London Sinfonietta soars and scores

Helmi Yusof
Published Thu, Sep 11, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE most enriching - yet sadly poorly attended - event at the Singapore International Festival of Arts has been the six mind-broadening concerts given by the famous London Sinfonietta, in collaboration with the Southbank Centre and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory.

Called Listen To The 20th Century, the concert series took the audience in four days on a whirlwind tour of 20th century music, from Debussy and Schoenberg to Stockhausen, Cage and Ligeti. Altogether, there are 21 works by groundbreaking composers who signposted the era. These chosen pieces were just a small distillation of the massive 150-concert programme that ran in London all of last year.

It's no secret that many lovers of classical music shy away from avant-garde 20th-century music because so much of it is disturbing, atonal and hard to like. Compared to the melodic beauty of pre-1900 greats, 20th century music doesn't have an instant appeal.

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