John Sturt/Theo Finkel 

These two 21-year-old Trinity Laban composition students were given world premieres by the conservatoire’s wind ensemble at St Alfege’s Church in a programme that also featured works by Vaughan Williams, Guy Woolfenden and Morten Laurisden. Sturt’s Imperial Guilt throbbed with the anger he felt about British treatment of native peoples in the days when the sun never set on the empire, yet he cleverly managed to create a piece of great melodic and harmonic beauty without losing his sense of outrage. By contrast, Finkel’s creation was an altogether more serene affair, a lovely theme followed by six intriguingly orchestrated variations, one of which featured the mysteriously deep wonders of the contrabassoon. Both works stood up well in comparison with those by the established composers that bookended them. And they were splendidly played by the Trinity ensemble conducted by Andrew Dunn.

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