Konstantyn Napolov performs on only one minuscule gong that was made in Wuhan, a piece by the Dutch composer Christiaan Richter, titled ‘Droplets II’.
It’s May 27, 2020, and we are in the final days of the first national lockdown in which concert life in the Netherlands has come to a complete standstill. That afternoon, the world-renowned Grote Zaal of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is completely empty – except for one percussionist. At that moment, Konstantyn Napolov performs, on only one minuscule gong (a Chinese opera gong with a diameter of 13″, to be precise) that was made in Wuhan, a piece by the Dutch composer Christiaan Richter, titled ‘Droplets II’.
A good response to the spirit of the times, one would say – but no, according to the composer, neither the title of the piece nor the choice for an instrument from the place where the virus first appeared have anything to do with the current Covid19-times and all of this is based on coincidence. In fact, the piece Droplets II is part of the Richter’s cycle ‘Droplets’, consisting of four pieces for percussion solo, which was composed in 2017 for Napolov and premiered by him as part of the Gaudeamus Music Week in Utrecht.
"Live from Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Hall, it's an ear-opening extravaganza with a single percussionist and his 13" Chinese gong. But what a show! Watch out for the dynamics on this EP. Things start very softly, but progress to shattering volumes in the course of the twelve minutes of this EP. So watch your volume control."
Rushton Paul, Positive Feedback