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Blog » New Music Concert Picks for May in London

24 Apr  

May starts bright and early at 7am for Vexations with London Sinfonietta players and 10am for an Alexander Goehr Study Day with musicians from the RNCM at Wigmore Hall. We then move on to major 20th c. orchestral statements, a multimedia opera, string quartet improv. with silent film, and other goodies.


Vexations

London Sinfonietta

1 May 2010 / from 7:00 / Kings Place


London Sinfonietta's performance of this Satie 'happening' can be visited any time during the day - the music will be set against a moving image installation.


http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/music/out-hear/codex-from-elision-out-hear-contemporary-music-kings-place-london



 

Alexander Goehr Study Day

Musicians From the Royal Northern College Of Music, Clark Rundell conductor


1 May 2010 / from 10:00 / Wigmore Hall

The day’s three concerts will feature works of instrumental, vocal and chamber music that span a period of nearly fifty years and closes with a performance of Sing, Ariel, a cantata from the 1990s which pays homage to, among others, his teacher Olivier Messiaen.


http://www.wigmore-hall.org.uk/whats-on/productions/alexander-goehr-study-day-25364



 

London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev

Turangaglila-Symphonie and Lutoslawski Piano Concerto


13 May 2010 / 19:30 / Barbican Hall 


Masterpieces from 1948 and 1988, soloists Joanna MacGregor piano, Cynthia Millar ondes martenot , and for the Lutoslawski, Sergey Babayan piano.


http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?id=8646



 

After Life - ASKO / Schoenberg Ensemble / Tausk


15 May 2010 / 19:30
 / Barbican Hall

After Life, a multi-media opera by Dutch composer and filmmaker Michel van der Aa, based on the film by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda.


http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=8560


Music of Today: Georg Friedrich Haas


20 May 2010 / 18:00 / Royal Festival Hall 


An exploration of the work of this highly original Austrian composer.

http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/20may10mot/



 

London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev

Turangaglila-Symphonie and Dutilleux Métaboles


20 May 2010 / 19:30 / Barbican Hall


A second chance at Messiaen’s Turangaglila, paired this time with the deft and striking Métaboles by Henri Dutilleux.


http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=8648



 

Mary Pickford in My Best Girl with the Elysian Quartet


28 May 2010 / 19:30 / Kings Place


Improvisation by the Elysian Quartet to a film by silent screen legend Mary Pickford
.

http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/music/weekly-themes/mary-pickford-in-my-best-girl-with-the-elysian-quartet




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COMMENTS



 Misuc commenting on New Music Concert Picks for May in London:
27 April 2010 at 16:43

The VEXATIONS 'event' is based on a piece of stupid trickery. Erik Satie was a serious composer, one of the great miniaturists, dedicated to intense and concentrated explorations of particular aspects of the dynamic ambivalent harmonic language current at the time, which were expended so wastefully by Debussy and Ravel. Among his not-meant-to-be-published sketches was a little phrase harmonised 3 times over in diminished triads.. It was an uninstrumented sketch, a little study, from his student days. Sadly for music history he couldn't resist putting in a little sarcastic joke on top: "To play this motif 840 times in succession, it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand, in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities."

I just came across this quote. What do you think of it?

Oscar Wilde - The Soul of Man Under Socialism

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or dishonest tradesman. He has no further claim to be considered as an artist.

Above all things Satie hated musical performances that were boring) He said so often enough. Not only was this piece never intended to be performed 840 times: it wasn't intended for performance at all

25 years after Satie's death, Henri Sauguet found it and unfortunately showed it to John Cage. At first the idea of actually playing it was too much even for that infamous con-artist. He said: "one could not endure a performance..." 14 years later, short of shocking ideas, and after helping develop a Satie "cult" brand-image, he decided to put it on, in such a way that neither players nor listeners had to endure the whole performance.

It is absolutely typical that King's Place is trying to repeat Cage's outmoded gimmick a full 47 years later, trying to present it as a bold avant-garde gesture!

It is also typical that CT has banished the FORUM - opportunity for genuine discussion among members - to the kitchen quarters, in order to invite [would-be] fashionable phoneys like jim Aitchison and other more under-the-top music-biz nonentities into the ballroom. [Have I heard any of Jim's music? Do I have to? Just read how he 'composed' it! As I was reading his self-puff, I was thinking "what made our web-master put this up?" When I saw the King's Place connection, it all fell into place.

The interesting news is the Alexander Goehr day: one of the most imaginative, passionate, sincere, ungimmicky and intelligent composers of the late 20th century: now 75. He has a new opera coming up, based on 'King Lear'. I look forward to this as a great experience.

Talking of which, did anyone hear the great Friedrich Cerha's stunning new piece (which I think was called 'Like a tragi-comedy'] on the radio the other day?



 Misuc commenting on New Music Concert Picks for May in London:
27 April 2010 at 16:47

THIS PARAGRAPH somehow got added to the middle of the above, spoiling the flow. Please ignore if you can. It was meant to go at the end.

I just came across this quote. What do you think of it?

Oscar Wilde - The Soul of Man Under Socialism

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or dishonest tradesman. He has no further claim to be considered as an artist.



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