Concert review

 Park Lane Group at Fiddlesticks

Recital by Pedro Carneiro at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 22 July 1999

This young Portuguese percussionist caused a stir in Park Lane Group's showcase series of Young Artists Concerts in January, and he fully deserved a return appearance in South Bank Centre's summer percussion festival.

In 1997 he had won important awards in his native country at the Guildhall School of Music in London. His solo recital programme, which eschewed the easy success of including popular favourites, was a predictably invigorating event, but Carneiro's virtuosity is worn lightly, and he maintains enviable relaxation whilst performing prodigious athletic feats in demanding contemporary music. Eugene Novotney required him to play a snare drum in eleven different ways, with sticks, beaters, hands, brushes etc. Keiko Abe is a Japanese composer and teacher, and the marimba virtuoso who has been most responsible for raising the profile of her instrument. Abe and Zivcovic demonstrated the expressive variety obtainable from the marimba. Pedro Carneiro's marimba group ended with Schwantner's moto perpetuo, Velocities, which develops a series of four, five, six and seven pitch sets in constantly changing metres. Finally, a major work by Xenakis, Rebonds for bongos, tom-toms, conga, bass drums and wood-blocks, a ritualistic web of complex rhythms in two substantial movements, rated as one of the composer's masterpieces.

With a full diary, and two CDs on the way, Pedro Carneiro's future seems assured in the new generation of solo percussionists to follow Evelyn Glennie, whose own recording of Schwanter's Velocities can be heard on The Music of Joseph Schwanter on BMG Classics 09026 68692 2). purchase


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