The Percussion Music of James Wood



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Mode Records - A Record Label Devoted to New Music The Percussion Music of James Wood


James Wood is one of England's leading composers of the younger generation. Composer, conductor and virtuoso percussionist, Wood has received commissions from the Arditti Quartet, BBC Proms and The Kings Singers and is also founder/director of the New London Chamber Choir and London's Center for Microtonal Music.

Wood's unique writing for percussion is showcased on this CD containing two major works for percussion ensemble performing on a large array of instruments, including some of his own design and construction.

Village Burial with Fire evokes a princely Hindu funeral ceremony, dealing with death and the after-life from an earthly point of view. Spirit Festival with Lamentations looks at the same phenomenon from the side of the spirit world , featuring Robert van Sice as soloist on a quatertone-marimba. Both works incorporate chants derived from the vocal language of Sri-Lankan drummers.

With this release, Mode is proud to begin a new series with Robert van Sice, considered to be the world's leading exponent of contemporary marimba music. Concert tours have taken him across four continents, including numerous premieres of concertos, chamber and solo works by leading composers. Van Sice regularly appears in Europe's major contemporary music festivals and with leading ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Contrechamps and L'Itineraire.

The young Dutch percussion quartet Percussive Rotterdam make their recorded debut here. Formed in 1991 around Village Burial with Fire, they have toured extensively around Europe and the U.S. Their awards include the prestigious Kranichstein Musikpreis from Darmstadt, Germany as well as second prize in the 1993 Gaudeamus Competition in Holland.


Reviews:

"Percussive Rotterdam's performance of James Wood's Village Burial with Fire... a ritual composition which connects European and non-European traditions...was extraordinary"
---Heinz Zietsch, Darmstadter Echo

"One of the greatest artists of his generation, Robert van Sice presented Spirit Festival with Lamentations...conceived as an ancestral pagan rite, it excites all the dramatic and expressive resources of the musicians. Superb!"
---Martine Dumont & Thierry Lassence, La Libre
    Belgique


"'Men from Rotterdam excel'...well played, as this was, it is irresistible"
---Lynna Sedlak, Buffalo News


Related Resources:

Kaija Saariaho: New Gates (mode 91)




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