A Gig of a Liftetime


David Munrow drew much of his inspiration from Michael Morrows Musica Reservata (for whom he worked for a time), and ofcourse Noah Greenberg. The following is a brief "review" note on the former....

Gig of a lifetime: Michael Nyman

Laura Barnett

Composer Michael Nyman on Musica Reservata, Festival Hall, early 1970s

I was besotted with this group, and went to review them for The Spectator. They were performing motets by the early 17th century German composer Michael Praetorius, who is usually known for a bunch of poppy dance arrangements called Terpsichore. These, by contrast, were massive choral, orchestral works.. just thrilling.

Musica Reservata were so different from other early musicians at the time. They were conducted by John Beckett, Samuel Beckett's cousin and run by a brilliant Irish self-trained musician called Michael Morrow. He was a rough bear of a man with a huge walrus moustache far from most clean-cut, Oxbridge, polite classical musicians.

I tried to put across my visceral excitement in my review. It was a sheer, bloody-minded shock to the system to find that early music could have the same kind of vitality and heavy-duty effect on your musical senses as Stravinsky, Stockhausen or Steve Reich. Laura Barnett

'Nyman Brass' is released on MN Records on Sept 18.

PS. I am great fan of Michael Nymans work, and the related films he worked for notably The Piano, and my favourite film of all time PROSPEROS BOOKS.....


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