BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oramo: Thought-provoking Matthews and transcendent Beethoven
Thursday 09 January 2014
'Crumple a page from a broadsheet very gently, with a pulse of 72': the precision of Colin Matthews’ instructions for his new piece Traces Remain indicates the fine calibration of its effects, but this quality is not immediately apparent: it takes a while for its initial discordancy to resolve into the gripping sequence which is its raison d’etre.
He tells us to look out for echoes of Beethoven, Schoenberg, Sibelius, and Mahler, and that the whole work is underpinned by a Jacobean lute song, but the first movement is dominated by a walking-bass figuration which passes from one instrument to another in a moto perpetuo.
When Mahler comes into the frame in valedictory mode, the string textures acquire a seductive luminosity; the Jacobean melody then appears in the form of a Bach chorale which sweeps everything up into its graceful momentum.
The numerous solo spots were well taken by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo’s direction: before this, four horn players had come centre-stage for a rare performance of Schumann’s Konzertstuck in F major for four horns and orchestra; this was revelatory, if not exactly transcendent.
But transcendence did come with a beautifully-conceived account of Beethoven’s Eroica.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Metal detectors object to digs by Mackenzie Crook about ‘dysfunctional’ hobby in BBC4's 'Detectorists'
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'