Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival – BBC NOW @ Hoddinott Hall
Contemporary classical music seems to be under appreciated today, but the Vale of Glamorgan Festival only plays music by living composers and always has a fresh and intriguing programme of events every year. I haven’t been for a few years, so it would be interesting to get reacquainted with more music by today’s composers.
Sebastian Currier’s Microsympth opened the concert in a cosmic blaze. The waltz and jazz music in it were also surprising and made for an all round composition. The world premier of Mark Bowden’s percussion concerto entitled Heartland was also miraculous. Julian Warburton with his array of percussion, was at times mesmerising. You couldn’t take your eyes of him, how he would go from instrument to instrument. Be it marimba, base drum, maracas or even a little tuned gong.
Another work by Sebastion Currier opened the second half, Quanta. It comes after his travels in China, although there is nothing quintessentially Chinese about the work, it remained very dominant in its delivery. The last work for the evening was by an actual Chinese composer by the name of Qigang Chen. His Enchantments OubliÃ©s was overtly Chinese in nature and character and a blessing to hear in the concert hall. The sickly sweets tones and melodies drip in and out of the score with much firmer music coming around as well.
As I’m attending for concerts of the festival over four consecutive night, my reviews will follow suit in a matter of days.
Here’s to keeping up the great standard of music.