COMPOSERS: Bennett,Milhaud,Rosauro and Miyoshi
LABELS: RCA Victor Red Seal
WORKS: Concertos for Percussion by Milhaud, Bennett, Rosauro and Miyoshi
PERFORMER: Evelyn Glennie (percussion)Scottish CO/Paul Daniel
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61277-2 DDD
Milhaud’s concerto is really a concentrated tone poem, reflecting his easy assimilation of styles: neo-classicism, jazz, Hispanic. Surprisingly, after the Satie-like, brash opening, the central section is a kind of Sibelian waste, lonely and muted. The Bennett concerto, premiered by Glennie, gains in stature with each hearing. Appealing woodwind and string solos are shaped with unusual clarity by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, so that Bennett’s natural lyricism shines through.
This inventive work unfolds sequentially, like opera, with passages of Tippett-like dance or Brittenesque brooding, that build and dissolve, enhanced by an ambivalent Bergian underlay. The Brazilian Ney Rosauro’s concerto, which is for marimba, is launched with a busy perpetuo moto. A sad idyll then concentrates on a folk-like solo line, beautifully set in relief by solo strings in outer registers. Thereafter, despite a pirouetting cadenza, ideas run thin.
By contrast, the dark opening of Akira Miyoshi’s short concerto (also for marimba) takes on the dream-like intensity of a Japanese Noh-play, and heralds a journey in which a clustering initial bass figure is teased onto upper strings and unravelled by the soloist, before easing back to its primeval, contracted state. These accessible works offer the skilful Evelyn Glennie ample chance to explore a range of instrumental timbres. Roderic Dunnett