CHRISTOPHER HOGWOOD (1941-2014)

Conductor, Musicologist, Keyboard player

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Terry Riley's 'In C'

February 3, 2012

Last week Christopher conducted a unique programme of music with the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, setting Classical works by Mozart and Schubert alongside the minimalist masterpiece 'In C' by Terry Riley.

 

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Adam Mickiewicz University Concert Hall, Poznan, Poland

 

Taking the theme of 'C' for the concert, Riley's work nestled in between two other great works in the same key, the Overture from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and Schubert's Symphony No. 9. Riley's work, often considered to be the first minimalist composition, was written in 1964 for any number of performers and any combination of instruments. As can be seen in the photos below, an unusual array of instruments took part in Christopher's interpretation, including a banjo, a mandolin, an accordion and a digital keyboard. The piece consists of 53 numbered musical phrases and being a semi-aleotoric work, each musician has control over which phrase he or she plays. Since In C has no fixed duration, performances can last between 15 minutes and several hours, but given the length of Schubert's 'Great' Symphony No.9, this foray into the world of minimalism was limited to 20 minutes.

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