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for Solo Percussionist and Orchestra

David Felder

Duration: 00:18:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The percussion concerto, "Between", is in reality an anti-concerto for percussionist, percussion section and orchestra. The orchestra is itself expanded to include electric bass and guitar, and the percussionist plays the 5-octave marimba, KAT midi-controller, and a battery of ancillary percussion and is placed literally between the orchestral percussion, two on either side of the orchestra. The winds and brasses are also slightly enlarged.

This work begins conceptually rooted in the simplest manner of percussive gesture, the alternation of hands. The gesture was compositionally abstracted to create a musical structure primarily based upon pitch dyads and alternation/juxtaposition of musical materials. In fact, the last section of the work, a quasi-toccata, was composed first and the entire structure was projected backwards in time to the opening wherein all of the materials that are exposed horizontally late in the composition are stacked vertically.

Psychologically, "Between" bespeaks the domain of ?neither/nor?; that is, the musical material itself thrusts the solo percussionist from a position of group member with the certainty of a comfortable ?either/or,? and shared materials, through a process by which a more heroic role is gradually assumed throughout the course of the ?drama.? The toccata section places the soloist in a more traditionally soloistic setting. Notice however, that the ending of the piece deliberately eschews the dramatic close which seems imminent.

And why an ?anti-concerto?? Solutions to difficult problems, the kind of problems posed to creative artists by our situation within a post-Cagean world, are not so easily accomplished as simply returning to clearly established formal models. If choices cannot be made by using the ?select a or b? mode of logic, then the comparatively uncomfortable regions of uncertainty beckon. This work celebrates the difficulty of existing Between the dualistic categories that have so dominated the structures of the mind throughout philosophic and even religious history.

The work was commissioned by the National Endowment?s Consortium Commissioning Program for percussionists Jan Williams and Michael Udow to whom it is dedicated.

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the National Endowment?s Consortium Commissioning Program for percussionists Jan Williams and Michael Udow to whom it is dedicated.
Composition Date 1990
Orchestration Solo Perc.; 2(Picc.) 3 3 3 - 4 4 4 1; Timp. 2Perc. El.Bass Kbd. Synthesizer
Premiere Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, April 4, 1990