Percussion instruments have always been a feature of traditional music and, more recently, as the backbone for popular and world music cultures. But music for the classical percussion department has taken enormous strides in the last half century, progressing from a monochromatic underscoring of rhythms to a highly complex palette of timbres that can depict delicacy or emit explosions of sound with a versatility that composers are increasingly keen to explore.
The recordings in the Naxos Segment Catalogue for Percussion present a mix of styles and roles for the prolific sounds of the percussion family, from chamber music to concerto platforms, with a seemingly inexhaustible range of expression.
These six world première recordings present one of percussion’s greatest masters in a panorama of works by leading composers of our time. This remarkable journey through sound and rhythm includes electronic extensions such as the dramatically funky climaxes to Bruno Mantovani’s Le Grand Jeu, a dreamy musical halo around metal instruments in Marco Stroppa’s Auras and Jean-Claude Risset’s sound illusions in Nature contre Nature. Peter Eötvös’s Thunder is a unique quest to explore the potential of a single bass timpano, while Philippe Hersant revisits Berlioz, Schubert and Gounod in his Trois petitesétudes. René Leibowitz’s Three Caprices were among the first works written for solo vibraphone.
Listen to an extract from
Jean Claude Risset's Nature contre Nature: No. 1
“John Corigliano’s amazingly inventive percussion concerto ...
is an extraordinary score, exploiting a vast array of percussion instruments across its three movements. Glennie plays it with staggering virtuosity and the fascinating sounds that she conjures up from her battery of instruments are enhanced by the stunning realism with which the engineers have recorded the score.”
– MusicWeb International
“Evelyn Glennie gives a jaw-dropping performance in UFO…she also can play very lyrically. Some of the effects Daugherty specifies can sound merely bizarre in other players. She makes them beautiful, without sacrificing their alien distance.”
– Classical Net
“The world première Naxos recording of Mark Lortz’ transcription of the Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra by Philip Glass…shows this work to lie firmly within Glass’ minimalist and post-minimalist stylistic leanings as well as…within the concerto tradition as a whole. The large percussion section is played against, as well as with, the timpani solos, and the work’s very strong rhythmic emphases are crucial building blocks for music that ebbs and flows quite effectively.”
“The homages that the Canadian composer Chris Paul Harman offers to Bach and Schumann on this beguiling disc are at once loving and ghostly, a sort of fond musical seance. Of the two forebears, Schumann appears in a more solidly corporeal guise, brought to life in a pair of splendid piano works played with tender clarity by MeiYi Foo.”
– San Francisco Chronicle
“With Colin Currie, the young prize winning percussionist, matching his compatriot predecessor, Evelyn Glennie, in flair and panache, the Naxos version of the brilliant and dramatic percussion concerto, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, cannot be recommended too highly.”
– Penguin Guide ★★★★
Listen to an extract from
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel: Dance
“Virtuoso Toronto percussionist Ryan Scott brings both the ferocity and lyrical sensitivity suggested by Staniland’s score alive in his musically sensitive performance. As for the electronics, they effectively extend the percussion sounds, bouncing them around the listening space, sometimes resulting in mysterious sonifications.”
– The WholeNote