The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is visiting The Anvil in Basingstoke on April 5 and 18 at 7.30pm.

On April 5 the orchestra will be joined by conductor Maxim Emelyanychev. 

The programme begins with Glinka’s fizzing and exuberant Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla. The opera captures the essence of Pushkin’s magical poem, rooted in Russian fairy tales.

This is followed by Rachmaninov’s The Rock, the 20-year-old composer’s expressive tone poem which won the enthusiastic admiration of Tchaikovsky.

The perennial freshness of Grieg’s much-loved music to Peer Gynt never fails to make an impact, and is the next piece in this all-orchestral concert.

Finally, Sibelius’ 5th Symphony grows from the seed of its tiny opening figure. The final majestic brass theme was inspired by a flight of swans the awe-struck composer saw wheeling over his house.

On April 18 the orchestra will be joined by pianist and director Sir András Schiff.

The Mendelssohn programme starts with his Symphony No. 1, his first for full orchestra and packed with originality, astonishing for a 15-year-old composer.

This is followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1, which shows many of his strengths, as a dramatic first movement gives way to a lyrical and tender slow section. The finale is a tour de force of elegant, fleet-fingered virtuosity.

The irresistibly exuberant Italian Symphony ends the evening, capturing the young composer’s excitement on his first visit. The slow movement is a pilgrim’s march, and the gently flowing scherzo is followed by an exhilarating Neapolitan dance as a finale.

To book tickets for either concert, priced £44, £38, £33, £24 or £16 (under-25s and full-time students £12), call 01256 844244 or visit