REVIEW: ProMusica, percussionist dazzles in works old, new

By Jennifer Hambrick / For the Columbus Dispatch

“The mighty punch of drums, the sparkle of a glockenspiel, a baroque masterpiece, and works new-to-us and just plain new.

This blend of the novel and the tried-and-true veneered our current moment at the close of the current year and the beginning of a new one with dazzling playing by the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and percussion soloist Colin Currie on Saturday night at the Southern Theatre. The concert featured the Ohio Premiere of a new percussion concerto by Helen Grime alongside works by Tommaso Traetta, Corelli and Mozart.

Led by ProMusica music director David Danzmayr, the orchestra brought to light the work of the unjustly neglected baroque composer Tommaso Traetta in a warm and buoyant performance of the overture to Traetta’s opera Armida. The first movement was full of heroic gallivanting, the second movement was a sweet and easy amble and the third movement bubbled with anticipation of the drama in store once the curtain goes up.

Grime’s Percussion Concerto, composed just last year, is a gleaming haul of every color and cut in the musical jewel box. Currie’s vibraphone solo at the beginning of the first movement, Bright, was a virtuosic display of ringing tones that were met cleverly and brilliantly by other instruments in the orchestra. Suddenly, the sound of a vibraphone became first cousins with the silvery sound of a trumpet, with the thinnest thread of a violin note.”

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