Sunday, July 28, 2019
Thomas Kozumplik, Child of the Earth, A Symphony for Percussion, Jonathan Haas, New York University Percussion Ensemble
It is a work formed understandably of some nicely complex rhythmic-melodic elements as much through-composed as sometimes slightly hypnotic (without being specifically Minimalist). There is development, movement, growth throughout, along with a deft scoring knack. Mallets and pitched percussion instruments take on a critical role yet naturally unpitched "drums" per se are out front in the proceedings as well.
The final movement, "Beauty and its Passing," has much rhythmic drive and a near-Rock riff insistence that wins the day and brings considerable memorability to the experience of listening. The three movements before it are more overtly Modernist at times in their open through-composed qualities, yet they too often enough can be based around rhythmic or harmonic cycles and/or pedal point-drones that recur and vary.
When considering the intrinsic merits of both the work and its thoroughgoing idiomatic performance by Haas and the New York University Percussion Ensemble there is no doubt that we have a landmark percussion ensemble development, as much a pleasure to hear as it no doubt it is to perform. Very recommended for percussion and Modern New Music Postmodern enthusiasts.