Christoph Sietzen: Attraction
Percussionists, and percussion recitals, are hardly uncommon these days but, with ‘Attraction’, Christoph Sietzen has put together a collection of pieces, centred on the marimba, that works well as an overall sequence. Not that these pieces consistently hold the attention; Emmanuel Séjourné provides a title-track whose likely visual appeal is not matched by its busy though inconsequential content. Xenakis’s diptych remains a modern classic by dint of a methodical understatement which Sietzen realises with keen elegance, while Andrew Thomas has come up with an engaging addition to the ever more abundant repertoire for solo marimba such as emphasises colouristic over timbral or textural qualities. Bruce Hamilton and John Psathas may be exact contemporaries (both turned 50 last year), but their percussion-writing could hardly be more different: Hamilton favours a distinctly abstract approach where vibraphone and tape merge into a seamless if monochrome continuum, whereas Psathas juxtaposes his marimba with ‘junk percussion’ and tape backdrop whose tangibly jazz overtones provide a semblance of narrative in this absorbing two-part concept with its insinuating atmosphere.
Genuin’s recording is a model of how to present music for percussion within a spacious yet believable acoustic, and Sietzen provides a succinctly informative booklet note. Also found here are arrangements of miniatures by Arvo Pärt, the artless poise of For Anna Maria and halting eloquence of Variations for the Healing of Arinushka, both realised with conviction. Maybe Pärt will yet write an original piece for this most questing of younger percussionists.