Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble / Reynish, Barbican, London
Friday 28 October 2005
They certainly chose a taxing opener to their latest programme. Tippett devised his Concerto for Orchestra (1963) to challenge the LSO in its most virtuoso phase. Its first movement, entitled Mosaic when performed separately, is a shifting collage of nine sub- groupings, each with its own material. Hardly surprising if his squiggling part-writing for clarinets or tuba brought the odd fluff on this occasion. But the standard, not to say stamina, of the playing in the rest of the concert were impressive.
Two recent items by Michael Berkeley came next: a short, tart scherzo entitled Shooting Stars in its first London hearing, and the premiere of Slow Dawn, a substantial dark processional with a more fiercely active central section. Tightly articulated and full of imposingly dissonant textures, these pieces not only formed a cohesive diptych, but could convincingly take their place in a larger structure, even a Symphony for Wind Instruments.
Then there were two concertante items. An effective, if not very personal, mini-saxophone concerto entitled Restless Birds before the Dark Moon, by the American composer David Kechley, enclosed a sentimental centre between busy minimalist outer sections; John Harle was the stentorian soloist. Adam Gorb's Elements, with the ace percussionist Richard Benjafield, proved longer and more problematic: full of attractive sonorous trouvailles, but curiously unfocused in style, and seeming to be on the point of ending many times before it actually did.
The concert culminated in Magnus Lindberg's now almost classic Gran Duo, with its pair of interlocking ensembles ricocheting massive chordal progressions and florid Gabrieli-esque apostrophes back and forth.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures