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Johan Bridger, percussion

Variations on Lost Love David Maslanka
Arena: Tobias Broström
Velocities: Joseph Schwantner
Scene for Vibraphone: Tobias Broström
Frum, a drum song: Áskell Másson
Gloria: Staffan Storm

Percussion Concerto No 1: Tobias Broström


This CD is recommendable more for the playing than the music. Bridger is a Swedish percussionist of immense accomplishment, on this showing more interested in subtle expressivity than in dazzling with technique and power. Most of the music is delicately textured and easily communicative, some of it tending a little towards the 'schmaltzy'.

I particularly liked the Schwantner and Másson pieces and the 'spiritual' Gloria of Staffan Storm. Some reservations about the concerto which bursts in explosively and has a lengthy cadenza towards the end which long outstays its welcome.

Bridger's programme is at the opposite pole from the austere Xenakis disc of Pedro Carneiro recently recommended; alternating items from these two programmes would make for a fine home percussion recital. Percussion records well, and both these discs are of demonstration class.


© Peter Grahame Woolf