Other than the voice, there is no musical instrument more fundamental than the drum. One of the oddities of Western classical music is how the drum, and percussion in general—save for the piano—so fell out of favor between the Middle Ages and the late 19th century. One of the most important and satisfying features of classical music since the turn of the 20th century has been the prominent return of percussion, and the proliferation of great, percussion based music.
Tonight, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents a concert they’ve titled “Drumming,” percussion music and nothing but. Two pianists—Wu Han and Gilbet Kalish—and for mallet percussionists—Victor Caccese, Christopher Froh, Ayano Kataoka, and Ian David Rosenbaum—will play almost a century’s worth of percussion music, including Bartók’s extraordinary Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Toru Takemitsu’s beautiful Rain Tree, and Part 1 of Steve Reich’s exhilarating, mesmerizing Drumming. The program also includes Cage, Thierry de Mey, Djuro Živković, and a percussion arrangement of Conlon Nancarrow’s Piece for Tape.
It’s an open secret that the Chamber Music Society is one of the finest modern music ensembles in New York, and music like this will not only please the ears but thrill the eyes.
“Drumming” takes place 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Alice Tully Hall. chambermusicsociety.org