The World of Percussion

BRUNO MANTOVANI (b.1974): Le Grand Jeu for Percussion and Electronics, MARCO STROPPA (b.1959): Auras for Metallic Percussion and Chamber Electronics, PETER EÖTVÖS (b.1944): Thunder for Bass Timpano, RENÉ LEIBOWITZ (1913-1972): 3 Caprices for Vibraphone, PHILIPPE HERSANT (b.1948): 3 petites études for Timbales, JEAN-CLAUDE RISSET (b.1938): Nature contre Nature for Percussion and Computer.

Catalogue Number: 01R077

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.573520

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: This recital - a good deal more varied in musical content than one might think - showcases the enormous range of expression and timbre available to the percussion family (enhanced in three cases by electronics). Mantovani's piece is largely a rhytmic, drumming exercise, extravagantly embellished with equally assertive and dramatic electronic gestures, effectively an equal partner in the work's visceral energy. At key points the music resolves into stable rhythms that sound suspiciously familiar from less cerebral forms of popular music. Stroppa's work is largely an exercise in resonance and sonority for metallic instruments only, though it reaches a powerfully rhythmic climax with a feeling of ritual ecstasy. The work is part of a series called 'The Enormous Room', and unlike the Mantovani the primary contribution of the electronics here is to amplify and magnify the sense of scale. Eötvös unexpectedly conjures a world of expression from a solitary pedal kettledrum, utilising a wide range of extended techniques and almost as much virtuosity with the tuning pedal as with the beaters. The Leibowitz is more conventional, in that the tiny pieces consist of 'traditional' - if modern and largely atonal - harmony and motivic material, written expressly for the vibraphone and occasionally using its distinctive pulsating sustaining effect. Hersant constructs virtuosic studies from fragments of Faust-related works by Berlioz, Schubert and Gounod. The Risset constructs complex rhythmic interactions between performer and computer, producing the percussion equivalent of a player-piano-like mechanical supervirtuoso, with some dizzying spatial effects thrown in for good measure. Thierry Miroglio (solo percussion).  

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