Evelyn Glennie, Norwich

MICHAEL DRAKE This was the most extraordinary finale to a festival, and the percussive skill of this charismatic lady seems boundless.

MICHAEL DRAKE

This was the most extraordinary finale to a festival, and the percussive skill of this charismatic lady seems boundless. That skill was almost routinely evident in the opening pieces for marimba, in which pianist Philip Smith played a major part.

The technique was quite breathtaking at times, moving from a gentle tinkling effect in Rhythmic Caprice to the jazzy opening of Prism Rhapsody in which colour constantly changed with deft touches until it was almost sleight of hand.

The programme promised no limits in the one work of the second half. Shadows, as Evelyn Glennie appeared in white out of the darkness under a single spot, began with surreal sounds, golden and strobe lighting and piano amplified and echoing to give an atmosphere akin to a horror movie. Eventually we reached the percussive part with all manner of drums over a constant electronic pulse and then back to marimba for a relatively tuneful interlude followed by brilliant drumming on an array of instruments and all over extemporised piano. Certainly an experience in sound and technically brilliant, but hardly a celebratory finale.

Artistic director Peter Bolton's verdict was that "the move back to May was totally worth it with nearly four out of every five seats being sold and tremendous audience enthusiasm." But couldn't there be a better indication of it in the city?

t Evelyn Glennie was performing at the Theatre Royal.

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