Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 still shocks its audiences through its musical magnetism, expansive length, and some astonishing resources, including four vocal soloists, a choir, and rarely-used percussion. Imagine how it must have sounded to its first audience in 1824. About twice the length of ‘average’ symphonies, it left some bemused, others wildly enthusiastic. There’s no need to point out that it is now possibly the best-known and bestloved symphony of all time and, take it or leave it (pun intended), the theme of the final movement has been adopted by the European Union as its anthem. But that’s not all. The companion piece, which opens the concert, is Janáček’s Sinfonietta. It’s a totally gripping masterpiece. Phillip Huscher wrote, ‘The Sinfonietta opens with … brilliant, athletic fanfares for trumpets, tubas, and timpani. These two minutes of music – repetitive and wildly dramatic, marked by brittle sonorities, short phrases, tough harmonies, and a stubborn but relentless move to the climax – are unique in the orchestral literature’. Each of the five short movements has vivid colour and great depth of character. What a huge musical treat this concert will be. The combined choirs of Corpus Christi, Fitzwilliam, Girton and St Catharine’s Colleges will feature in the choral finale. Book your seats early to avoid disappointment.
Admission: £18, £16 (concessions), £8 (students), £5 (under 14)
- Phone: 01223 300085 (12:30 - 16:00 on Monday, 12:30 - 19:00 Tuesday - Friday, and 15:00 - 19:00 on Saturday).
- In person: ADC Box Office, Park St, Cambridge, CB5 8AS – just off Jesus Lane