Review in "Percussive Notes"
The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society

This concerto for percussion trio and orchestra was premiered by Percussion Group Cincinnati in 1988. The work is scored for three multiple-percussion sets, with toms and snare drums, four keyboard instruments, and a variety of metallic sounds such as opera gongs, cymbals, Chinese cymbals and crotales. The composer indicates that the trio should set up in front of the orchestra, as the drama created by the movement of the performers is part of the overall effect of the work.

The opening of this concerto, taken from the same composer's popular work "Lift-Off," is a percussion cadenza that builds excitement into the eventual entrance of the orchestra. The next large section of the work features flowing lines on the vibraphones with punctuations from gliss (opera) gongs and Chinese cymbals. The remainder of the work is very fast, with virtuosic runs on marimba and xylophone. At one point in the work all three players convene at the marimba playing swift lines that cross over one another, resulting in a spectacular visual effect. After a few more fiery keyboard licks, the tempo accelerates and the work ends with a flurry of drums, reminiscent of the work's opening.

"The Glory and the Grandeur" has a decidedly American feel with its bluesy scales and popular rhythms. The skills required of the percussionists and the theatrical thrill provided by their aerobic movements about the stage will close any orchestral concert with thunderous applause.

- Scott Herring

Reprinted by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, Inc., 701 NW Ferris Ave., Lawton, OK 73507-5442