Once again imaginative programming (for once, ‘curation’ really does seem appropriate) is the marker. So we have shows themed around neglected British composers, deconstructions of the popular song, Italian ‘colourism’ from Scarlatti to Pistoletto, and so on.
At a first glance, the bill looks thinner on the mod/comp side of things than last year. But that may be an illusion. The ‘Marxist Chillwave‘ night – a partnership with Verso books – intrigues, not least because I’m interested to see how a performance of Johannes Kreidler’s Fremdarbeit works four years down the line, and now that everyone can Google the set-up. Jennifer Walshe performing Ashley’s The Wolfman should also be a highlight; likewise Serge Vuille performing Stockhausen’s Himmels-Tür, one of the bits of KLANG that I can really get behind. And Mark Knoop will be playing one of my all-time favourite pieces, … sofferte onde serene ….
As for the things I know nothing about in advance, Peter Zinovieff’s concerto for violin and computer and Michelangelo Pistoletto’s performance piece Fourteen less one are headline grabbers, but I’m equally interested to hear how James Clarke’s Island sounds in the middle of a concert of Christopher Hobbs, John White, Gavin Bryars, etc; likewise the proposition of Wagner as an antecedent to Cardew in musical Marxism.
Conceptually ambitious as always. Tickets are on sale now: a full festival pass is just £27.