Last night saw the New London Orchestra take to the stage, and present some of the finest moments of minimalism, at Stratford Circus. Usually associating opportunities to hear this sort of music, having to be confined to the gentry and elites of SW1, it was fantastic to be able to see it, just 500 metres down the road from the Olympic Stadium, and for only £6 a ticket. It was very reasonably priced, certainly compared to the ridiculous money the Rolling Stones demanded for their ‘comeback’ tour.
The orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp OBE, opened with a great rendition of Arvo Part’s chilling Cantus, honouring Benjamin Britten, only slightly marred by the people arriving late, and continued to play an original work by Corp himself.
The musicianship of the Orchestra was astounding, all trills executed perfectly, and there was such a rich sound from the double bass & cello section in that acoustic. They continued through more popular works by Britten and Berber, and the highlight of the evening was a rendition of Philip Glass’ ‘Company’. A key 20th Century composer, this work really works with repetitive rhythmic structures, and this obsession with rhythm, has had a significant effect on later dance music producers. It is a testament to the orchestra that they not only managed to overcome the rhythmic complexity of the piece, but made it sound great as well, the fourth movement being a highlight.
Also playing a World Premiere of an arrangement of Max Richter’s ‘On the Nature of Daylight’, the night was full of great moments. It was my first experience of classical music in an East London setting, and the work they’re doing to make it more accessible as a group is nothing short of admirable.
For more information about upcoming concerts at Stratford Circus, you can check this link here: http://www.stratford-circus.com/events/index.htm