Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday music: why do some people choose percussion or double bass for music careers?

I do have a few notes from Palm Sunday, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA.
The choir performed the anthem “Hosanna” by Dutch composer Kent Newbury (link) with piano and double bass.  The bass instrument was played by Ann Marlowe.  This is interesting because I have always wondered how young adults decide to take up the instrument (instead of cello or violin).  

There are very few solo concerti for bass (although Eduard Tubin, Estonian composer, has one in A Minor, as played here in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia by Igor Eliseev

I have that work on Bis with Hakan Ehren and Neeme Jarvi conducting the Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra.
Carol Feather Martin also played two major organ works by RobertPowell, “Hebrew Children Bring Olive Branches” and “Hosanna to the Son of David.”  Powell is American (b. 1932), but the style is English pastoral, right out of Vaughn Williams (especially the David postlude), which still achieves its own style of triumph.  Someday, I need to hear the Vaughn Williams Fourth Symphony in a live concert.

As for less “popular” instruments for conventional soloists, I could mention the website of Harvard student percussionist Grant Hoechst, who played at Trinity Presbyterian in December 2012.  His long resume of works performed includes Mahler (at Berkshire).  Of course, now when we think about percussion, we think of the movie “Whiplash” with the performance of the student by Miles Teller, not to mention the brutal teacher played by J. K. Simmons (Movies blog Oct. 18, 2014). 

Update: June 3.  Hoechst seems to have added some more music, a percussion duo piece, call it necoclassical. 

No comments: