Review: Evelyn Glennie at Lichfield Cathedral

The award-winning, world class percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the pianist Philip Smith played a set of complicated music from around the world when they appeared at Lichfield Cathedral as part of the 2017 Lichfield Festival.

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Dame Evelyn Glennie

A large audience was in held in rapt attention as the Scottish musician moved around a stage that was heavily festooned with instruments that could be hit, stroked, or bring forth any type of noise, ranging from a series of cymbals and gongs, to large drums, timpani, glockenspiel and marimba.

The acoustics of the cathedral showed off the full colour of Glennie’s range, while the piano accompaniment was equally as impressive, leading the charge when required, but providing interesting and subtle tonal colours when playing along.

The music played ranged from a simple arrangement of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music, arranged for solo hand percussion, to a number of double concertos for piano and percussion, by the likes of Roberto Sierra.

A few other pieces used subtle tape loops and required complete concentration from both of the players, and while most of the music required serious listening and thought, there was enough in this concert to show just how influential Evelyn Glennie continues to be, as a performer, a composer, and as a spokesperson for the position and importance that percussion plays in orchestral music.

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