THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

NO CAPTION
Music and Opera reporting on TheaterJones.com is made possible by The University of North Texas College of Music.
Select the link below to discover more.

Review: Switch: Percussion Concerto | Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Bass Performance Hall


Mr. Tambourine Man

The Fort Worth Symphony bangs all the gongs with Andrew Norman's percussion concerto, Switch.



published Saturday, April 6, 2019

Photo: Jessa Anderson
Composer Andrew Norman

 

Fort Worth — The Friday night Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra concert at Bass Performance Hall was an interesting collection of not so modern and oh-so modern pieces.

After the traditional “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a warm welcome was offered by Music Director Miguel-Harth Bedoya. Good that Maestro Bedoya, to begin his final of 20 seasons this September with the FWSO, explained the not-so-apparent Bohemian and percussive theme of the evening. This is somewhat in keeping with what he has consistently brought to our musical community: spice and rhythm.

Written in 1891, Carnival Overture by Antonín Dvořák is effervescent, dancelike and a fun introduction to the classical music of central Europe in and around what is now the Czech Republic. It also acted as a warmup for a busy night from the FWSO’s percussionists. Principal Keith Williams, Assistant Principal Nicholas Sakakeeny, and Jack-and-Jane-of-all-trades Deborah Mashburn and Brad Wagner got to stretch their sleeves and wrap their knuckles around countless finger skills demanded from the program. Dvořák wrote a difficult-to-master thumb roll on the tambourine for this “Life” part of his “Nature, Life, Love” trilogy. What other instrument besides a tambourine does one have to flip around in order for it to play correctly?

Most classical musicians master only one instrument and might specialize in a related one like flute to piccolo or trombone to bass trombone. One exception is a woodwind specialist, who can switch hit on all flutes, saxophones and clarinet. However, the concert percussionist has an expectation of multi-instrumentalism. While some might specialize in marimba or timpani, every member of a symphony’s rhythm section must be adept at all cymbals, drums, and other miscellanea. Standing behind their symphonic siblings, these rhythmatists go from xylophones to bass and snare drums to all manner of noise makers. Their job being to lock in tempo and, less obviously, to add sonic color.

For the last 100 and a dozen years, modern art has employed a shock factor as modern music has gradually become less tonal and more rhythmic centered. Our contemporary condition of which is Switch (Percussion Concerto) by Andrew Norman, commissioned by the Utah Symphony in 2015 for guest artist Collin Currie, whose London music festival for drummers is aptly named Wood Metal Skin. Standing next to an array of gongs, congas, tin cans and bells, Norman told how the “switch” in the music is a channel-changing sound (slap stick and kick drum) and how at the sound of its “clump” the orchestra would abruptly and repeatedly change direction. Perfect for our time of fragmented sound bites and ADHD attention spans.

Imagine the soundtrack accompanying the movie line, “The call is coming from inside the house” and the horror movie trope “BOO” jumping out from the shadows, and you get the running entrance of Currie to his battery of toys, grabbing mallets and going to town. Then commenced the following: Multi-meter knocks, tuned gongs with woodwinds, noise clouds, John Adams-like brass phrases, woodwinds and tuba mutes, log drum trios, conga trios and a partridge in a bell tree. The most effective and emotional textural combination came from bowed vibraphone, piano trill, harp, and temple bells. A pianissimo ending and a slow walk-off by Currie was memorably capped off by Bedoya literally flipping the switch to turn off the house lights to black out. After such a sonic shiatzu massage, the errant cough or phone buzz did not disturb.

Thankfully, our FWSO continues stretching with program choices like Symphony No. 1 by Bohuslav Martinů. The Czech immigrant to America wrote his first symphony in 1941 as partly a reaction to the horrors in WWII. Conventional, underappreciated and anti-climactic following such a dramatic drumming display, the audience knew enough not to clap between movements but not enough to put away some phone screens. Modern times indeed. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Mr. Tambourine Man
The Fort Worth Symphony bangs all the gongs with Andrew Norman's percussion concerto, Switch.
by Rob Laney

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie Bruce Wood Dance Harvest Casa Manana Tuck Everlasting The Petite Palace Circus Single Black Female Circle Theatre The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe Ann Wild Party The Sleeping Beauty Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth Dallas Opera Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Stage West Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit