sun 22/09/2019

Minimalism

Terry Riley & Gyan Riley, The Old Market, Hove review - gently pleasing evening of improvisation

“I don’t know if I’m going to recognise any of it,” I say to my accomplice as we drain a couple of light ales amid the sea of grey beards in The Old Market’s bar. “I don’t think they’ll play the hits,” he replies, deadpan, “but don’t worry, there...

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Akhnaten, English National Opera review - still a mesmerising spectacle

You start off fighting it. Those arpeggios, the insistent reduction, simplification, repetition, the amplification of the smallest gesture into an epic. Then something happens. Somewhere among the slow-phase patterns pulsing on ear and eye, you...

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Roger Scruton: Music as an Art review - how to listen?

Hegel, Kant, David Hume, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Leibniz are all adduced, referred to, and paraphrased, and that’s just for starters. Add Rameau, Schubert, Beethoven, Benjamin Britten and the contemporary composer David Matthews (who is also a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Max Richter

When The Blue Notebooks was originally released in February 2004, it did not seem to be an album which would have the afterlife it has enjoyed. It had little context. Max Richter’s second album was his first for the 130701 label which, at that point...

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CD: Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Époques

At its most impactful, Époques is an aural analogue to the occasions in Tarkovsky’s Stalker when the explorers of “The Zone” find their perceptions of what might be reality warped, and when there’s a growing realisation that this may be a place with...

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Ligeti Chamber Music, QEH review - inventive celebration of iconic composer

The mini-festival of György Ligeti’s music this weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall kicked off with a concert of chamber music that moved from a monumental first half to a second that was a delightful unbroken sequence of miniatures. Curated by the...

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Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism, BBC Four - brilliant appraisal

By most measures, minimalism is the most successful movement in 20th-century music, certainly orchestral music. The story of its inexorable spread from a tiny offshoot of the 1950s experimentation of John Cage, which was defined and promoted by two...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Gibson, Gunge

Bach: French Suites Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano) (Accentus Music)The sheer perfection of Bach’s output can be unsettling, and faintly terrifying. So it's pleasing to find a musician who's so keen to highlight his friendlier, cuddlier side. Zhu Xiao-Mei...

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CD: GoGo Penguin - A Humdrum Star

They look like a jazz trio, they’re signed to Miles Davis’s label, and in short passages they make the involved and intimate sound we associate with one of the iconic jazz ensembles. But listen to the riotously popular Manchester contemporary fusion...

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I, Object review - this operatic double-bill delivers just a single hit

A comma divides the title of this opera double-bill in two, but the works paired here (Michael Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Kate Whitley’s Unknown Position) each explore what happens when you take it away – when natural...

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Tabula Rasa, Traverse Theatre review - honest, compassionate, but not always convincing

Collaboration and collegiality are becoming ever more important across the Scottish arts scene, it seems. Glasgow theatre company Vanishing Point teamed up with Scottish Opera earlier this year for a double-bill based around Bartók’s Bluebeard’s...

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Hugo Ticciati, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Cathedral review - spirituality, no spooks

Manchester Camerata chose All Hallows’ Eve for a concert of (in some part) "holy" minimalism. Arvo Pärt’s Silouan’s Song began it, and his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten ended it. They headlined it "Spiritualism and Minimalism", but I think...

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