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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mathias Reumert, Solo, DVD

The prospects of a modern classical solo percussion recital DVD is one that appeals to this writer. After all, I studied classical percussion and have followed the music with interest for a long time. So when percussion adept Mathias Reumert and his video DVD Solo (Metier) became available recently, I made sure to get a copy for review.

It is a wide-ranging recital showing Reumert as a masterful exponent, someone with impressive technique and poetic interpretive skills, and a real dramatic, theatrical flair. All of this is very much a part of the works performed, in varying degrees according to the needs of each piece.

One first notices the excellent quality of the sound and the very musically sensitive video direction of Christian Holten Bonke. The choice of camera angles and cuts follows the music intelligently, and the works that call for special animated aspects and/or strong general visual components work especially well here.

We see this in the body percussion/theater work "?Corporel" by Vinko Globokar--as Reumert makes unusual percussive and expressive gestures showing a thorough command of the requirements of the work. The video representation of what is intended joins with the performance for something quite engaging.

There are nicely composed solo vibraphone and marimba works by Hans Werner Henze and Franco Donatoni that are played with true artistry.

The opening work "Time & Money" by Pierre Jodlowski has an extraordinary choreographed gestural dimension as well as difficult virtuoso drum set passages synchronized with electronics--all of which are executed with great skill and a theatrical presence.

Some of the high points are the two works by Xenakis, "Psappha" and "Rebonds," both with demanding multi-drum, multi-percussion solo parts that Reumert handles with great fluidity and musical logic. Ferneyhough's "Bone Alphabet" makes similar demands and is visually stimulating in its precision correlation of percussive parts and lighting effects.

In the end the video-DVD-high quality sound medium broadens the appreciation of the visual components of each work and the physicality of playing it, the theatrical elements, and the impressive virtuosity and artistry of Reumert.

Anyone interested in the possibilities of avant modern solo percussion will find this a fascinating and very provocative, even exciting recital. Reumert is extraordinary! Highly recommended.

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