Prelude & Fugue
Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge
In the final performance of Britten Sinfonia’s residency at Aldeburgh’s Britten weekend the brilliance and bravura of Britten’s writing for string orchestra is illustrated in Pekka Kuusisto’s programme of extremes. Light and shade, wit and invention, rigour and reflection abound, from the Bachian vitality of the little-known Prelude and Fugue to the sparkling variants Britten conjures from his teacher’s modest but curious melody. Variations of a different kind as Kuusisto himself takes the solo viola role for the John Dowland-inspired fantasy Lachrymae, a compelling ‘slow-reveal’ of a 17th-century lute song concealed by the mysterious, dark-hued transformations that precede it.