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Guy Johnston and Britten Sinfonia

The Protecting Veil

The top half of the image shows Guy Johnston playing his cello against a black background. Superimposed over the bottom half of the image is an icon of Mary, Mother of God

Star cellist Guy Johnston joins Britten Sinfonia in a programme of powerful music by Tavener, Beethoven and Bartók.

The cello’s singing qualities are to the fore in John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, unfurling endless melodic lines as though lifting its voice in prayer. One of the few cellists to have worked with Sir John Tavener, Guy Johnston is the central character, transcendent amidst Britten Sinfonia’s heady layers of sound. 'Guy Johnston was able to absorb John’s vision by this personal contact. He brings that depth and experience with his exquisite playing into 2024 and beyond.' – Lady Maryanna Tavener

Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge sounds modern even now: jagged lines, dissonances, extremes of dynamic and tempo, moments of dark humour and unsettling shifts in mood. The title of Bartók’s Divertimento may sound straight out of Beethoven’s time, but the music is all Bartók’s: even the neoclassical framework can’t conceal his love of Hungarian folk music.

This performance will finish at approximately 9.30pm, including a 20-minute interval

Co-promoted by the Barbican in association with Britten Sinfonia

‘Guy Johnston and the Britten Sinfonia: ideal.‘
Lady Maryanna Tavener
‘One of the later 20th century’s most beloved and moving works‘

Digital programme

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