'In the outer movements what you might call a maximisation of the minimalistically motoric makes for an infectious confection which keeps Currie on the move… Pure Elfman.' Gramophone

Instrumentation

solo perc* - timp - perc(4)* - pno(=cel) - stgs (min 12.12.10.8.6 - vlns arranged antiphonally). *Total percussion requirements: 5 SD/14 tom-t/BD/talking drum/4 glsp/2 xyl/vib/crots (2 high 8ve, 2 low 8ve)/chimes/mar (5 8ve)/tuned gongs/5 susp.cym/16 wdbl/7 wood slats/2 metal shakers/3 tamb/Chinese opera gong/4 anvils (or brake drums)/2 tam-t/9 misc dry metals (pots, pans etc)/2 misc resonant metals (eg flat gongs)/waterphone/ribbed sticks/2 Puili sticks (or 2 sets)/metal 'gizmo'. Contact publisher for complete percussion breakdown by each player (hire@fabermusic.com).

Availability

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Percussion has always been an important part of my life. Beginning in my travels though West Africa when I was only 18 years old, when I began collecting and learning to play ‘balafons’ (kind of like the African version of a marimba), through my years of playing in metal-based Indonesian Gamalan ensembles in my twenties, as well as building my own strange metal and wood percussion ensembles in my early theatrical performance years, it has always been a lifelong obsession.
 
Shortly after we premiered my first violin concerto, which I composed for violinist Sandy Cameron, I had a chance meeting with percussionist Colin Currie during a film scoring session in London. We decided it could be fun to create a piece together. I was excited to take another plunge into the challenge of another large symphonic composition and at the same time to really go back to my roots with wood and metal, mallets and sticks and hands, and to really let loose and have some fun with it. I also knew Colin was an extraordinary musician who would be great to collaborate with. Thankfully, SOKA University and the London Philharmonic Orchestra were eager to give us an opportunity to create this Concerto, and we’re grateful to everyone who made this possible.
 
© Danny Elfman, January 2022

Reviews

'The Percussion Concerto was like so much of this repertoire inspired and initiated by the Scottish virtuoso Colin Currie and in time-honoured tradition Elfman hitches strings to percussion with piano again taking its rightful place in the family. It has a lot to do here and spars enthusiastically with its fellow travellers, especially the tuned variety. In the outer movements what you might call amaximisation of the minimalistically motoric makes for an infectious confection which keeps Currie on the move. Only the slow movement ‘Down’ seeks out repose as strings take the lead and tuned percussion – like the seductive marimba – lend embellishment and shimmer. I love the spooky John Carpenter-like ending of this movement. Pure Elfman.'
Gramophone (Edward Seckerson), June 2024

Percussion Concerto

Symphony Hall (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

Colin Currie/City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Fabien Gabel

Find Out More

Percussion Concerto

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (Liverpool, United Kingdom)

Colin Currie/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta

Percussion Concerto

Meistersingerhalle (Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany)

Vivi Vassileva/Nürnberger Symphoniker/Johannes Fritzsch

Find Out More