Percussive Hits

One Man, Two Hands, Four Mallets

Victoria, BC –October 16, 2015

The Victoria Symphony’s upcoming concert Percussive Hits includes pieces written in the past 50 years highlighting percussion. Soloists VS Principal Percussionist Corey Rae on marimba and guest Ed Hanley on tabla will make this concert exciting for both the eyes and the ears.

VS Principal Percussionist Corey Rae will play a large solo for his first time since joining the orchestra in 2012. The Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra by Emmanuel Séjourné is a challenge for any percussionist, requiring coordination to play four mallets continuously throughout the 17-minute work. In addition to the visual acrobatics, a beautiful melody makes up the theme of each movement, carefully blending with the periodic dissonance. The showy work from 2005 has quickly entered the standard repertoire for marimba players, and will be enjoyable for all.

It is also unlikely concertgoers will have heard the second work with percussion solo, Diunk Wijeratne’s Concerto for Tabla and Orchestra. Wijeratne, a Sri-Lankan born, Canadian-based pianist labelled “exuberantly creative” by the New York Times, has integrated cultural influences of the Hindustani tabla into this upbeat concerto. Symphony Nova Scotia commissioned this work in 2011, which Wijeratne wrote specifically for tabla phenom Ed Hanley. The work’s premiere conductor (and VS Principal Guest Conductor) Bernhard Gueller will once again lead Ed Hanley through it October 24 with the Victoria Symphony.

In addition to these two percussive works, Gueller will also lead the strings and a percussionist through Arvo Pärt’s exquisite Fratres. One of Pärt’s most well-known works, Fratres celebrates dissonance and highlights its stark beauty, resulting in haunting music perfect for the setting of the Alix Goolden Hall. The lone “museum piece” work on the programme, Haydn’s “Drum Roll” Symphony, will bring the orchestra to life with its delightful melodies and rousing timpani part. Ninaivanjali by Quebecois Gabriel Dharmoo completes the evening.

Click here for concert information.