Magazine article Gramophone

McCormicks Play Gillingham, Mobley, Noon and Santos

Magazine article Gramophone

McCormicks Play Gillingham, Mobley, Noon and Santos

Article excerpt

'Concerti for piano with Percussion Orchestra'

Gillingham Concerto for Piano and Percussion Orchestra Mobley [Pleez], (Plez), /Pliz/ Noon Piano Concerto No 3, Op 232 Santos Moppets Ji Hyun Kim pf McCormick Percussion Group/ Robert McCormick Ravello [F] RR7862 (60' * DDD)

For their fifth Ravello release, the McCormick Percussion Group, whose leader Robert McCormick was a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble and principal percussionist of the Florida Orchestra for 20 years, present two eight-minute-long tours deforce as the prelude to the two three-movement concertos.

Throughout, the composers use percussion as a conventional partnering orchestra that just happens to take a Partch-like delight in sound; David Noon's Piano Concerto No 3is particularly adventurous in this regard, using eight percussionists playing 84 instruments. Also throughout are conventional harmonies and structures, meaning that any orchestra with the courage to programme this genre would find a very happy audience. Equally consistent is the soloist's role, which Ji Hyun Kim handles with industry and, when the music allows, both spellbinding virtuosity and limpid eloquence.

The more conventional of the two concertos is David Gillingham's Concerto for Piano and Percussion Orchestra, commissioned by a consortium of universities in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and ahigh school in Ohio. The music abounds with influences ranging from Saint-Saens (think the 'Aquarium' section from Carnival of the Animals) to Satie, unified by neo-romantic waves of sound that, at times, suggest Rachmaninov. …

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