This iconic piece has featured on the soundtrack for everything from The Crown to Bridgerton to Chef’s Table, and has topped the charts in 22 countries. Artfully, but faithfully, Richter rearranges the notes on the page, revealing anew the radiant melodies and lush timbres of the music, and transforming a piece dulled by over-familiarity into something luminously relevant to the present day.
From one cult classic for strings to another – Richter’s work is preceded by an early John Adams piece (and one of his most performed). The composer was later to find fame in his politically charged operas such as Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic as well as his brilliant orchestral showpiece Short Ride in a Fast Machine. His music loosens the strict minimalism of Steve Reich and Philip Glass’s ‘loops’ with melodic elegance and rhythmic energy. To open this concert of energy and reinvention, a version of John Tavener’s exquisite choral miniature, a pulsing, ecstatic hymn that burst into the public consciousness when used to devastating effect during the funeral of Princess Diana a quarter of a century ago this month.
This event is part of Saffron Hall’s new series of 21st Century Sounds, Saffron Sessions.