Thursday 15 Nov 2018, 6pmPurcell Room, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Tonino Battista conductor

Amy Dickson saxophone

Franco Donatoni Refrain

Franco Donatoni Refrain IIUK premiere

Franco Donatoni Hot


We pay homage to the work of Franco Donatoni (1927-2000), one of the leading composers of his generation. Focus is placed on his "joyously inventive and youthfully exuberant" (The Guardian) late work which bursts with humour, energy and surprises.

In a unique approach Donatoni described as ‘imaginary jazz’, Hot fuses the idea of improvisation with techniques of repetition and manipulation. Opening with the familiar jazz combo rhythm section, the instruments of the ensemble gradually emerge, shadowing each other’s darting melodies to create a highly-charged atmosphere.

Before, Refrain for six instruments, and the UK premiere of Refrain II. In Refrain, Donatoni uses an unusual instrumentation to explore the relationship between plucked instruments and sustained sounds. Gentle, chorale-like moments in the woodwind are placed against percussive sonorities, led by the mandolin in particular. Written five years later, but using the original as a model, Refrain II builds on that intensity, filled with punchy rhythms and driving tempos.



  • Tickets: This concert is FREE but tickets are required - select seats using the button above
  • Running time: 50 minutes, no interval
  • Concert programme: Free programmes are available upon entry
  • Blog post: Amy Dickson introduces her instrument and Donatoni's Hot in our blog
  • After the concert: John Wilson conducts Gershwin and Walton, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall

This concert is part of the Music of Today series