The piece, Joan Tower’s “Strike Zones,” was masterfully written and brilliantly performed. Most captivating were a couple of solos by Glennie (cadenzas if you will). The first was a virtuoso display on the high hat cymbals. Later came a powerful and complex build up on the drums.
The ever graceful Glennie wasn’t the only percussionist actually. Toward the end of the 20-minute piece, chimes rang out from the two side balconies. That was followed by a rippling and ingenious trio for castanets.
The orchestra never seemed in pitched battle with the soloist, as is so often the norm in concertos. While there was plenty of dialogue and drama, Tower never quiet pushed the soloist or the orchestra to maximum crashing dynamics. Instead, the interplay was sympathetic and integrated.
Albany Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: David Alan Miller
Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center, Troy
17 May 2014