Sounds and Visions Session Four

BBCSO: Ives, Berio, Richter + Colin Currie: Reich

Max Richter looking downwards

BBCSO, Andre de Ridder and Colin Currie Group lead us through a meditation on some of Richter’s most important influences, before the London premiere of his 2017 piece Three Worlds (from Woolf Works).

At one point during Berio’s Sinfonia, the narrator declares there’s ‘nothing more restful than chamber music’. It’s a wry comment – this concert is anything but. Musicians are dotted around the Hall for Ives’s enveloping The Unanswered Question. The Colin Currie Group perform Tehillim – Reich’s blend of minimalist style and ancient Hebrew texts – with Synergy Vocals. Then there’s Sinfonia, Berio’s reimagining of the symphony as collage, featuring fragments of Beckett, and quotes of composers from Bach to Boulez, performed here with Roomful of Teeth and conducted by Andre de Ridder.

This intertextual approach to composition is something Richter shares with Berio – who he studied with in Italy. It’s evident in his reworking of Vivaldi in Recomposed; in his use of Kafka texts for The Blue Notebooks; and it’s on display tonight in Three Worlds. Richter conjures the spirit of Virginia Woolf’s novels, setting the only known recording of the author’s voice amid an electroacoustic soundscape.

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Watch: Max Richter - Mrs Dalloway, In the Garden

 

Max Richter explores time and memory in his latest Deutsche Grammophon album, 'Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works'. 

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album cover of Steve Reich's Tehellim

Listen: Steve Reich - Tehillim

Listen to Steve Reich's 'Tehillim', one of his first pieces to include text.

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Listen: Contemporary Classical on Spotify

Discover music from across the Contemporary Classical spectrum – from Judith Weir and George Benjamin to Nils Frahm and Max Richter.

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Barbican Hall