Wednesday, October 07, 2009

London Festival of American Music

in Musical Opinion

by Robert Matthew-Walker

“[...] The final concert, And Beyond, in the second London Festival of American Music, 'in celebration of John Harbison's 70th birthday', was held at the Warehouse, Waterloo on 13 October, given by the Lontano ensemble under the direction of Odaline de la Martinez. The seven works in the programme were all very much of a muchness, dominated as it was by contemporary American academic figures who as a representative body seemed all too ready to take the attractive, but in creative terms, too easy option of a post-minimalist basis allied to pretty constant rhythmic fixations. [...]

[...] Patricio da Silva’s Clarinet Quintet was quite another matter; here is a genuine creative voice, his work being full of interest and beguiling invention. [...] the frequent pattern-like rhythmic interests were fascinating. The writing for clarinet was excellent [...] The performances throughout were all quite superb, or certainly seemed to be, but the overall impression was rather depressing; only Patricio da Silva's piece demonstrated the stylistic consistency of a composer who has something to say, certain of his own direction.

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