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Knussen conducts Webern, Anderson and his own works late at night

Oliver Knussen conducted a marvelous programme of contemporary music at the late night PROMS yesterday. His interpretation of his Ophelia Dances and Requiem (sung by Claire Booth) conveyed the emotions without loosing the cool - the latter work was a solemn and personal tapestry of feelings. Webern's Five Pieces for Orchestra was a real joy to listen to - the 4th piece which contained only 7 bars gave a new meaning to "Less Is More". Knussen did a customary repeat of all five pieces just in case if anyone in the audience missed it the first time round! The evening concluded with Julian Anderson's Book of Hours - with the composer at the console interweaving sampled electronic sound into the live performance. Knussen's "cartridge onto the vinyl LP" gesture was a firm
acknowledgemnet of the importance of the recorded elements of the work.
The work sounded more sonorous then when it was first performed in Birmingham a few years ago, and had a indescribably shiny quality to it that brought the evening to a glitzy end.


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