Colin Currie Premieres Andy Akiho’s Percussion Concerto with Oregon Symphony
Colin Currie spoke about his recent experience performing the world premiere of Andy Akiho’s Percussion Concerto with Oregon Symphony, conducted by David Danzmayr:
“The new Andy Akiho concerto has completely blown me away, with its verve, joy, depth of emotion and vibrancy of colours. The superb orchestration and fabulous harnessing of symphonic power made a huge impression at the premiere, not just with myself but the audience, who went wild for the piece, and also the orchestral musicians who rallied enthusiastically around this work. In four movements, the percussion set-ups are clear and distinct, and very well-designed.
Movement 1 is an octave of tuned rice bowls, amplified to stunning affect. I play them with four chopsticks and the colours and excitement of this movement are simply extraordinary.
Movement 2 is the slow movement, with a big-hearted marimba solo pitted over sonorous and occasionally agitated strings, and eventually a huge orchestral outpouring, with increasingly intense harmonies coming through.
The 3rd movement is the surprise piece of the work – a spritely duet for Toy Piano (played by the soloist) and Solo Violin. An eccentric, humorous interlude.
Finally, Movement 4 is most definitely the Grand Finale. Grooves, climaxes, and an epic coda.”
“Currie performed each instrument with precision and panache, always impressively in sync with the orchestra… An exciting cadenza was both inventive and playful. Intensely complex rhythmic passages became faster and faster, with Currie blitzing the bowls with dazzling speed.”
Classical Voice America, October 2019
“Currie took his place before the table of ceramic bowls Akiho carefully selected for the first movement and started doing his four-chopstick thing… a new work in the Ives-Stravinsky vein, comfortable treating melody and harmony and rhythm and color and texture as isomorphic layers…”
Oregon Arts Watch, October 2019