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Iberus
Tuesday, January 21st, 2003, 05:36 AM
Richard Wagner employs a limited arsenal of percussion instruments in the four operas that comprise the Ring, however the effects created with this small number of conventional instruments is astounding.
He writes only for a pair of crash cymbals (becken), a suspended cymbal, triangle, tam-tam, field drum (rührtrommel), and glockenspiel. The writing for two timpanists, as well as the special effects passages in combination with the percussion section heightens both the dramatic and musical experiences, which Wagner achieves through sparse percussion writing and distancing the percussive episodes from one another.