Percussion XX

A DVD-Audio designed to demonstrate the potential of the new medium, but not one to have you running for cover

Author: 
mscott rohan

Percussion XX

  • Prison Song
  • Monodrame I
  • Orion M42
  • (8) Pieces for Four Timpani, Saëta
  • (8) Pieces for Four Timpani, Canto
  • (8) Pieces for Four Timpani, March
  • Cartridge Music
  • Zyklus
  • Appendice alla perfezione
  • Towards

From the title, and the fact that its one of the first discs to bear the DVD-Audio logo, you might expect this to be a searing multi-dimensional sonic demonstration, but its nothing so brash. Italian percussionist Jonathan Faralli does not, as far as I can find, have any other recordings in the current catalogue, but he has a strong pedigree both in his native Italy and abroad. On the evidence of this disc, he is a skilled performer with a minimalist bent; most of these pieces tend to rapt contemplation rather than cacophony. The Carter timpani pieces produce some vigorous bashing, but it was Cage's cymbal snaps in perhaps the least likeable piece here that made me fear for my speakers and my ears.
The opening Henze piece is rather dated, a 1971 dramatization of a passage from Ho Chi Minh's prison diary set against a manufactured background of prison sounds, occasionally unintentionally Goonish in effect. Taira's piece, with a hint of Japanese theatre percussion, is much sparser and more impressive, and Brindle's astronomical meditation, despite a throbbing central section, more transcendent than showy. Stockhausen and Sciarrino left an impression of form triumphing over content, but the final Tanguy piece, with its 'rhythmic polyphony', is a lot more interesting. This will appeal chiefly to those already well grounded in this repertoire, and for me it did not gain greatly from the new medium, except perhaps in some slight sense of extra space around the instruments.
''Title of Work''>'

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