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News from us
07 January 2004

The Times online / Reviewed by Hilary Finch

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This year’s week-long voyage into the unknown began with an immediate and thrilling sighting: a 19-year’s old Serbian accordion player called Milos Milivojevic, playing four outstanding and virtuoso new works for the instrument – and all from memory.
Even the classical accordion, the Rolls Royce of squeeze-boxes, carries within it both the compressed, manic energies and the melancholy of the world’s popular music’s, its tangos and its secret tendresses.
Luciano Berio in 1995 packed it all into his Sequenza No13.
And scarcely eight months after the composer’s death, it was moving to hear the work’s UK premiere at last, its shuddering and fluttering chords, its dramatically inflected timbres and its subtle oscillations of breath and reverberation minutely controlled by Milivojevic.
Anthony Gilbert’s Rose Luisante for solo classical accordion, written just last year, received its world premiere from Milivojevic, as a Park Lane Group commission.
The inspiration here is purely and seductively visual: Gilbert’s responses to the light diffusion and the intricate form or the western Rose Window of Bayeux Cathedral have natural a ten-minute piece of beguiling beauty, its slowly refracting harmonies sensuous, its variations an a curling chant haunted by Eastern modes and spectral, toccata-like dances.
The Twin Set and Pearls belonged to Howard Skempton: seven tiny, disarmingly
simple variation miniatures. And Milivojevic ended the evening with Magnus Lindberg’s magnificent Jeux D’anches: wind through the reeds, as it were, growing to a hurricane of imaginative invention.

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