Nexus Percussion | The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra

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The Story of Percussion in the Orchestra

by Nexus Percussion

A program with a historical overview of how percussion instruments became a part of the symphony orchestra, with musical examples by Lully, Mozart, Beethoven and more, right up to the present day.
Genre: Classical: Percussion Ensemble
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Bill Moyers Narrates - Introduction (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:48 album only
clip
2. Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell (1947) by Benjamin Britten [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
2:52 album only
clip
3. Bill Moyers Narrates - Orchestras in 1675 (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:20 album only
clip
4. Thésée Overture (1675) by Jean-Baptiste Lully [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
1:06 album only
clip
5. Bill Moyers Narrates - The Kettledrums (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:52 album only
clip
6. March for Kettledrums (1685) by Jacques Philidor [Live]
Nexus Percussion Group
1:29 album only
clip
7. Bill Moyers Narrates - Lully's Orchestra (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:50 album only
clip
8. La Marche from Thésée (1675) by Jean-Baptiste Lully [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
1:24 album only
clip
9. Bill Moyers Narrates - The Bass Drum, Cymbals, Triangle, Tambourine (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:51 album only
clip
10. Janissary March by Mozart / Arr. Cahn (Live)
Nexus Percussion / Rochester Philharmonic
0:53 album only
clip
11. Bill Moyers Narrates - Mozart's Orchestra" (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:23 album only
clip
12. Il Seraglio Overture (1782) by Wolfgang .amadeus Mozart [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
2:26 album only
clip
13. Bill Moyers Narrates - The Snare Drum (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:45 album only
clip
14. Three Camps - Traditional 18th Century Drum Beating (Live)
Nexus Percussion Group
0:57 album only
clip
15. Bill Moyers Narrates - Beethoven's Orchestra (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
1:10 album only
clip
16. Sturm Marsch from Wellington's Victory (1813) by Ludwig Van Beethoven [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
2:18 album only
clip
17. Bill Moyers Narrates - The Xylophone (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
1:21 album only
clip
18. Bolero - Spanish Dance No. 5 (Ca. 1876) by Moritz Moszkowsky [Live]
Nexus Percussion / Rochester Philharmonic
2:34 album only
clip
19. Bill Moyers Narrates - George Hamilton Green (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:28 album only
clip
20. Fluffy Ruffles (1919) by GEO.H.GREEN / Arr. Cahn [Live]
Nexus Percussion / Rochester Philharmonic
2:42 album only
clip
21. Bill Moyers Narrates - Percussion Today (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
1:01 album only
clip
22. The Birds (1983) by William L. Cahn [Live]
Nexus Percussion / Rochester Philharmonic
11:07 album only
clip
23. Bill Moyers Narrates - Conclusion (Live)
Bill Moyers / Nexus
0:28 album only
clip
24. Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell (1947) by Britten [Live]
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
3:25 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Story of Percussion In the Orchestra (NEXUS CD #10306)
Narrated by Bill Moyers

Featuring NEXUS – Bob Becker, Bill Cahn, Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger, John Wyre
with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Bill Cahn, conducting

The introduction of percussion instruments into the orchestra clearly illustrates the repeated influences throughout history of non-European cultures upon the institutions of European culture. One significant factor affecting the presence of percussion instruments in Europe was the unending movement of armies. The soldiers who returned to their European homes following the Crusades of the 11th to 13th centuries brought back Islamic military kettledrums called naqqara, which were the forerunners of the 17th century kettledrums used by Lully at the opera of the Versailles Palace.

In the 18th century the martial music of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey, Arabia, Greece, Armenia and the Balkan and Slavic regions) reached Europe. The dynamic sounds of percussion instruments - especially bass drums and cymbals – were used by the Janissaries of central Asia to symbolize their power. These instruments were also fully embraced by the nations of Europe, first for military purposes and shortly thereafter in band and orchestral music.

The military use of deep double-headed drums for signaling came into prominence during the Swiss wars for independence in the 14th century. The effectiveness of such usage was evidenced in the widespread acceptance of drums, particularly snare drums, by virtually all of the European armies as they created and enforced their worldwide empires from the 16th through the 19th centuries.

However, there are many examples of non-military influences on the presence of percussion instruments in Europe. Tapestries made in 15th century Portugal depict African xylophones as seen by the Portuguese explorers as they pushed southward along the coast of Africa seeking a sea passage to Asia. It was at about this time – in the year 1511 – that mention of the xylophone first appeared in a European text by the organist, Arnold Schlick. He called the instrument hultze glechter (wooden percussion). It was a European descendent of the African xylophone that first appeared in the orchestra music of 19th century Europe.

The composers of symphonic music in our own time have sought the sounds made by percussion instruments from China, Japan, Indonesia, India and the continents of Africa and South America. And so the process of cultural cross-fertilization, which has taken place since the very origins of civilization itself, continues with ever-increasing speed in our world of electronic communications and jet transportation.

NEXUS
Formed in 1971 NEXUS has become recognized as one of Canada’s premier chamber groups and one of the foremost percussion ensembles in the world. Since 1975 the group has traveled extensively to present its chamber music programs, including tours to Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, as well as regular appearances in Canada and the United States. The group has also developed a unique repertoire for symphony orchestras encompassing serious compositions, pops concerts and educational programs featuring percussion, leading to appearances with orchestras all over the world.

Bill Moyers
During his many years in broadcasting Bill Moyers has pursued a broad agenda of issues, ideas and concerns. Television Quarterly, the official journal of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, placed him among the ten journalists who have had the most significant influence on television news. The Academy has also recognized his work with more than 20 Emmy Awards. He has been executive editor of the highly acclaimed series, Bill Moyers Journal, senior news analyst for the CBS Evening News, and chief correspondent for the documentary series, CBS Reports. His company Public Affairs Television, Inc., has produced numerous programming hours.

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Since 1922 the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been one of America’s major symphony orchestra. Its concert season includes a classical series in Rochester’s Eastman Theatre featuring world-class artists, a pops series offering light classical and popular music, dance, opera and choral presentations, as well as chamber music concerts. Of prime importance since the earliest days of the orchestra has been its commitment to lifelong learning through educational concerts. This recording is an example of that commitment.

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