Time Loops in Fermo: Old World and New Sounds for Le Marche
Jonny Greenwood Benefit Concert Oct 25, 2019 for ArteProArte
A review by Catherine Sofio
It was an ethereal evening in the fine 18th century Teatro dell’Aquila in Fermo with Jonny Greenwood and young musicians performing a benefit concert forArteProArte. Organised with the help of the Comune di Fermo, and the music production association TAM (Tutta un’Altra Musica), the proceeds will go towards the work of the charity, whose focus is the restoration of art in all its forms and revitalising the cultural heritage of Le Marche.
Playing alongside Greenwood, were Daniel Pioro on violin, Katherine Tinker on piano and Giuseppe Franchellucci on cello, all exceptional young musicians who have been collaborating with Greenwood in recent years on various projects, including his BBC Proms performance and recordings for his new label, Octotonic Records. Greenwood is well known not only as lead guitarist and keyboardist of Radiohead, but also as a composer of contemporary classical music and award-winning film scores. The programme, ranging from Bach to Steve Reich to compositions by Greenwood, reflected a virtuosity of historic and experimental sound.
There was elegance in the curation of the concert in all respects. Pioro opened the evening with Bach’s Chaccone playing in front of the painted curtain with neoclassical landscape. The exquisite surroundings and sense of intimacy added to the magic. The ensemble then began with Three Miniatures from Water composed by Greenwood, who provided the mesmerizing drone on an Indian tanpura, sitting cross-legged on the stage.
The music cast spells and transcended time, with echoes of guitar and electronics in Steve Reich’s Counterpoint and the sweet, haunting sounds of the ondomo, which Greenwood played in the two Olivier Messaien pieces. The compositions from Phantom Thread with lush piano ached with beautiful nostalgia. Such innovative music in this historic setting let past and present mingle sublimely. The final piece, Loop for Fermo was arranged by Greenwood to mark the occasion, honouring this treasure of a city and eternally splendid part of the world. We look forward to more events in aid and celebration of Le Marche, surely happening in the very near future.