, Income Support Benefit: 50% discount (with valid proof)
BSO staff: 50% discount with green BSO ID card

Group booking discount available:

10% discount for groups 10+
20% discount for groups 20+
30% discount for groups 30+

For phone bookings please call: 0844 453 9028

Or call our BSO booking line on: 0239 387 0211
(Open mon – fri 9.30am – 2.30pm)

Event details


Age: 14's and under to be accompanied by an 18+ adult


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