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Inbal Segev - Clyne-Dance. Calm, motoric energy and gorgeous fusions / The Guardian

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Anna Clyne's impressive new work is a cello concerto inspired by Persian poetry and outshining the familiar Elgar work in Inbal Segev's performance.

Dance is Anna Clyne's hugely impressive new cello concerto, written for the New York-based cellist Inbal Segev and first performed last year. Both the title and inspiration come from a poem by the 13th-century Persian writer and mystic Rumi; the word "Dance" begins each of its five lines, and Clyne takes the remainder of each of the lines as the titles for the concerto's five movements.

That produces a musical scheme that is predominantly slow and reflective. There are moments in the first movement, called "…when you're broken open", which recall John Tavener's The Protecting Veil, as consoling, modal string chords underpin the soaring cello line, just as the rough motoric energy of the opening of the second movement, "…if you've torn the bandage off", seems to feed off the "industrial" minimalism of Clyne's teacher, the Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe. But none of it seems derivative and the concerto as a whole is utterly personal, blending musical materials in a way that is entirely Clyne's own. Sometimes she borrows from folk music – she particularly singles out Jewish and Irish echoes in her melodic writing – and sometimes from classical models, especially baroque, but the fusion is always gorgeously rich and compelling.
Photograph: Grant Legan

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