The writing of this concerto, which premiered in 2000, was inspired by the largest commissioning consortium to date in music history—39 orchestras. It was also sparked by interest among timpanists based on the composer’s well-known percussion concerto The Glory and the Grandeur and percussion trio Lift-Off. It is visually stimulating due to the unusual variety of mallets and brilliant sticking. Harmonic Rhythmrequires 5 drums (4 standard sizes plus a piccolo drum).
A primary feature is the melodic writing for the timpani, which shows the instrument’s expressive range extending into areas of surprising lyricism. There is powerful action, too, of course, with jazz and rock influences, leading to a very big ending.
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