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Niccolo Castiglione & Julian Anderson

Niccolo Castiglione
Capriccio (1991)
Elegia (in memoria di Anne Frank)
Eine kleine Weinachtsmusik (1959/60)
Terzina (1992/3)
Così parlò Baldassare (1980/1)
Quickly (1994)

Julian Anderson
The Comedy of Change (2009 - premiere)

London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen/Anu Komsi soprano

QEH, South Bank Centre, London 31 March 2010

This was a concert for afficionados, who had to be tolerant of lengthy platform changes between numerous short items of music, much of which was quiet, but proved a gradually acquired taste.

I warmed to it by the second half, which had an attractive new piece by Anderson, who is less reticent, and dealt well with the cocept of change - seven movements, some running together; his notes draw on Darwin and the Galapagos...

The instrumentations were laid out for us, and some were very strange, as was the way instruments were used, some of them extravagantly, with a predeliction for high tones, e.g. for strings 11 violins were hired for Quickly, which rang the changes in 23 continuous movements. I started by following the permutations listed in the programme, but later felt it better to just listen. Anu Komsi made a major contribution, most impressively in an unaccompanied solo, Così parlò Baldassare.

A worth-while evening, but it meant a late train home...

Full reviews from committed listeners are at The Telegraph - The players gave a sense of weighing every note and every silence and, with descriptions of each piece, on the pseudonymous Classical Iconoclast website.

Peter Grahame Woolf