Gabriel Prokofiev Concerto for Bass Drum

, USA / UK

Joby gives the premiere of Gabriel Prokofiev's Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra, this Spring with performances in Princeton, Chicago and London, as part of Reverb2012. 

This astonishing five movement 25 plus minute concerto, sees the second collaboration between Joby and London based composer Gabriel Prokofiev.


Gabriel's inspiration in writing for the bass drum ...

Also known as the la Grancassa (italian), basstrommel (German), and la Grosse Caisse (French) - which can literally be translated as 'fat drum' (or even 'phat drum'), the Bass Drum produces the lowest frequencies of the Orchestra, is used to create some of the most thunderous climaxes, and heaviest punches, but it's never been considered as a 'solo' instrument or been given a Concerto.

A Concerto for Bass Drum is by no means a gimmick or a joke piece, there are real reasons why the Bass Drum deserves a Concerto:
Firstly, the Bass Drum is actually one of the most ubiquitous instruments of our time. Where ever I go in London I hear Bass Drums thumping out of people's car stereos, out of shops, out of night-club and bars; the bass drum is everywhere… More often than not the Bass Drum is the first sound you hear when you approach a club or music event; in electronic dance music most produces obsess over getting the perfect Bass Drum sound; and though it can drive you crazy when its pounding through your walls at 4am when your neighbours having a party; it's one of the essential instruments of the 21st century.


Here is a sample of the reviews so far ...

‘Concerto for Bass Drum by Gabriel Prokofiev, a prominent figure in the alt-classical scene, had Joby Burgess, the soloist coax all manner of sounds from the oxlike instrument, often wielding multiple sticks in each hand and even using his fingers and elbows … the words athleticism and stamina come to mind. Running almost a half-hour, the piece is compelling at almost every moment.’
James R. Oestreich, New York Times, February 2012

‘The concert also included a premiere of the Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra by Gabriel Prokofiev, Sergei’s grandson. Played by the remarkable soloist Joby Burgess, the piece was rhythmically charged, almost danceable, yet also explored diverse sounds and textures.’
Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger New Jersery, February 2012
Andrew Veloux, Princeton Record Exchange Blog, February 2012


February 2012

March 2012

View a video from the Chicago performance