writing of this concerto, which premiered in 2000, was
inspired by the largest commissioning consortium to
date in music history39 orchestras. It was also
sparked by interest among timpanists based on the composer's
well-known percussion concerto The
Glory and the Grandeur and percussion trio
Lift-Off. It is visually
stimulating due to the unusual variety of mallets and
brilliant sticking. Harmonic
Rhythm requires 5 drums (4 standard sizes
plus a piccolo drum).
primary feature is the melodic writing for the timpani,
which shows the instrument's expressive range extending
into areas of surprising lyricism. There is powerful
action, too, of course, with jazz and rock influences,
leading to a very big ending.
The Courier Journal (Louisville KY)
listeners through a revolving door of sound, Russell
Peck's "Concerto for Timpani" proved to be
a visceral tour de force ranging from its first soft
rumble of thunder to an all-out "Allegro Scherzando"
that cries out to be choreographed . . . beautiful arching
lines and unexpected lyricism."
Naples Daily News
piece is highlight of concert . . . overflows with melodic
ideas that give way to one another in kaleidoscopic
fashion . . . interesting and compelling music for the
soloist . . . equally compelling music for the full
The Repository (Canton OH)
innovative and exciting musical experience . . . A many
faceted amalgam of rich lyricism, modernistic dissonance,
jazz, and rock . . . long standing ovation, the bravos,
and the whistlers . . . "
The Ridgefield Press
exhilarating to the ears and a source of astonishment
to the eyes."
high-impact kaleidoscope of rhythmic and harmonic colors
. . . an astonishing array of moods and effects . .
. the timpani will never be the same"
Charleston Post & Courier
brilliant work with all the energy, optimism, and brazen
romanticism of the 21st century . . . coherent and dramatically
satisfying . . .
Evansville Courier & Press
climactic action and rhythmic drama . . . a moving,
delightful performance that was as fascinating to watch
as to hear"
The Times Union (Jacksonville, FL)
db. picc.)/2+E.h./2+b.cl./2+cbn. 4/3/3/1
2 perc. piano strings