This post is about the timpani pieces I’ve listened to, including some brief impressions. This list includes the solo pieces, and also some ensemble/chamber and orchestral pieces where there are some interesting timpani segments.
Elliot Carter – Eight Pieces for Four Timpani (one player) (1950, 1966)
With all the inventive and innovative use of the extended techniques, this collection of eight pieces was a great introduction to the capabilities of the timpani. The first piece, Saeta, is named after a flamenco-type vocal song. Indeed, many parts with their accelerating notes, like the opening, and the changing time signatures, show the influence of flamenco. Some parts also use the back of the stick instead of the head. Because of the instrument’s timbre, it sounds to me as a kind of religious procession. Indeed, Saeta song is said to be the descendant of the ceremony, during which an arrow – saeta was shot into the sky to release rain. In a certain part, before the recapitulation, timpani reminds of the sound of raindrops a bit. Continue reading “Timpani pieces”