Wednesday 6 October 2021, 7.30pm

Xenia Pestova Bennett / Ed Bennett perform Karlheinz Essl’s Gold.Berg.Werk

No Longer Available

Xenia Pestova Bennett / piano
Ed Bennett / live electronics

Pioneering Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl offers a radical reinterpretation of Bach's Goldberg Variations. Time-stretched harmonies are manipulated in real time and played back through spatialised loudspeakers in between the variations played by virtuoso pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett, bringing together baroque and contemporary sound worlds. This new reimagining of Bach’s vision juxtaposes the variations in a new strictly symmetrical structure which reflects the binary form of the original aria (a microcosm within a macrocosm with binary divisions commonly found in digital systems). No two performances are the same due to the live algorithmic generation of the electronic interludes. Gold.Berg.Werk transcends itself and becomes a new piece in its own right, creating a sense of space and distance unimaginable in Bach's time.

Xenia Pestova Bennett

Described as “a powerhouse of contemporary keyboard repertoire” (Tempo), pianist and composer Xenia Pestova Bennett has earned an international reputation as a leading proponent of uncompromising music. Her work spans a wide range of sound worlds, styles and genres from classical to contemporary art music, free improvisation, experimental electronica and avant-pop.

Xenia has performed at large festivals, for live broadcast, in major concert halls, and countless weird and wonderful venues and spaces. She has commissioned and recorded dozens of new works, collaborating with major innovators in contemporary music and exploring classical music boundaries with electronics, toy pianos, synthesizers and the Magnetic Resonator Piano.

Ed Bennett

Irish composer Ed Bennett’s music is regularly performed and broadcast in over 30 countries in venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican and South Bank Centres and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Recent projects include ‘Psychedelia’ for the RTE NSO, ’Ausland’ for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Reinbert de Leeuw, ‘Song of the Books’ for the Crash Ensemble and four critically-acclaimed portrait discs of his work. He performs with his 10-piece ensemble Decibel who were described in the Quietus as ‘blending the coiled concentration of the best post-minimalism with the ferocity and dynamic range of thrash metal’ and plays live electronics both solo and in a duo with pianist Xenia Pestova. In 2019 Ed Bennett was awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Major Individual Artist Award, the highest honour awarded to an artist from the region, his work has been twice shortlisted for the Ivor Novello awards. His latest portrait CD ‘Psychedelia’ (2020) was described in the Sunday Times as ‘Ebullient, deeply compelling music’ and featured in the New York Times as one of their recommended releases of 2020.