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favourite composers

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The only true arts education I did get at school was music, which is probably why I now have a deep love of classical music. At the moment, my favourite is the Russian school, in particular the wild exuberance of Schnittke, and the reflective depth of Pärt and Gorecki (what I call the Russian school is what fell out when the Soviet empire collapsed). If you want an introduction to this kind of thing, dig up a copy of Schnittke’s viola concerto—actually, come to think of it, it has a seriously dreamy sequence which might appeal to you! I also enjoy the colour of John Adams’ enthusiastic musical collages, the décor of Steve Reich’s music (if décor is a musical term), the structure of Xenakis’s compositions, the street–cred of Mark Anthony–Turnage, and so much more—there’s so much there and not enough time to really appreciate it. This has left me pretty ignorant of other styles; perhaps I ought to follow a campaign by the BBC at the moment to introduce different musical forms to people who tend to listen to only one.

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