Joby Talbot

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

Classic FM's first composer in residence visited the Playhouse with his individual style. Joby Talbot, perhaps best known for his scores to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the League of Gentlemen, brought a breath of modern classical fresh air to the festival. Talbot's reserved style takes the rhythmic interest of his minimalist contemporaries and inserts the melodic vibrancy that makes it truly enjoyable.

Accompanied by interesting and futuristic visuals in tune with the music, some pieces are starkly calm, others strongly energetic, both engrossing.

Talbot's compositions and his band's enthusiasm provide an encapsulating performance. There is a constant rippling, at times forcefully agitating melodic interest, at other times actively supporting it - in either case positively complementary.

Playing the piano himself, Talbot was joined by the versatile Everton Nelson (violin), Chris Worsey (cello) and Rob Farrer, whose strikingly subtle playing and ability to perform on two percussion instruments simultaneously added understated colour to the performance.

Often criticised as composing mood music to sit and relax to, Talbot's music is much more. Those allowing themselves to be submerged into his expressive work will be greatly rewarded.

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Ed Sutton

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