Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
, August 2012
Per Norgard’s… new disk Sceneries for Percussion and Ensemble…gives the listener four substantial works in the chamber mode. The first two, “Prelude to Breaking” for eight instruments (1986) and “Four Meditations” for seven instruments (2010) get a full and detailed sound in a mini-chamber orchestra zone. These are very charactered works, tonal and extra-tonal, narrative in flow and yet filled with abstractions at times, different enough that after five listens I find an appreciation growing in me and the need to hear them more.
“Arabesques” for solo percussion (2011) is in part based on a motif from the concluding work. It has texture and ornament, moments of great rhythmic drama, and also more quiescent interludes.
I much liked the composer’s handling of the other instruments, and found the entire matrix of varied, ornate, sometimes powerful percussion versus contrapuntally charged chamber instruments quite original and earworthy.
And that is my general reaction to the disk. Martinez and the Esbjerg Ensemble under Petter Sundkvist does justice to the sophisticated, unusual music. © 2012 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review