Friday 19 December 2014

Unwrapping Minimalism at Kings Place

Minimalism Wrapped
Having in the past Unwrapped Mozart, Bach, Brahms and Chamber Music, next year (2015) Kings Place will be presenting Minimalism Unwrapped, a year long series of concerts exploring Minimalism in all its aspects. And if you think that means wall to wall Philip Glass and Steve Reich, then think again. The series starts with The Sixteen in Plainsong and also includes the choir of King's College, Cambridge in plainsong Vespers for Henry VI, Fretwork exploring In Nomines as well as pairing Tavener with Taverner.

The great icons of minimalism are there of course, the London Sinfonietta will be performing Steve Reich's Clapping Music and giving Terry Riley's In C with invited guests. The Aurora Orchestra pairs Steve Reich's New York Counterpoint with Perotin and Stravinsky, the Carducci Quartet's performance of Reich's Different Trains is followed by a discussion with the composer. Later in the year the Carducci Quartet returns to Glass's quartets

Other influential names who contributed to the style are included, with music by Gavin Bryars, Graham Fitkin, Lous Andriessen, Meredith Monk and Morton Feldman. The Smith Quartet will be playing the complete Michael Nyman quartets. Composers not strictly minimal but influential or related also make appearances and these range from Satie and Stravinsky to Perotin to Arvo Part and John Tavener.

In the autumn, there will be David Lang's Little Max Girl Passion, and the choir of St King's College Cambrdige, conducted by Stephen Cleobury in Part's St John Passion. There are study days with Stephen Montague, Howard Skempton and Christopher Hobbs.

The series gives us a chance to understand the style's root in a reaction to the deepening complexities of mid 20th century modernist music and how different composers developed their ideas, besides allow us to compare and contrast both with composers who influenced the 20th century minimalist style and those of the past whose styles were also a reaction to the complexity of the music of a previous generation.

You can see all the events on the Kings Place website, or download the brochure.

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