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Press Reviews of the German Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Glorious Percussion”

The percussion concerto “Glorious Percussion” by Sofia Gubaidulina received its world premiere on 18 September 2008 in Göteborg. Just a few days later, on 4 October, the Dresden Philharmonic under John Axelrod and the percussion ensemble “Glorious Percussion,” after which the work is named, performed the work for the first time in Germany. The press commented on the Dresden premiere as follows:

“The almost 77-year-old composer succeeded in writing a theoretically well-founded, intelligent composition which was simultaneously fulfilled with unbelievable sensuality in terms of its sound. Formally, the composer’s main concern was with the agreement of intervals with their difference tones (…).”

Sächsische Zeitung SZ.Kultur Peter Zacher, 6 October 2008

“Magnificent, wonderful, splendid – the English word ‘glorious’ is translated with these words. The adjective appears in the title of the new work by the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina. (…) But this word makes yet more circles: the soloists of the work, five top-notch percussionists reformed into a group, have named themselves after the concerto. And finally, one may repeat the word ‘glorious’ right away, with enthusiasm, if one is talking about the impression it makes – it is nothing less than an opulently sensual festival for the percussion instruments.

After having recently admired the song and musical force of the violin concerto “In Tempus Praesens,” premiered and recorded by Anne-Sophie Mutter, one was able to follow the composer’s next stroke of genius with the percussion concerto, composed in the spring of 2008. (…) One plunges into a striding, clamouring tonal space which can almost be experienced three-dimensionally.”

Dresdner Nachrichten, Alexander Keuk, 6 October 2008