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MacMillan: The Confession of Isobel Gowdie; Ades: Chamber Symphony, Op. 2; Higdon: Percussion Concerto

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 27, 2009
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  • MacMillan: The Confession of Isobel Gowdie; Ades: Chamber Symphony, Op. 2; Higdon: Percussion Concerto
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

James MacMillan : The Confession of Isobel Gowdie - Thomas Adès : Chamber Symphony - Jennifer Higdon : Percussion Concerto / Colin Currie, percussion - London Philharmonic Orchestra - Marin Alsop, direction

Review

2010 GRAMMY award - Best Classical Contemporary Composition for Percussion Concerto by Jennifer Higdon -- National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 2010
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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5:34
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3:26
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1:50
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1:49
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Alsop
  • Composer: Macmillan, Higdon
  • Audio CD (January 27, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: LPO
  • ASIN: B001GG7DRU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By B. J. Martell on September 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I bought this cd after listening to Currie perform this live with the New Zealand SO. As a percussionist myself, I find percussion works can be so hit and miss; so many composers either write for the medium just to be experimental with sound or clever, or make a serious attempt at a percussion concerto with genuine musicality but just don't get percussionists. It's always a gamble going to watch a percussion work you haven't heard.

I was encouraged by the fact the Higdon won a Grammy award for the work. That was the first sign I got it was a good work. But hearing it live was fantastic. It was written for Currie, and you get the sense that he truly knows the work and is one with it. The work did have a fair bit of musicality, and there wasn't really a weak point in the writing - if there was, some of the tuned passages are a little uninspired, but much of it has real melody and it manages to be fairly conventional in the way it pulls together. The orchestral instrumentation was really good, and fit well with the percussion. One of the highlights of the piece is a great duet betwen Currie and one of the house percussionists.

It really covers off a wide range of contrasts, there are great melodies, rhythms and textures which conjure up different genres. Some of it felt quite Gershwinesque, and there was a hint of jazz at times; other spots reminded me of more modern composers such as Arvo Part. However, dispite the wide range covered in the concerto, I never once felt that the concerto was trying too hard, the transitions felt natural and musical.

I can't sing the praises high enough of Colin Currie or Jennifer Higdon's concerto. The recording with the LPO is lovely. This recording alone is worth the price of the disc.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this recording because I will be hearing Currie play the percussion concerto next month at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Enjoyed it very much. Didn't like the rest of the album as much, but that may come with further listening.
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