Birmingham Contemporary Music Group CBSO [...]; Reviews

The Birmingham Post (England), March 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group CBSO [...]; Reviews


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group CBSO Centre To begin, a moan: the programme-book for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group's concert last Sunday wasn't the easiest to navigate, and indeed missed out notes regarding some of the works performed.

But what works they were. So many contemporary music concerts are clogged with no-hopers, works we will never hear again (and indeed might wish we'd never heard for the first and only time), but BCMG here brought us a rewarding programme of American compositions from the comparatively recent past, their creators having certainly earned their spurs in being admitted to the canon of composers to be taken seriously.

Most recent was the Double Trio of the recently-deceased Elliott Carter, written when the composer had well turned his century and here receiving its UK premiere.

Based on call-and-response, long arching lines were punctuated by scurrying figurations, not least from the virtuosic marimba.

Henry Cowell's 26 Simultaneous Mosaics teemed with linked-in semantic gestures and emerged as a real feat of accomplishment from the conductorless ensemble. And another spectacular soundscape came with John Cage's The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, mezzo Lucy Schaufer's drawling delivery accompanied by Malcolm Wilson drumming on the piano-lid. …

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