‘Visions of the New’: BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, review

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Organist Cameron Carpenter, who arranged and performed Charles Ives's The Alcotts

Ivan Hewett writes: Work by modern American composers offered thrills and grandeur, but occasionally got a little lost.

American classical music over the past century is a creation of stubborn mavericks. This concert, dubbed “Visions of the New”, offered four of the most stubborn. There was Philip Glass, the man who repeats patterns so often some people think he may actually be a sadist, cunningly disguised as a composer. There was John Luther Adams, a man who lived in the frozen Alaskan depths, so he could be in touch with life’s extremes. There was Terry Riley, who introduced the hippy-ish notion of “tuning in, turning on and dropping out” into music.

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