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The Aids Memorial

Critics, Classical : Apocalypse now and then

Par Stephen Pritchard - 4 mn

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Home listening

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The London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by Robert Ames give the UK premiere of Giacinto Scelsi’s 1966 Uaxuctum at the Barbican. Photograph by Mark Workman

Other Worlds
Barbican, London EC2

Glyndebourne, Lewes; touring until 1 Dec

St Matthew Passion
Temple church, London EC4; touring until 28 Nov

It was heartening to see a predominantly young audience pour into the Barbican last week for an evening of unashamedly complex music. Undoubtedly, imaginations had been gripped by the prospect of an epic aural and visual reflection on the most pressing issue of the age: climate change and its effect on our fragile planet.

Other Worlds promised “big music; urgent music, that asks serious questions” presented in “two massive audio-visual portrayals of a dark past and still-avoidable future”. We certainly got the big, urgent music, but the gloopy, faintly patronising visuals, projected on to a gauze-like screen at the front of the stage, fatally cut the vital connectio...

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