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15.02.2024

The Protecting Veil: Guy Johnston and Britten Sinfonia

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Star cellist Guy Johnston joins Britten Sinfonia in a programme of powerful music by Tavener, Beethoven and Bartók.

The cello’s singing qualities are to the fore in John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil, unfurling endless melodic lines as though lifting its voice in prayer. One of the few cellists to have worked with Sir John Tavener, Guy Johnston is the central character, transcendent amidst Britten Sinfonia’s heady layers of sound. 'Guy Johnston was able to absorb John’s vision by this personal contact. He brings that depth and experience with his exquisite playing into 2024 and beyond.' – Lady Maryanna Tavener

Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge sounds modern even now: jagged lines, dissonances, extremes of dynamic and tempo, moments of dark humour and unsettling shifts in mood. The title of Bartók’s Divertimento may sound straight out of Beethoven’s time, but the music is all Bartók’s: even the neoclassical framework can’t conceal his love of Hungarian folk music.

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