An Italo Calvino-inspired concert celebrating Nicola LeFanu’s 70th birthday
‘At some point,’ says author Eric Weiner, speaking on the 1972 book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, ‘you realize that Calvino is not talking about cities at all, not in the way we normally think of the word. Calvino’s cities—like all cities, really—are constructed not of steel and concrete but of ideas. Each city represents a thought experiment.’ This programme celebrates Nicola LeFanu’s 70th birthday with music inspired by her own Calvino-work Invisible Places and ‘thought experiments’ from 20th and 21st century composers, each taking the listener into worlds where fantasy expresses reality or, like Calvino, where discontinuous ideas make up a continuous narrative. The programme includes repertoire by LeFanu’s mother Elizabeth Maconchy and her former pupil Sadie Harrison. Harrison’s exquisite instrumental miniatures (Gallery Room 1 for solo violin) can be placed in any structural order, some of them mirroring ancient worlds and natural phenomena and others taking their starting point in the paintings of Brian Graham and Peter Sheppard Skærved, expressing visual and textural ideas in sound.