Whips, Temple Blocks & Bongos Add Middle Eastern Colour

March 8, 2018

Fourteen percussion instruments add exotic colour to Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, which Thames Philharmonic Choir is performing at Cadogan Hall this Saturday, 10th March.  Whips (also known as clappers), chimes, temple blocks, tambourines, glockenspiel and rasp inject the music with exciting punctuation marks and Middle Eastern mood.  Bernstein referred to the Work as his 'youngest child, old-fashioned and sweet' , but as Theo Golden, who sings the exquisitely atmospheric counter tenor solo part, explains: "Chichester Psalms is a western piece of music but Bernstein takes full advantage of Middle Eastern harmonies and uses percussion to create timbral sounds that western audiences associate with Middle Eastern music."

Vocal combats between tenors and basses evoke the Jets and Sharks, the gangs in West Side Story, for which Bernstein composed the score, contrasting with deeply emotional and lyrical moments​.

 

 

 

 

.The concert also includes Adagio for Strings by Bernstein's contemporary fellow American Samuel Barber, and Mozart's REQUIEM.

 

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