Construction in Metal and Wood

For piano and percussion
October, 18th 2001
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Ancuza Aprodu, piano and Thierry Miroglio, percussion
  • Program Notes

    Construction in Metal and Wood is a virtuosic work for piano and mixed percussion. The music unfolds in five large sections. At the outset, the two performers respond to each other in a rapid-fire game of increasingly agitated action and reaction, until they come together in a passage featuring motoric percussion accompanying dense piano chords. The quiet, sparse music which follows gradually accelerates to another climax. As this second climax dies away, again there emerges music that is quiet, suspended, contemplative in character; but now, instead of accelerating, it dies away, leaving behind a feeling of suspense, incompleteness, unfulfillment. The expectant silence is shattered by a jazzy, dancing duet for piano and vibraphone, which finally comes around to a return of the music of the beginning. Commissioned by Thierry Miroglio and Ancuza Aprodu, Construction in Metal and Wood received its World Premiere performance at the University of Maryland during their 2001 U.S. tour, and was featured during the 2002 Festival Antidogma Musica at the Conservatorio Giusseppe Verdi in Torino.


  • New York Times

    “Richard Festinger’s Construction in Metal and Wood, a virtuosic duo for piano and percussion, veered from rambunctious to contemplative.”

    – Vivian Schweitzer
  • Journal of the Society for American Music Bridge CD

    "The result is magical, one of those special moments in contemporary composition where the sound itself supersedes syntax and the music transcends any semantic aspirations we may have for it. In sum, this CD presents an enjoyable program of intellectually and viscerally compelling music that spans much of the career of a living American composer who deserves to be better known."

    – Josh Levine
  • Karen Moorman, Classical Voice of North Carolina, 6/11/08

    “Move over Haydn! Richard Festinger, composer and distinguished Professor of Music Composition at San Francisco State University, presents a recording of five chamber works… featuring the Naumburg award-winning New Millennium Ensemble … [Festinger] approaches composition with the intellectual curiosity of an academic, the heart of a romantic, and the depth of one totally immersed in the art… is neatly structured and rich in counterpoint and rhythmic intricacy… [Variations for Piano] culls the intricacy of Liszt's Les Préludes and the spaciousness of Webern's piano works… perfectly executed, well-crafted music…. Construction en metal et bois for piano and percussion pushes the boundaries of chamber music… Here Festinger gives us his best and the demanding challenges are met with equal passion. Margaret Kampmeier and John Ferrari, like two fighter pilots, perform at lightning speed and with the intensity of a tarantella…. Festinger's music, like a Mark Rothko painting, is beautiful, even on the surface. And discovering what's beneath makes it rewarding.”

    – Karen Moorman
  • Ordering Information

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