He likes it, hey Elliott!

I’m back with wood blocks (and other things) again. This is something I mentioned a couple of months ago, how it was rare for me to play the simple but elegant wood block. Well this time I need four of them for Elliott Carter’s “Of Rewaking (2003).” I must admit that I didn’t like practicing this piece a whole lot. The part I’m playing has a bunch of random buzz rolls on hard instruments: cow bell, suspended cymbal and the aforementioned blocks of wood. There are also a lot of snare drum rim shots and notes that sort of come out of nowhere–count three bars and whack the cow bell.

As usual, I needn’t have fretted. When we actually rehearsed the piece, it was a pleasure. It’s for a mezzo-soprano soloist and chamber orchestra with three drummers. The random notes that made so little sense are often big tutti hits with the ensemble. The rolls part of intricate textures on multiple cymbals or consorts or wood or metal. A recording would have helped but this time I was out of luck; much Googling yielded no results.

The work is part of a one shot Carter 100th anniversary concert featuring the above piece, the Holiday Overture, four of the eight pieces for Timpani (played by none other than Jonathan Haas whom I’ve known since my first real classical percussion concert in GULP 1976 ) and the Oboe Concerto.