sun 27/05/2018

Minimalism

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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Reissue CDs Weekly: Ólafur Arnalds

We’ve been here before. Not to exactly the same territory, but to a neighbouring space in the same time frame. Last year, theartsdesk looked at a reissue of 2007’s Room to Expand, the first widely available album by the minimalist pianist Hauschka....

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Bricks!, BBC Four

The wilder shores of contemporary visual art are now ephemeral or time-based: performance, installation, general carry-on and hubbub. But once upon a time – say, the 1960s – it was the nature of objects, pared down to essentials, and often made from...

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CD: Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée

Despite culminating with “Orphic Hymn”, a musical setting of Ovid’s text, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Orphée is not a literal interpretation of the Orpheus myth. Instead, the album uses retellings of the story – quoting the press release – to inspire “a...

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CD: Ben Chatwin - Heat & Entropy

Ben Chatwin's music speaks loudly of solitude. He lives and records on the coast of the Firth of Forth, just outside Edinburgh – not exactly the most isolated of spots, but it's not hard to hear in his waves of texture and simple repeated motifs the...

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CD: Mark Barrott - Sketches from an Island 2

The EU referendum isn’t the only thing causing polarised opinion over European issues. The question of what constitutes Balearic Beat looms large over the music community. For some, it’s a fixed point, namely celebrated DJ Alfredo’s record box in...

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