Southampton Concert Orchestra return to Romsey Abbey on July 16 with a huge programme of orchestral music.

The concert opens with Lutoslawski ’s Symphonic Variations, written just before World War II.

It’s an early work by the Polish composer based on folk song, and is a rich and vibrant orchestral showpiece.

Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy completes the first half, a work connecting mysticism and eroticism in a vast score for over 100 musicians.

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After the interval will be Shostakovich’s seventh symphony, Leningrad. Written, in part, during the siege of Leningrad by the Nazis in 1941, this work describes the invasion, the suffering, the sad memories, but most importantly the hope and resilience of humanity to resist evil, and to triumph.

Southampton Concert Orchestra conductor Paul Ingram said: “People often ask if this work is pessimistic or optimistic. For me, it’s a hugely optimistic work, with hope triumphing over tyranny and war. It reminds us that although evil may always be present, the human spirit will never be broken. We are dedicating this performance to the people of Ukraine.”

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