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Intellect

BYU professor's research on timpani literature results in CD release

As a leading researcher in the history and literature of the timpani, Brigham Young University School of Music professor Harrison Powley was pivotal in the successful release of the German compact disc "Virtuose Paukenkonzerte des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts."

The CD contains music that was composed specifically for the timpani during the 17th and 18th century. The pieces performed on the CD were lost or tucked away in Germany or Hungary and were discovered by Powley during his extensive research on the timpani.

The recording is comprised of music written by five composers including Georg Druschetzky, Andre and Jacques Philador, Johann Carl Christian Fischer, Johann Melchior Molter and Johann Christoph Graupner.

The works are performed by the Dresden Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Peter. Not only did Peter direct the orchestra during the recording, but he played the timpani while directing the orchestra.

As a musicologist, Powley has been studying and researching the history of the timpani for the past several years. While conducting his research he came across various unheard pieces specifically composed for the timpani as a solo instrument. Powley edited the music performed on the CD from original sources.

It was while in Germany researching that Powley became acquainted with Peter and collaborated to produce and record the CD.

"What is nice is that Naxos, a major CD record label, produced the CD," Powley said. Naxos plans to release the disc in the United States early in 2005.

Powley created modern editions of all the original compositions performed on the recording. The modern editions make it easier to read and perform the music.

"The research can be a tedious process, but the real joy is to see the works realized in sound," Powley said.

Powley received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in musicology from Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He recently completed four years as president of the American Musical Instrument Society.

For more information, contact Harrison Powley at (801) 422-3279.

Writer: Rebekah Hanson

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