Tower: Strike Zones / Glennie, McMillen, Miller, Albany Symphony

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Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of today’s most important American composers. The works heard here in their world premiere recordings are part of a growing legacy that one pundit has described as “The Power of Tower.” Strike Zones is tailor-made for percussionist Evelyn Glennie’s dazzling technique and impeccable musicianship. The work’s orchestration is crafted to enhance a stage filled with percussion instruments – while in Small they are contained on a single table, the soloist working like a brilliant chef. The piano concerto Still/Rapids was inspired by the glistening beauty and powerful force of water, and Ivory and Ebony, written as a test piece for an international piano competition, is infused with Tower’s “high-energy” signature.


Another American Classics release features the music of contemporary composer Joan Tower. These fabulous premiere recordings give a good representation of the range of music Tower has been producing over recent years. It is particularly good to hear performances from Evelyn Glennie as one of a cast of top rate musicians here. The earliest work, Strike Zones, dates from 2001 and the latest, Small from 2016. Both these feature percussion. Still/Rapids combines piano and orchestra with the final piece, Ivory & Ebony being a test piece for an international piano competition.

-- Lark Reviews

Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 23, 2021

  • Catalog Number: 8559902

  • UPC: 636943990223

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Contemporary

  • Composer: Joan Tower

  • Conductor: David Alan Miller

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Albany Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Blair McMillen, Evelyn Glennie


  1. Strike Zones

    Composer: Joan Tower

    Ensemble: Albany Symphony

    Performer: Evelyn Glennie (Precussion)

    Conductor: David Alan Miller

  2. Small

    Composer: Joan Tower

    Ensemble: Evelyn Glennie (Precussion)

  3. Still/Rapids

    Composer: Joan Tower

    Ensemble: Albany Symphony

    Performer: Blair McMillen (Piano)

    Conductor: David Alan Miller

  4. Ivory and Ebony

    Composer: Joan Tower

    Performer: Blair McMillen (Piano)