London Sinfonietta/Økland/Bourne – review

"Ahright," said jazz pianist Matthew Bourne, ambling on stage barefoot before fixing the piano with a quizzical stare, as if unconvinced of its loyalty. We were all right, too, after a first half of the Sinfonietta doing good business as usual, with David Hocking's momentous Xenakis Rebonds A and a fluent turn along the twisting byways of Berio's seventh Sequenza by oboist Gareth Hulse. The inclusion of Kaikhosru Sorabji in the programme worried me, but the Fantasiettina Atematica ("little athematic fantasy") for wind trio turned out to be rather charming in its aimless lyricism, and uncharacteristically brief.

Business as usual ceased abruptly with the entrance of the barefoot pianist, but it was here that the real business of the concert began, in a sequence of beautifully crafted and diversely textured improvisations, evocative of styles ranging from Balakirev and Jarrett to Stockhausen but wholly convincing in their centredness...

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