Watch This Space | Kaleidoskop
Information about the programme
The Academy has chosen compositions that demand quite special ways of approaching their instruments. Stephen Montague, in Thule Ultima, has the wind quintet play mainly on their mouthpieces, like a concert of exotic birds. George Crumb likewise calls for special timbres in his string quartet Black Angels: written to commemorate the victims of the Vietnam War, this pacifist composer asks the strings to play a quotation from Schubert’s Death and the Maiden using the wood of their bows (col legno), producing a bleak, oppressive tone. Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles, written shortly after his emigration from Hungary, reflect his immersion in Western culture. Ravel wrote Le Tombeau de Couperin as funeral music for the great French claveciniste. The movements originated during the First World War, and Ravel soon dedicated each one to a fallen French soldier from his circle of friends – a musical memorial spanning the centuries. His Sonata for Violin and Violoncello is likewise a funeral piece for a deceased composer, Claude Debussy.