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Through the Lens: Sound Within Sound

Held at Southbank Centre, the Sound Within Sound festival was inspired by the book of the same name by journalist and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Kate Molleson. The event series highlighted the works of ten composers from the 20th century whose work has been relegated to the shadows of the main classical canon.

On Friday, 5 July, London Sinfonietta performed the first of two concerts as part of the festival, Carrillo & Revueltas. 

The performance began with Silvestre Revueltas' Homenaje a Federico Garcia Lorca. The three movements change between an exhilarating expression that provokes an intense love of life and a meditative lament.

Its energy was irresistable; why we don't hear more of Revueltas's always arresting music is mystifying. " The Guardian - Andrew Clements

In her book, Molleson described Carrillo as a 'confounding mix of absolutist, traditionalist, visionary and shameless revisionist.' 

London Sinfonietta was joined on stage by soprano Juliet Fraser and Carrillo harp specialist Ernestine Stoop to bring to life Carrillo's best-known composition Preludio a Colon which explored churning textures from voice, flute, string quartet and bespoke Carrillo microtonal harp. 

The Preludio was nevertheless a beautiful discovery, with its wordless soprano melismas " The Guardian - Andrew Clements

On Saturday, 6 July, London Sinfonietta returned to the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall stage to celebrate the work of Galina Ustvolskaya. 

A student of Shostakovich, he predicted that Ustvolskaya would reach 'world fame.' However, the conditions meant she was forced to choose between walking the creative line and staying alive. 

Alongside a larger-than-life London Sinfonietta featuring multiple winds, brass and percussion, Sergej Merkusjev joined the London Sinfonietta on stage to recite the excerpts of religious text in both symphonies. 

The London Sinfonietta makes a persuasive case for the greatness of Galina Ustvolskaya " Bachtrack - Christopher Woodley
Photo credit: Monika S Jakubowska

Published: 8 Jul 2024