Though Tabakova’s Patience of Trees is the titular star of this show, this concerto also features American composer Steve Reich’s clarinet piece New York Counterpoint and two standout submissions for the O/Modernt Composition Award: Vulpes Vulpes by British composer Paul Saggers, which won the award, and Todo Era Vuelo en Nuestra Tierra by Julieta Szewach.
Internationally renowned violinist and conductor Hugo Ticciati introduces the concerto and explains the symbolism behind its composition, which is intended as ‘a reflection of sorts on our welcome emergence from this locked-down year’. This interpretation is then mirrored by the emergence of the tiered circular stage upon which the orchestra is arranged under moving spotlights.
Interpretations of covid aside, the combination of the different classical pieces is expertly done. While the avoidable gaps of silence between the pieces as the instrumentalists shuffle around halt the flow of the overall concerto, Tabakova, Reich, Saggers and Szewach’s compositions cover every tempo and range of emotion. The audience is also treated to an interesting variety of instruments, including violin, strings and percussion.
At a running time of 80 minutes, it takes a real lover of classical music to remain focused throughout, but the performance’s immersiveness is undeniable and a testament to the talent of the Manchester Camerata.
You can watch The Patience of Trees on MIF Live + On Demand here.