This concert featured graduate student Gregory J. Simonds as well as other percussionists from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The performed compositions included J.S. Bach’s Lute Suite in E Minor, G.H. Green’s Log Cabin Blues, and Arvo Part’s Spiegel im Spiegel.
Bach, was the opening song. Alemande and Gigue performed this piece very musically and with great accuracy. This showcase of talent was a superior way to draw in the audience from the very start. With only two performers playing such a serious piece, this song could have easily dragged, becoming boring and losing the attention of much of the audience. Alemande and Gigue, however, did a superior job. I never thought I would hear this piece performed by percussion only – and it was great.
The second song, Log Cabin Blues, by G.H. Green, provided an enjoyably light, fun contrast to the seriousness of the first piece. I couldn’t help but tap my foot along to the beat of this upbeat song. Katy La Farve, Jonathon Goldstein, Ryder Shelly and Iskandar Rashid carried away the delightful tune on the marimbas while Keaton Snyder kept the beat on the drum set. Particularly enjoyable was the part of the lead marimba, which was fast and covered a wide range of pitches. In the past I have encountered percussion and other ensembles that fail to attend to dynamics in their musical performances, especially in a fast-paced song like this that requires the performers to focus on so many other things. This group managed to include fantastic dynamic contrast, and it was delightful. These performers really got into the song – and in effect, so did the audience.
After several other percussion excerpts from various composers, the final piece, Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Part, was performed. ...
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