The concert’s second half was devoted to Canadian-Chinese composer Vincent Ho’s The Shaman (2011), the percussion concerto that starred Glennie.
Sporting waist-long silver locks, she looked the part of its eponymous title as she gracefully glided through her battery of percussion. Its three connected movements were a veritable playground for the barefoot virtuosa, with unpitched percussion (drums, cymbals, bowls and slung metallic strips) beating out complex rhythms, while vying for attention with the more intimate pitched instruments.
It was the quiet and contemplative 2nd movement Fantasia-Nostalgia which saw the marimba and vibraphone come to the fore with much melodic interest.
Rapport with the orchestra was closely knit and she formed a tight yet sensitive alliance with orchestral timpanist Duan Fei and pianist Clarence Lee. Exuding sheer exuberance, she easily won over an audience supposedly shy of contemporary music. Their vociferous support earned a well-deserved encore, Ho’s Nostalgia, adapted from the concerto’s slow movement. Bravissima!
Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Conductor: Tsung Yeh
SCO Concert Hall, Singapore
4 & 5 September 2015