The Desolate City
, was a reason to look at two cities that have suffered terrible, war-driven destruction in living memory (Dresden and Hiroshima), and to associate physical destruction with social and moral destruction as described in Biblical accounts of cities considered to have been desolated by sin or perhaps merely by adoption of a rival religious faith.
The Book of Lamentations
and Psalm 137
provided... read more
The theme of this concert,
A great programme and an equally great occasion! Particularly in the case of the Rachmaninov Concerto, there was a commonality of sorts between the work itself and the circumstances surrounding this particular performance, in each instance a sense of "coming through" against the odds. It's well-known that the composer wrote the music as a kind of "therapy" by way of recovering from the depression which overwhelmed him after the...
(‘All Night Vigil’), Op 37, and Arensky’s first piano trio.
The Rachmaninov piece is the sixth movement in the 15-movement, hour-long Vespers setting, rather inaccurately called the ‘All-night Vigil’. Bogorovitse Devo
(pronounced 'djevo') means ‘Rejoice, O Virgin’. It’s a short, gentle piece that introduced the choir in a beautifully quiet... read more
In addition to the advertised Requiem by Cherubini, the programme was fleshed out with the most popular movement from Rachmaninov’s
John Adams (b.1947) has for some time been popularly regarded as one of the "big three" of minimalist music composition, along with Philip Glass and Steve Reich. The term "minimalist" was used to describe a specific creative aesthetic involving the reduction to the bare essentials of whatever medium the creative artist worked with - in music this involved using repetition of melodic and rhythmic ideas to express minute gradations...