Anticipation and absurdity / Dor Fischer
Written for and dedicated to Tremolo Ensemble
Dor Fischer about the Concerto:
“The great challenge this piece presented me as a composer is finidng what the percussionist has to say. What unique music lives within him, music that’s completely unique to his instrument, and doesn’t get a chance to be heard in an ordinary orchestral context. Because the ensemble consists of five percussion soloists, one must think of them as a single entity and not as individual soloists. In keeping with traditions of the Concerto Grosso, the real charm of writing for a group of soloists stems from writing for an ensemble and the power that lies within it. In addition, a further dimension is the combination of the aforementioned with an orchestral texture; an aggregate that gives birth to exceptional combinations of textures and new coloristic effects: the possibilities are limitless.
The piece is divided into two movements: “Anticipation” and “Theatre of the Absurd”, played without pause.
The first movement is presents a state of imminent growth and development, allways expectant of the future, hence the name ̶ Anticipation. It begins with a whisper of rapid notes (perpetum mobile) on the two Marimbas and the Vibraphone. Then comes a second, slower motif that is reminicent of “Dies Irae”. It is first played by the Horns and Trumpets and later by the Timpani, on top of the perpetum mobile.
The movement reaches a momentary climax during which the Drums enter with full force to a quassi-cadenza that reminds one of Japanese Kodo drummers. At this point time seems to freeze as the orchestra seems to daydream in bubbling figures with no clear sense of time or beat.
After the reintroduction of the perpetum mobile, the orchestra regroups and the music once more begins to grow, up to a dazzling statement of the slow theme by the Trumpets and Horns in unison. The orchestra ends the movement with a mysterious and ominous crescendo chord, that leads directly to the sudden explosion of energy that opens the second movement.
The second movement, Theatre of the Absurd, is almost programmatic. The title is borrowed from the world of theatre: to me, the Theatre of the Absurd is an unpredictable theatrical spectacle, that sometimes features dream-like qualities in terms of its’ structure and content. This movement deals with a clashing of two opposing musical ideas – one is aggressive and unhindered; the other precise, held back and restrained– as a musical depiction of theatre of the absurd, or a particularly strange and fantastic dream. Each musical idea has a distinct tempo: the first – fast and wild, showcases the loud tom-tom drums, and the second: moderate and calculated, presented later by the careful playing of wood blocks and snare drum in a sudden and sharp change of mood.
As the movement progresses, the two opposing musics develop and are played alternatingly with ever increasing frequency, until they reach a climax and both musics are played in two simultaneous speeds at full force: music that is borderline chaotic and orderly.
The movement ends with a cadenza, at the end of which the ensemble is nearly exhausted of the constant struggle: gasping for air, they gradually slow down to a complete and thundering standstill.
Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! / Avner Dorman
Percussion Quintet Version
Avner Dorman: “The title Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! refers to three substances that are extremely appealing, yet filled with danger. Spices delight the palate, but can cause illness; perfumes seduce, but can also betray; toxins bring ecstasy, but are deadly. The concerto combines Middle-Eastern drums, orchestral percussion, and rock drums with orchestral forces – a unique sound both enticing and dangerous.
Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! is a result of years of collaboration with PercaDu. While we were still students at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv, Tomer and Adi asked me to write a piece for them. All three of us aimed at a piece that would be markedly Israeli and would reflect young Israeli culture. The process of composing the piece involved working closely with PercaDu on my ideas and testing them on the instruments long before the piece was done. In hindsight, I believe that the most important choice in making the piece sound Israeli was the use of four Darbukas and Tom-Toms in addition to the Marimbas.
Spices – the first movement draws its inspiration from the music of our region (extending its boundaries to the east as far as the Indian sub-continent). The piece is largely based on Middle-Eastern and Indian scales and uses the Indian system of Talas for rhythmic organization. I use these elements within a large-scale dramatic form and employ repetitive minimalism as it appears in the music traditions of the East and in the works of Western minimalists of the past forty years. Approximately at the movement’s golden section there is a cadenza that percusses the last movement of the concerto.
In Perfumes I use what I call multicultural polyphony. The opening theme of the movement (in the marimba) is reminiscent of Baroque arias. The three flutes that accompany the melody (regular, alto, and bass) echo the ornamental nature of the melody and transform it into lines characteristic of Middle-Eastern folk music. At the same time, the bass line borrows its sound from the world of Jazz. Each part of the texture contributes the “soul” of its genre, so to speak, in an effort to create a humanistic whole that express the diversity of our time and culture. As the movement progresses the soloists and orchestra embark on a colorful journey from the seductive to the dangerous.
In Toxins! the soloists use the entire variety of percussion instruments at their disposal. The movement is based on alternation between an aggressive rhythmic pattern (played on drum-sets) along with varied mallet instruments and passionate outbursts in the orchestra. It swings like a pendulum between extreme joyous ecstasy and obsessive anxiety, pain, and delusions. As the movement develops, the music becomes increasingly fanatical until the final outburst of catharsis and death.”
14 years after Avner Dorman composed and dedicated his first Percussion Concerto to PercaDu, Tremolo Ensemble and Avner had made an exciting percussion array version for percussion Quintet and Orchestra.
The Title says it all and you can actually taste, smell and be choked by the vast sounds of instruments from the Far-East, Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Pines of Rome / Ottorino Respighi
These days, the Ensemble is working on an exciting project- re arranging Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi into a percussion quintet concerto and orchestra.
This Metamorphosis of the iconic Composition Pines of Rome will be presented at the end of 2020-2021 season. Don’t forget to keep on follow this track…!!!