AB goes to church with an exquisite neo-classical double-bill
AB goes to church
After the successful (and also promptly sold-out) concerts by Stars of the Lid (2016) and the tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson (2018) in the Béguinage Church (officially: The Church of Saint John the Baptist at the Béguinage), AB heads back for a third time to the place that once housed the largest Beguine community in the country.
Martin Kohlstedt (solo) (d)
German piano virtuoso Martin Kohlstedt is often – not surprisingly, rather predictably – mentioned in the same breath as that other contemporary neo-classical hero: Nils Frahm. On his first visit to London, The Daily Telegraph aptly summarised: ‘The music’s repetitive patterns and modal harmonies sometimes reminded one of other music often described as hypnotic, from Ryuichi Sakamoto to Ludovico Einaudi. What sets Kohlstedt apart is the undercurrent of anxiety, and the occasional moments of grandeur.’
He created a wonderful diptych in the form of ‘Tag’ (from 2012) and ‘Nacht’ (from 2014). Then with ‘Strom’ (from 2017) and the just recently released ‘Ströme’ he certainly links the album titles to each other. He recorded his latest album with the 70-member GewandhausChor from Leipzig and it is quite definitely his magnum opus. He comes to the Béguinage Church all on his ownsome.
Echo Collective plays Jóhann Jóhannsson’s ’12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann’
Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson always loved to unite various art forms. He was able to seamlessly combine music, film, literature and theatre. The link with the visual arts was missing though. Until one of the best known and biggest British art collectors - Richard Thomas – suggested composing music for the work of Berlin resident artist Thilo Heinzmann. In turn, Heinzmann’s thoughts immediately went to Jóhann Jóhannsson.
After a few meetings, Jóhannsson withdrew into his studio with a number of Heinzmann’s works. The result: '12 Conversations With Thilo Heinzmann', which will be released this fall via Deutsche Grammofon. The result: twelve wonderfully refined compositions, stripped of all electronic ballast and written for a string quartet. Enter Echo Collective – as, just prior to his death, Jóhannsson had asked them to record his written compositions. The result is moving and will visit not only London’s Barbican and Berlin’s Funkhaus, but also Brussels’ Béguinage Church.