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Virtuoso Timpani Concertos (edited and published by Harrison POWLEY)
Georg DRUSCHETZKY (1784-1819)
Concerto per 6 Timpani and Orchestra (late 1790s) [15.26]
Partita in C (late 1790s) [15.07]
André PHILIDOR (c. 1647-1730) and Jacques PHILIDOR (1657-1708)
Marche de timballes (1685) [3.37]
Johann Carl Christian FISCHER (1752-1807)
Symphonie mit acht obligaten pauken (1780s) [14.39]
Johann Melchior MOLTER (1697-1765)
Sinfonia No. 99 (1750) [15.12]
Johann Christoph GRAUPNER (1683-1760)
Sinfonia a 2 corni, timpani, 2 violini, viola, e cembalo (1747) [14.46]
Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Orchestra/Alexander Peter, solo timpanist and conductor.
Recorded at the Lutherkirche, Radebul, Germany, 10 September 2003.
Notes in English and Deutsch.
Photo of orchestra with listing of all players and photo and full credits of score editor Harrison Powley.
NAXOS 8.557610 [78.38]

 

Most people you would play this disk for would think it’s some kind of joke: the sound of a classical orchestra playing with some guy beating drums in the foreground.  Every now and then the timpani line will echo a line in the strings or brass, suggesting a dialogue.  These are smaller, melodic-tuned timpani, playing in the baritone range, and my Ph.D.(Mus) friend says they should be called ‘tambours’ instead. It will surely come as a surprise to most music-lovers, as it did to me, that this period of music produced such ensembles, apart from the usual military music, such as the Philidor work.  Persons familiar with 20th century percussion music will not find here much of an antecedent to the Milhaud Concerto or the Chavez Toccata.  The Druschetzsky works have an almost Beethovenian aesthetic.

One could have a whole collection of works by composers named Johann Fischer.  Do not confuse Johann Carl Christian Fischer with Johann Kaspar (or Caspar) Ferdinand Fischer, nor Johann Christoff Friedrich Fischer, et al.  Of the set, Johann Kaspar Ferdinand Fischer is by far the best composer, with the lengthy passacaglia dedicated to Urania from his harpsichord suites on the Nine Muses, made famous by Landowska and her students, as the finale.  But that music bears no relationship to anything on this disk.

The score editor, Professor Harrison Powley of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, and past President of the American Musical Instrument Society, gets a full page of credits including a full face portrait. The performers get one color photo of all of them together, and a fine print listing of all orchestra personnel. No pictures of the composers are included, evidently in the thought that they provided merely the rough scaffolding upon which the score editor erected his magnificent creation.  Whether this is a joke or not, it’s the law, and you’d better get used to it.

Paul Shoemaker

 

 

 

 

 


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