Ours was the first all-percussion concert in the 35 year old history of the Rockport Music Festival in Massachusetts – and what a wonderful review from Boston Classical! Be sure to go read the entire piece by David Wright. Here are a few excerpts :
“Nexus demonstrated again Saturday night why it is the Budapest String Quartet of music made by hitting things.”
“If this 35-year-old chamber music festival was to host the first all-percussion concert in its history, as its artistic director David Deveau said in his opening remarks, this was certainly the way to do it.”
“Crisp interlocking rhythms blended in a shimmer of high overtones, a musical mandala. Despite the rapid tempo and ever-shifting rhythms, a mood of serenity settled over the room, enhanced by the pink-and-gold Rockport harbor sunset visible through the stage’s glass rear wall.”
For the performance of Steve Reich’s Drumming Part 1, Mr Wright points out that the small drums “required much retuning…thanks to Rockport’s marine atmosphere. But when the performance got under way, it was full speed ahead…the musicians coaxed a subtle variety of dynamics and timbres from the little drums, but near the end they flipped their mallets over to play with the stick end, touching off a dense burst of explosive sounds that resembled nothing so much as the fortissimo climax of a fireworks show.”
And of course the festival concert ended some George Hamilton Green featuring Bob Becker on the xylophone which “left no doubt what the excitement at a Green performance had been all about. In between spectacular mallet-crossing riffs too fast for the naked eye, Becker teased with sudden diminuendos and urged with fervent tremolos… His colleagues supported him expertly, bringing out an inner voice here and there to enrich the texture.”
Thanks to Maria Finkelmeier who joined NEXUS onstage for Music For Pieces of Wood, and for the vocal portion of Russell Hartenberger’s “Moondog Suite”. Thanks too to Rockport Music for hosting us in your beautiful seacoast town, and to David Wright and Boston Classical for your kind words about the concert. We had a blast!!