Concert review: Contemporary Music Festival, The House, Plymouth University

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Facebook0

Unlike classical music, performances of contemporary works often happen once only.

This can have an adverse effect on modern music which, due to its unfamiliar format, can prove too much to take in on one hearing alone. The composer might have provided comprehensive programme-notes, but reading them during a live performance is no easy matter where the houselights are dimmed to enhance the effect overall.

Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron with Ten Tors Orchestra
Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron with Ten Tors Orchestra

Eduardo Reck Miranda’s Shockwaves confirmed this nicely. Conductor Simon Ible briefly outlined the work’s rationale, before navigating the Ten Tors Orchestra through this piece for violin, orchestra, percussion and synthesised sounds. Whether the fact that it had been enjoyed in the same venue less than a year ago, and that the players were now more familiar with it, the performance did have a greater sense of cohesion and meaning than before, again greatly enhanced by Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron’s impressive contribution, especially in the violin cadenzas.

David Everson’s Dreamscape proved the most immediately appealing work – a haunting melody effectively scored, though cast more in the film-music genre than a contemporary work per se. Federico Visi’s Kinesliminia might have been more effective had the performers remained static, while skilled dancers gestured around them, their movements, rather than the performers’, actually activating the motion-sensing computer programme.

Linas Baltas’s Shadows provided an effective sonic finale, although the composer’s written clarification could arguably apply to so many other pieces throughout time.

 

PHILIP R BUTTALL

 

(top image: Esther Coorevits & Federico Visi)





Philip Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip R Buttall was the Classical Music Writer at Plymouth Herald from 1997-2017. He is a sought-after piano teacher, composer and arranger, and online concert and CD reviewer. Further information and contact details are available at www.philiprbuttall.co.uk
Philip Buttall