Thursday 15 Nov 2018, 6pmPurcell Room, London

Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907

Tonino Battista conductor

Amy Dickson saxophone

Donatoni Refrain

Donatoni Refrain II

Donatoni Hot

A focus on Franco Donatoni, a contemporary of Italian modernist genius Luciano Berio, who adopted a unique style in the Seventies and Eighties, building on the innovations of John Cage.

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
  • After the concert: John Wilson conducts Gershwin and Walton, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall

This concert is part of the Music of Today series