The Grown Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Piano, Harp & Percussion

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All good things must come to an end, and so we finish the month-long series The Grown Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Each instrument has had its chance to shine, and always in a way designed to delight and challenge the listener. This week, we round out the orchestra with some of the more percussive instruments.

If improvisation is the name of the game, Herbert Henck deserves a gold medal. Maybe two, because in Zweite Serie Duo I, Henck double-tracks his improvisation. We offer two quite contrasting visions of the harp: Philippe Schoeller's Isis II for bassoon and harp, and Joanna Newsom's En Gallop. One quite serious, one quite poppy, both quite beautiful. Julia Wolfe's Dark Full Ride for four drumsets (!) will represent percussion – we think you'll agree that it's appropriate – and we round out the series with Elliott Carter's dazzling Concerto for Orchestra. What better way to end The Grown Person's Guide to the Orchestra than with this masterpiece of orchestration and complexity?

Thanks for being with us for the Guide, and be sure to tune in next week for – brace yourself! – BEETHOVEN'S 10TH SYMPHONY.