Xenakis: Percussion Works

Xenakis: Percussion Works
Steven Schick / Red Fish Blue Fish
Mode 171/173 (3 CDs)

Contents:

  1. Persephassa (1969)
  2. Psappha (1975)
  3. Dmaathen (1977)
  1. Pléïades (1978) - I. Mélanges
  2. Pléïades - II. Claviers
  3. Pléïades - III. Métaux
  4. Pléïades - IV. Peaux
  5. Komboï (1981)
  1. Kassandra (1987)
  2. Okho (1989)
  3. Oophaa (1989)
  4. Rebonds (1989) - B
  5. Rebonds - A

Performers: Steven Schick; Patti Cudd, Aiyun Huang, Terry Longshore, Brett Reed, David Shively, Vanessa Tomlinson, Gustavo Aguilar, Rob Esler, Ross Karre, Don Nicols, Morris Palter, Lisa Tolentino, Ivan Manzanilla, Greg Stuart (percussion); Jacqueline Leclair (oboe - CD1#3), Shannon Wettstein (harpsichord - CD2#5), Philip Larson (voice - CD3#1), John Mark Harris (harpsichord - CD3#3)

Playing time: 54' + 65' + 57' = 176'

Recording dates: not stated (San Diego); released: 2006

Red Fish Blue Fish is Steven Schick's student percussion ensemble at UC San Diego, and the members change on different tracks. Although the perfomers are listed by track in the notes, there is no detailed recording date information provided.

There is no question that Xenakis wrote a great number of works for percussion for the decades in which he worked, and having so many of them collected into one set is worthwhile. Although Kassandra is one of my favorite pieces by Xenakis, and I also enjoy the late solo Rebonds, much of his work in this domain seems to fall short of what performers in more world-influenced and improvised domains have achieved in percussion in recent decades. Somehow, Xenakis systematic approach did not turn up as many new structures here as elsewhere in his output. Of course, that is not to say that it was not influential, but these are not works to continue to grapple with, as in some other cases.

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Todd M. McComb