Friday, January 1, 2010

A Sea of Timbres: Higdon's Percussion Concerto

A female composer, a female conductor, and a percussion concerto!

At times it sounds a bit like Béla Bartók's Music For Strings, Percussion & Celesta, but with a shifted emphasis almost recklessly focused on the different timbres of percussion. There are many fascinating  examples of contemporary classical composers' use of percussion, Reich's Drumming, Lachenmann's Interieur I, and Wilco's drummer Glenn Kotche's solo works on Nonesuch is well worth a spin. When fragment of John Adams' Nixon In China begins to play in Sid Meier's Civilization IV, you know for sure that you have entered the modern age.

Here's Higdon's Percussion Concerto on Spotify:

James MacMillan – Macmillan: The Confession Of Isobel Gowdie / Adès: Chamber Symphony / Higdon: Percussion Concerto

Conducted by Marin Alsop, here's her writing on Higdon:

Happy listening, and I hope someday someone will make another Shining for Higdon's deep yet exciting music:)