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
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.