LCO at the Roundhouse: Daily Telegraph review

Saturday 30 January 2010
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“Young, free and singularly special. Watch out London Sinfonietta and Nash Ensemble – there’s a new kid on the block.”

Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph
Tuesday 26 January 2010

Watch out London Sinfonietta and Nash Ensemble – there’s a new kid on the block. It’s the London Contemporary Orchestra, young, keen as mustard, and able to field extravagantly large numbers of players to tackle determinedly left-field programmes – with a bit of help from Facebook and Twitter, which facilitated a last-minute appeal for extra players for John Cage’s last piece Seventy-Four, which needs 74 players.

The smiling musical anarchist Cage died in 1992, which, I imagine, is before some of those players on the Roundhouse stage were born. The audience seemed much the same. So what drew them in such amazing numbers? The ambience of the Roundhouse certainly helps, with its screens above with close-up views of the players, and the whole domed space swimming in psychedelic red and blue light.

But it was surely the programme that worked the magic. It was a brilliantly contrived mix that delivered coolness, daring experimentalism, classic high-seriousness and cosmic spiritualism, all at once. The spiritual bit came first, in the form of Shhoctavoski, by Geir Jenssen, the Norwegian creator of arctic ambient…

Click here to read the review in full.

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