Listen: Stewart Copeland

Listen: Stewart Copeland
© Shayne Gray
On February 19th, Stewart Copeland took a big drum solo in front of a very different band than The Police — the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra — in the world premiere of his Tyrant's Crush: Concerto for Trapset and Orchestra. One of the few trapset concertos, Tyrant's Crush also has prominent parts for harp and timpani. In three movements, the concerto comments on a dictator's rise, his love of the power and luxury his reign affords, and his ultimate downfall; it's a parable on the dominance and ultimate hypocrisy that wealth can bring.

The Pittsburgh Symphony paired Copeland's concerto with Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1, an appropriate choice with its equally flamboyant display of orchestral energy. This Copeland-themed playlist celebrates how his compositional style captures that energetic flair. Featured on the playlist are Copeland's Grace Eleanor, Our Mother Is Alive and Stalin's Sultry Serenade for large ensemble, and The Gene Pool for drum set and four percussionists.

"That's the great thing about music. If you played it, it's correct. The worst musical train wreck hurts absolutely no one. It's all part of the show. In fact it's how we get to the great stuff. There is no penalty for skating on the edge or throwing ourselves off the cliff. So we do."
— From Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies, by Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland

Note — Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 is available for rental in the US, Canada and Mexico only.

This playlist was contributed by Liam Alves

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