A List of Programming Options
1) From me flows what you call Time (1990) by Toru Takemitsu – 30:00
Since the premiere in Carnegie Hall with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nexus has given more than eighty performances of this magical work. From Los Angeles to Chicago, to Philadelphia, London, Hamburg, Lyon, and Tokyo, audiences of all ages have been enraptured by Takemitsu’s brilliant orchestration and Nexus’ sensitive playing on their fantastic array of instruments.
” (Takemitsu’s composition) is the most exquisite meditative quiet you have ever heard in a concert hall. … The Nexus players simply were marvels, on their own and as a group.” – Chicago Tribune
“(From me flows what you call Time) is ravishing in atmosphere. … The players of Nexus are uncanny in their precision of ensemble, in their individuality, and in the subtlety of their interaction; each is a master of attack, dynamics, and color.” – The Boston Globe
“the best thing was this Canadian percussion group. Their unbelievable delicacy of feeling and rich expression was something just beyond my words. They were not only performers, but also a part of the piece itself.” – Nihon Keizai Shinbun, Tokyo
< Recorded by Nexus and The Pacific Symphony on Sony Classics >
2) Rituals (2003) by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich – 27:00 – 28:00
This work will be available after its March 6, 2004 premier in Memphis, Tennessee. Zwilich wrote this work for Nexus and the Iris Orchestra conducted by Michael Stern. Rituals four movements explore orchestral and percussion sonorities created by instruments suggested to the composer by members of Nexus. At times mysterious, translucent, vivacious and disturbing, Rituals is not of the typical percussion concerto mold of hair – raising bombast, but is rather more introspective; though its last movement is fiery and exuberant.
3) The Carmen Ballet (1967) arr. Rodion Shchedrin – 41:00
Written for string orchestra and forty-seven percussion instruments, this work is a masterpiece of 20th century percussion and string writing. The Carmen Ballet presents Georges Bizet’s most popular melodies in a dramatic setting that never fails to delight, surprise and touch audiences. Nexus’ unique instrumentation, while true to the composer’s intentions, gives audiences special insights into the world of percussion.
“NEXUS knew the piece so well, they were able to respond expressively to the conductor’s every move”
The Commercial Appeal – Memphis
4) Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble (1972) by Karel Husa – 20:00
Usually performed in its original versions for wind ensemble and symphonic band, the addition of four saxophones now allows symphony orchestra wind sections to play this work. It has been recorded by the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and also performed by The State Philharmonic in Brno and the Orchestra of the Radio et Television Belge for the ISCM Festival in Brussels. The Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Karel Husa is a powerful and provocative work.
“Divided into a short introduction and three movements, Husa’s concerto begins with sonorous chimes, bells and cymbals, in flickering canonslike some mysterious cathedral organ set off by unseen forces in midnight fantasy. And ends in a brief coda, a thick mosaic overlay of full ensemble brass … woodwinds … bells and gong vibrating in a shattering, pyrotechnic shower.”
5) The Birds (1984) by William Cahn – 11:00
Conceptions of what percussion is or can be are wiped away by The Birds. At times poignant, humorous and startling, it captivates audiences of all ages with more than fifty birdcalls and sound effects supported by a lush and colorful orchestral accompaniment.
“A lark of a piece… imaginative tonal narrative” – The Beacon Journal, Cleveland
Instrumentation: 2,2,2,2/4 Hn,2 Tp, 3 Trom, Tub/Tmp, 1 Pc.(opt)/Hp/Strings
< Recorded by Nexus, solo and with The Rochester Philharmonic, on Nexus records >
6) Kebjar-Bali (1982) by William Cahn – 9:30
A brilliant rhythmic work based on a style of Balinese music, Kebjar Bali features an exciting solo part for gongs, wood blocks and drums, played by the composer. Nexus and a chamber orchestra provide an exotic accompaniment.
“Successfully mixes Western orchestral sounds with that of a Balinese gamelan” – The Star Tribune – St. Paul
Instrumentation: 2 FL.(opt.), 2 Ob., (2CL. (opt./2 F HNs./Strings
< Recorded by Nexus with The Rochester Philharmonic on Nexus records >
7) TALLBREM Variations (1994) by Bruce Mather – 22:00
One of Canada’s leading composers has constructed a strict twelve – tone composition for chamber orchestra, tuned percussion, including Caribbean steel pans, drums and cymbals. This is a provocative work that delights the ear with ever changing sonorities and delivers itself in a way that begs an audience to re-assess the too often negative attitude towards “twelve – tone” music.
“A flattering vehicle for the mallet percussion work of Nexus, Tallbrem Variations was economically scored and much of the time sensually seductive to the ears.” – The Toronto Star
8) Touchings (1992) by Harry Freedman – 22:30
Touchings blends jazz, classical and exotic ethnic rhythms in a western symphonic format. Nexus’ unique collection of percussion instruments from around the world is supported by a cleverly orchestrated chamber orchestra accompaniment.
“World – beat synthesis” – The Globe & Mail – Toronto
< Recorded by Nexus with The Esprit Orchestra on CBC records >