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REVIEW: Evelyn Glennie brings her creative sound to the Bury St Edmunds Festival

Evelyn Glennie
Evelyn Glennie

This concert by Dame Evelyn Glennie was not for the faint hearted. The pieces were created and performed with the aim of their audience engaging in a full listening experience.

Glennie’s artistry on the wide range of percussion instruments was sparkling as was the piano work by Philip Smith who has been the regular pianist for Dame Evelyn for two decades.

Each piece challenged and broadened the audience experience as Glennie wove her magic but it was the James Tenney piece, Having Never Written a Note for Percussion, which astounded as the auditorium itself became part of the musical moment.

Like a Shaman Glennie drove the single note louder on the Tam Tam crouching before the instrument and picked out by a single silver spotlight.

The overwhelming pressure as it reached its crescendo was incredibly powerful.

The Piano Phase by Steve Reich played by Glennie and Smith created a repetitive syncopated five note hypnotic sound which became almost unbearable as the two pianos interwove the beat.

All but one of the nine pieces were by 20th century composers offering full rein to the expertise of the performers. This was an evening of creative sound which no one will forget.