Although there is a strong line up at this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival there’s no doubt, I think, what the highlight will be: Saturday night’s world premiere of Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION.
Years in the making, CONSTRUCTION was originally commissioned by Liverpool City Council, while the city was 2008 European Capital of Culture. Whether it will ever performed in the city that paid for it remains to be seen. But for now, Huddersfield is the lucky recipient.
CONSTRUCTION is a two-hour work for three voices, ensemble, electronics and ‘sound house’, composed as in twenty parts, arranged as four interlocking cycles. It includes duos, solos, pieces for electronics, a group improvisation, a song cycle and a miniature violin concerto. One is tempted to call it the most ambitious project by this composer of ambitious projects, except that CONSTRUCTION itself forms just one part of Resistance and Vision, a massive, utopian cycle of works that is a more a philosophical theme than a realizable event. (Other works in the R&V cycle include Mesopotamia for chamber orchestra and NO for orchestra.)
ELISION will be the performers on Saturday; you can read more about the piece on their site. Sound and Music have also produced a video trailer. I doubt tickets are available at this stage, but the whole thing is being broadcast on Radio 3 from 10:30 pm. Set your digital recorders.
CONSTRUCTION breaks down into lots of pieces that can stand on their own. Several have appeared previously on these pages: see RB’s comments on Aurora here and my review of Hypnerotomachia here. I also reviewed Wound II here.