This impressive solo percussion CD contains several works that are considered "standards" in 20th-century percussion repertoire.
Works include four movements of "Eight Pieces for Four Timpani" by Carter ("Recitative," "March,""Moto Perpetuo," and "Improvisation"),"Zyklus" by Stockhausen, "Optical Time" by Matsushita, "Ground" by Fukushi and "Psappha" by Xenakis.
One delight of this CD is the excellent recording quality; idiomatic instrument sounds and performance nuances come through undistorted and true to the performance atmosphere of a live concert hall.
This holds especially true for the timpaniworks (selections from "Eight Pieces"
and "Optical Time").Ueno's 15 minute interpretation of "Zyklus" is musical, tasteful, and influenced by his studies with Christoph Caskel, who premiered the work."Optical Time" was commissioned and premiered by Ueno in 1987 and relies heavily on the performer's sensitivity to tuning changes and pedal effects.
The five sections of "Ground" (wood, metal, leather, metal, and wood) speak through the recording with passion and energy as Ueno exhibits a strong command over the musical forces that make up the work. While every work on this CD is exceptionally performed, "Psappha" is areal highlight of the collection as Ueno draws inspiration from Silvio Gualda (a former teacher of Ueno and the one to whom this work is dedicated) as well as encounters with Xanakis himself.
Ueno's chosen instruments/timbres blend exceptionally well, and his performance is methodical, precise, and emotional.
-Joshua D. Smith (From CD review by Joshua D. Smith, published in PAS newsletter, Percussive Notes, May, 2010. )