12 Ensemble & GBSR Duo
12 Ensemble string ensemble
George Barton Percussion
Siwan Rhys Piano
Mica Levi Lonely Void for electronic drums and strings (4′)
Love for keyboard and strings (5′)
Fausto Romitelli Flowing down too slow for strings, percussion and sampler keyboard (10’)
Laurence Osborn TOMB! (c.20′) [co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Kings Place (London) and Cheltenham Music Festival]
Brian Eno / Harold Budd Ambient 2 “Plateaux of Mirror” (40′)
12 Ensemble (strings) and GBSR Duo (percussion and piano) are two of the most exciting young groups in the UK classical music scene, constantly looking to reinvent the canon and commission new works from composers pushing the boundaries of the form, recently collaborating on Oliver Leith’s critically-acclaimed Last Days at the Royal Opera House.
Together they will explore music’s obsession with death, in a programme of heavenly and hellish visions by five composers working between classical and non-classical genres.
The programme opens with works by Mica Levi from the film Under the Skin (2014), and mind-bending music by Italian visionary Fausto Romitelli, who died in 2004 aged just 41. Receiving its world premiere, Laurence Osborn’s TOMB! uses the historic tombeau genre (a composition commemorating the death of a notable individual) to take a sideways look at classical music’s death fixation.
Brian Eno and Harold Budd’s glittering, suspended Ambient 2 forms the second half of the programme, a seminal work of the ambient genre that encourages a collective meditative experience, being performed in the centre of the hall enveloped by audience on all sides.
Laurence Osborn TOMB! Co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Kings Place, Cheltenham Festival
‘a wonderful, adventuresome, sensitive pair of musicians’ Kate Molleson, BBC Radio 3 on GBSR Duo
‘The two musicians play with an evenness and interior calm that makes the music’s formal structure and changes in instrumentation flow naturally without apparent effort. They make it all seem inevitable, even as the outcomes remain unknown, with a transparency that makes their playing inseparable from the music.’ Ben Harper, Boring Like a Drill on GBSR Duo
‘Barton and Rhys prove perfect guides to all these complexities; there may already be a number of recordings of this remarkable work, but theirs adds an extra dimension to it.’ Andrew Clements, review of GBSR’s recording of Stockhausen KONTAKTE
★★★★★ BBC Music Magazine 2020 on 12 Ensemble
‘Spunk, originality and class’ The Strad on 12 Ensemble
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes including interval
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Masthead: GBSR Duo © Dimitri Djuric