Classical review: Reich/Currie/Glass, Royal Festival Hall
Monday 11 November 2013
The penultimate weekend of the Rest Is Noise festival highlighted the best and worst of American ‘minimalism’: with a piano recital in which Andrew Zolinsky showed what spells Cage and Feldman could weave through the suggestive use of silence, and with rare personal appearances by the movement’s high priests, Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Reich launched his concert by humbly playing secondo to Colin Currie’s lead in “Clapping Music”, after which Currie and his chamber group gave scintillating performances of three Reich classics, culminating in a magnificent account of his chef d’oeuvre, “Music for 18 musicians”. And for that the Festival Hall acoustic was perfect, allowing it to create the impression of a complex mobile gracefully turning, in which each musician played an independent and eloquent part. It was one thing and many things, simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum.
On the other hand, Glass delivered his four-hour “Music in Four Parts” at ear-battering volume, and nothing could disguise the poverty of its invention, pace a programme-note preposterously comparing it to Bach’s “Art of Fugue”. Glass may, like Reich, have drawn inspiration from gamelan, but whereas the real Indonesian thing is wonderfully light-footed and intricate, his mechanistic version is a coarse-grained stomp.
Books And it is whizzpopping!
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Carol Vorderman reveals she is 'covered in burns' after she fell off her treadmill while running naked
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
Friends fan comes up with horribly dark alternative ending to sitcom
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
Dismaland: The artists doing cooler things than Banksy at his 'bemusement park'
Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs