HK Gruber: Percussion Concertos

HK Gruber: Percussion Concertos

Juanjo Mena, BBC Philharmonic, Colin Currie

  • Image for album


  • Rough Music: I. Toberac

    Colin Currie, Juanjo Mena, BBC Philharmonic


  • Rough Music: II. Shivaree

    Colin Currie, Juanjo Mena, BBC Philharmonic


  • Rough Music: III. Charivari (pour Henri Sauguet, au tombeau de Monsieur le Pauvre)

    Colin Currie, Juanjo Mena, BBC Philharmonic


  • into the open…

    Colin Currie, John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic


  • Total playing time


Album review

“Percussion concertos are more common than they used to be, but HK Gruber, whose background includes both avant-garde ensembles and mainstream orchestral playing, may be the only composer to have written more than one. Both of the works here are dense but quite entertaining. They were written some years apart; Rough Music dates from 1982-1983, while into the open..., had its premiere in 2015, in the BBC Proms performance recorded here. Rough Music is perhaps the easier introduction to Gruber's idiom, which includes a lot of percussion, even in other works. It is not really a three-movement concerto in the conventional sense but is a set of three shorter pieces in which the mood careens around like a silent film soundtrack. In into the open..., the orchestra and the percussionist are slowly woven together in a big arch. The percussionist is Colin Currie, who has issued several albums on his own label and seems intent on building a tradition of percussion recordings like nothing seen since the heyday of Evelyn Glennie (who is still around and shortly before the 2021 release of this album issued her own album of percussion concertos). Special notice is due to the BBC engineers and to the BBC Philharmonic conductors, Juanjo Mena and John Storgårds, who kept complex masses of sound crystal clear. The performance of Rough Music was made in 2013, and no explanation is given for why the album took six years to appear. If it was a case of filling a release schedule depleted due to the coronavirus epidemic, then it is a bright side to that grim story.”

Album review provided by TiVo. This content is not produced by Primephonic, and any views expressed are the review author’s own.



    19 March 2021