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Review: Vale Of Glamorgan Festival - BBC NOW @ Hoddinott Hall

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 11/07/2013 at 11:01
0 comments » - Tagged as Festivals, Music

  • Crystal

Vale of Glamorgan Festival: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre
Saturday 18th May 2013

The Vale of Glamorgan Festival finished with a resounding evening. We had more of Graham Fitkin and a brief work by JustÄ— JanulytÄ—.

The latter piece was a spectacular discovery. Her Elongation Of Night is one of my favourite works from this century. These nine minutes for string orchestra can only be described as the journey into a humongous crystal. You are in awe and blinded by its majesty. It brought to my mind Arvo Pärt's Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten. What sounds very simple must be an absolute nightmare to perform. It borders on uneasiness, yet remains a sheer belter of vitality. Breathtaking. 

Fitkin's music simply couldn't live up to this, but had glimpses of great music. His Cello Concerto is a huge messy and uninteresting umber and his ballet score Mindset perhaps too chipper in places, owing to the taking of the Baroque standard. In a pre-show talk (JanulytÄ— sadly couldn't make the festival), he spoke of not having a mobile phone and other humorous talk. A window cleaner outside with a power hose couldn't resist the temptation to clean the window of the very room the talk was taking place, causing much interference to our gathering. It was hilarious though.

With next year's festival here before we know it, the music of Sir John Tavener has already been programmed.

Can't wait.

Rating: 7/10

Click here for info on upcoming performances at the Wales Millennium Centre

Click here for info on upcoming BBC NOW performances

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