- Pléïades, for 6 percussionists
- Psappha, for solo percussion
Xenakis' concepts and techniques are explicitly displayed in his percussion music, more clearly than in his orchestral pieces. Yet this is not to suggest that his music has been simplified, for the writing is as complicated as ever. The Kroumata Percussion Ensemble is well-suited to meet the demands Xenakis makes, and it presents a unified and coherent performance. "Pléiades" is divided into four sections. The first, "Métaux," employs metal plates struck by hammers, yet the effect is unexpectedly gentle. "Claviers" is almost minimalist in its repeated patterns, and rhythm and color are emphasized over pitch and harmony. "Mélanges," placed on this recording as the third section, brings all of the instruments together in what seems to be a premature finale. But this rearrangement serves to undercut expectations and build suspense. "Peaux" calls for drums of all sizes and its tremendous climaxes clear the boards of everything that came before. "Psappha" is an excellent work to follow "Pléiades" since it brings together related ideas in a concentrated form. Gert Mortensen, the solo percussionist, is secure with this challenging music, which demands not only his total attention, but also an ability to stretch and play widely spaced instruments simultaneously and with accuracy.