Magazine article Musical Opinion

4-Mality on the South Bank

Magazine article Musical Opinion

4-Mality on the South Bank

Article excerpt

If an entire programme of percussion music could seem a challenge for most, all doubts were dispelled by the sheer excitement and entertaining energy of the concert by 4-Mality, a percussion quartet presented by Young Concert Artists Trust at the Purcell Room on 29 November. Their appeal, already evident at their successful YCAT Wigmore Hall auditions last June and the Purcell Room's recent Rhythm Sticks Festival, derives from variety, virtuosity and versatility. This ensemble of young percussionists, all performers with major orchestras, was formed in 1999 by Adrian Spillett who is the only percussionist ever to win the BBC Young Musicians of the Year Prize, which he did in 1998. Their programme combined minimalism, African and Japanese drumming and contemporary styles and several works composed by members of the group. One such was the opening piece Monsoon by Stephen Whibley, who later gave a scintillating Marimba solo, the Mexican Bem Vindo by Ney Rosauro which unusually demands five mallets to be played simultaneously.

In Monsoon we were swamped with brilliant washes of colour and polyrhythmic accents, from a bubbling minimalist fabric for four Marimbas centre-stage. This piece set the tone for the whole recital, particularly the climactic final work In-Line by Jan Bradley, in which all four players, seated at full drum kits, maintained and developed thrusting patterns of pulses. The intricately coordinated melody of timbres, drums, woodblocks and cymbals formed a gripping visual and sonic ballet. …

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