Thursday 9 Nov 2017, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

John Wilson conductor

Sarah Tynan soprano

Philharmonia Voices (Ladies) choir

Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 7, Sinfonia Antartica


Holst The Planets

Vaughan Williams’ Seventh Symphony began life as the score to the 1948 film, Scott of the Antarctic, which charted Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole from 1910 to 1913. Scored for a huge orchestra, the symphony conjures the mysterious, snow-covered plains of Antarctica, including a part for wind machine, used in the symphony’s closing bars to evoke a final image of an icy wind sweeping across an abandoned landscape.

From the ends of the earth to the outer reaches of the universe, Holst took inspiration for his planetary masterpiece from the astrological rather than the astronomical; journeying through Mars, the apocalyptic ‘Bringer of War’; a tranquil Venus; Mercury’s winged messenger; Jupiter, the stately ‘Bringer of Jollity’; Saturn’s old age, Uranus ‘The Magician’ and finally, a dreamy Neptune, ‘The Mystic’.