I don’t know much about this guy, but he’s Finnish and this could be the European Union Youth Orchestra… this has to be one of the most awesome videos I’ve seen (well, in the classical music sense anyway.)
The way the camera shakes (it’s sitting on a timpani head) and the way this fellow grins into the camera while he’s still delivering the hammer blow makes it my favourite Mahler 6 Hammer Strike video on YouTube. (Yes these things exist and there are more after the jump.)
A very close second comes from the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchestra:
This guy gets points for gusto, and the fearlessness with which he rocked the crap out of that box.
And finally, from Japan:
I like the size of the hammer and the fact he had to ascend a staircase to play, but the blow itself did not really live up to the other two.
If you’re wondering what the hell this is all about, here’s an informative article from the LA Times about Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and the hammer blows of fate.