Contemporary Consort

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Town Hall


Amidst the Handel, Beethoven and Mozart, the festival programme included an evening of music composed in the past 100 years for an audience prepared to open its ears to new sounds.

It is a more pleasant, even exciting, experience than many might expect. Two reasons made the occasion special – the musicianship and obvious enjoyment displayed by the six members of the Contemporary Consort, and the opportunity to hear a discussion involving three of the featured composers.

Before the performance, the festival's artistic director Ambrose Miller talked to three young composers about their work, which included the world premiere of Helen Grime's meditative Quartet.

Dai Fujikura from Japan made special demands on the quartet performing his atmospheric Edge of Light, as did Macedonian Mihailo Trandafilovski's Two in a Flux.

For those struggling to appreciate these ultra-modern pieces, they were cushioned by some relatively older contemporary music. The concert opened with John Ireland's delightful Phantasy Trio composed in 1906 and typical of his strident, colourful and accessible music.

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More recent works included a Sonatina by Welsh composer William Mathias and three pieces by Benjamin Britten. The evening concluded with A Farewell, a lingering parting composed in 1992 by John Woolrich.

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