Why you should vote for…

After seeing your votes coming in for CLoSer, we thought we’d ask members of the City of London Sinfonia team who they voted for and why. Let us know what you think!

Voted for: Schnittke
I voted for the Schnittke as I feel that the harmonic grittiness would better complement the rest of the programme. I also think that the unusual staging and lighting would work brilliantly in the Village Underground and bring a new dimension to the CLoSer series that we haven’t yet explored.

Claire, Orchestra Manager

Voted for: Torke
I’m not a big fan of Schnittke, but this piece nearly had me convinced, as I love the theatrics and the playfulness and I can imagine it would be a bit of a riot for our musicians to perform. However I hadn’t heard December by Michael Torke before and I absolutely love the richness and depth to this piece compared to the rather harsh tones of the Schnittke. I can imagine it soaring and filling the spaces of Village Underground beautifully and I think it would be a fantastic introduction to this American composer for our audience too.

Alex, Marketing & PR Manager

Voted for: Schnittke
I voted for Schnittke. I chose this because it is an exciting, lively piece that can’t fail to grab your attention.  I think it would be a great opener.  I enjoy the theatricality of it and would love to see it performed in Village Underground.

Hannah, Education Intern

Voted for: Schnittke
Well, this is quite a tough choice as I like both pieces. On the one hand, I can imagine it would be really magical to be swallowed up by Michael Torke’s lush string sound in December in the cosy Village Underground. However, as this piece is going to start the evening I have voted for Schnittke’s Moz-art a la Haydn as I think that the energy and contrasts in the work would really begin proceedings with a bang. Also, as the Schnittke sees the Orchestra doing lots of moving about and other very theatrical things I think it would be a real treat to see this piece done live.

Ruth, Development Manager

Voted for: Schnittke
I’ve voted for the Schnittke. Although the Torke is a great piece, lyrical and melodious, I’ve been a fan of Schnittke since I first heard his Grosse Fugue: a companion piece and homage to Beethoven Op 130 string quartet.  His music is sometimes challenging and can be quite harsh but the flashes of humour and witty pastiche can be breathtaking. Apart from that I can’t wait to see how we will stage this – the devil in me loves pushing our players out of their comfort zone whilst the concert manager frets that there won’t be enough room for them to wander off stage. Of course there is only one way to see what the solution will be – come to the concert !

Elaine, Chief Operating Officer

Voted for: Torke
I often struggle with the repetitiveness of music written in the minimalist style, so even I was surprised to find myself voting for Torke’s December! I love the way that Torke’s music brings the minimalist structure to life though dancing rhythms and folk-like melodies. Torke has done lots of work with ballet companies, NYC ballet in particular, and I can really hear this in his music. Like Tchaikovsky’s ballet music, that inspires movement and often makes people try and attempt a ballet solo (with varying degrees of success…), Torke’s December has an infectious, folky groove that I can imagine going down really well at CLoSer.

Steph, Development & Marketing Assistant

Voted for: Schnittke
This piece is incredible. It manages to be visceral and witty at the same time and I think it is one of the best pieces composed in the last 50 years. The way he takes snippets of Mozart, chews them up and spits them out again is often a shock to the ears. Schnittke is also a fascinating figure: he was a Volga German and half Jewish, so even though he was born in Russia and is very definitely a Russian composer, I always think of him as a composer of outsiders music. He defies categorisation – not unlike Kancheli and Tim Garland in fact – and in many ways this piece is nothing like anything else he wrote (listen to Minnesang and the Choir Concerto by him and you’ll know what I mean). The section at the end where the players leave one by one is taken from a Haydn Piece where the players leave one by one at the close. Haydn did it as a (not so subtle) hint to his courtly employers that the orchestra were rather tired and needed a holiday please. Schnittke does it to play on the idea of the Russian ‘Holy Fool’ – someone who stands on the outside of society and points and laughs at its shortcomings.”

Matthew, Chief Executive

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