Vincent Ho: ‘The Shaman’ | North America Review: Staff Blogs at

Dame Evelyn’s tour-de-force performance rounded out the concert. She had a massive percussion set-up that included cymbals, vibraphone, marimba, bass drum, several side drums, bongos, bowls and other instruments. The piece, inspired by shamanism, again harkens by to indigenous traditions of Canada, and it has moments that are both rocking/mesmerizing and downright gorgeous. A few moments stick out in my memory: beautiful vibraphone and Bach-like marimba writing in the middle; the connection between orchestra and soloist (like multiple balls falling, somehow, in perfect coordination) during the urgent ending. The phrasing Dame Evelyn achieved with sticks on drums was as thoughtfully shaped as the most lyrical violin playing.

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Alexander Mickelthwate
Carnegie Hall, New York City
8 May 2014

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