Published on July 29, 2022 by Laurence Vittes | Share this post!
“…this new recital of four premiere recordings demonstrates the kind of high-quality repertoire that is emerging through new compositions and collaborations.”
It was only six years ago that Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion became the first percussion group to win a Grammy in the chamber music category, with an all-Steve Reich CD celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday. Since then percussion groups have become increasingly popular, and this new recital of four premiere recordings demonstrates the kind of high-quality repertoire that is emerging through new compositions and collaborations.
In Danny Elfman’s entertaining, finely structured Percussion Quartet there are moments of poetry and, in the last movement, a spectral haunting with chimes. The electronic musician known as Jlin has created in her Perspective a series of stunning études that originated as electronic tracks, from which Third Coast created this performing version, with the painful beauty of ‘Obscure’ and the exquisite chrysalis of ‘Duality’ among the highlights. Third Coast’s arrangement of Glass’s Metamorphosis No 1, inspired by the recording made by Uakti, is dazzling.
After all of this has been achieved on unpitched instruments alone, marked by the sadness that comes with their decaying tones, the recital ends with a literally playful collaboration, titled Rubix after the cube, between Third Coast and the two pitched instruments of Flutronix (flautists Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull). Based on textures, sketches and performance instructions, the music has a mesmerisingly ephemeral quality, ending in a radiant Cirque du Soleil yearning.
The recordings made at the Chicago Recording Company have a delicacy and physical beauty in addition to their dynamic impact and clarity.