Reviews from the North American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Remembering praised the 30-minute work’s impressive emotional range and beautiful final movement.
Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Remembering was performed for the first time in North America on November 1 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Nelsons. The work was originally premiered in 2017 by the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, as commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony.
Remembering, which memorializes Turnage’s friend Evan Scofield, is a celebration of the young man’s life, full of energetic, pulsating figures and bluesy inflections, and concludes with a “Song for Evan” in the fourth and final movement. Members of the press were noted the impressive emotional range of the 30-minute work, and particularly praised the beauty of the last movement.
“For its first three movements, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s piece is a celebration of Scofield’s full but short life. The piece’s highly syncopated score includes a vast brass section and omits violins, making for an unusually hued sound world in which elements of modern classical music, jazz, swing, blues, and musical
theater all dance together.”
“Traces of the piano elegy that formed the seed of the movement were clearly audible. A seamless dialogue between principal violist Steven Ansell and principal cellist Blaise Déjardin pierced deep, and as the wind players pushed air into a recurring rising and falling figure, the sound took on an unmanicured
wailing quality. Conceivably, that final movement could be performed on its own as a somber memorial piece for anyone, but with the music of Scofield’s life attached, listeners are introduced to someone most of them never knew, who becomes a reminder of our own mortality.”
“lush, gorgeous, haunting fourth movement”
“Turnage's composition reached gorgeous heights in the final movement which more than held their own with the other two works on the program by Haydn and Elgar - and that's saying a lot.”
Boston Musical Intelligencer
“meltingly beautiful … exquisite.”
“The ending was a marvel of restrained dignity.”
Photo: Philip Gatward
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