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Our top picks for the weeks ahead...

Cardiff University Symphonic Winds

05/12/2019

Lollapalooza was written as a fortieth birthday present for Simon Rattle who has been a friend and collaborator for many years. The term “lollapalooza” has an uncertain etymology, and just that vagueness may account for its popularity as an archetypical American word. It suggests something large, outlandish, oversized, not unduly refined. H.L. Mencken suggests it may have originally meant a knockout punch in a boxing match. I was attracted to it because of its internal rhythm: da-da-da-DAAH-da. Hence, in my piece, the word is spelled out in the trombones and tubas, C-C-C-E♭-C (emphasis on the E♭) as a kind of idée fixe. The “lollapalooza” motive is only one of a profusion of other motives, all appearing and evolving in a repetitive chain of events that moves this dancing behemoth along until it ends in a final shout by the horns and trombones and a terminal thwack on timpani and bass drum. John Adams

STILE MODERNO – Monteverdi, Cavalli & Strozzi

13/12/2019

remendous changes in sacred and secular music took place in the decades either side of the year 1600, with the city of Venice being a key environment for the development of the new wondrous harmonies and vibrant rhythmic energy of the seconda pratica, better known as the stile moderno. This concert will focus on the works of three leading exponents of the new style, Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli and Barbara Strozzi, with a programme to celebrate the 400th anniversary year of Strozzi’s birth in 1619.

Pedro Faria Gomes – ‘Chamber Works’

04/02/2020

The chamber works featured this evening, from the decade 2009–18, include the substantial four-movement Sonata for violin and piano and explore such themes as memory, cyclicity, returning, waiting, and the quiet spaces and distorted perspectives of night. The concert celebrates the launch on the Naxos label of a CD recording by the same performers, which includes all the works on the programme.