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MP3 Andrew Martin - New American Works for Marimba

This recording features three new and vibrant works by American composers Paul Richards, Peter Farmer, and Elliott Miles McKinley, for solo marimba and chamber ensemble.

13 MP3 Songs in this album (49:51) !
Related styles: Classical: New Music Ensemble, Classical: Chamber Music, Type: Instrumental

People who are interested in Bela Bartok Igor Stravinsky Steve Reich should consider this download.

“Walking Toward Caesaria” for Marimba and String Quartet
By Paul Richards
“Walking Toward Caesaria” was commissioned in 2006 by faculty members from the University of Florida in honor of the retirement of Dr. David Kushner, long time head of the musicology area, and dedicated to the memory of his son, Dr. Jeremy Kushner, an accomplished percussionist. The title references an epic poem of the same name by Hannah Senesh, an Israeli who volunteered for a rescue mission during World War II and was captured and killed at the age of 23. The poem holds particular meaning for many Israelis’ and was famously set to music by David Zehavi. The piece is set in two distinct parts that flow boundlessly into one another. The first section displays an energetic opening featuring passagework for the marimba in dialogue with the string quartet. Richards’ masterfully supplants the interaction between the marimba and strings with an underlying groove that propels the work forward. The second and markedly slower section is based upon Zehavi’s haunting melody. Dr. Kushner, the work’s designee, is one of the world’s foremost experts on the music of Ernest Bloch, and Richards’ homage assumes the form of a fragment from Bloch’s “Sacred Service”. The work closes with the echo of the first section distantly challenging the lush and stoically propulsive harmonies of the strings only to be subsumed into the sonic texture.

“Out of a Golden Fog” for marimba and nine instruments
by Peter Farmer
"Out of a Golden Fog" was written in 2007 for marimba soloist Andrew Martin and was premiered at the Prague Academy of Music, Prague, Czech Republic in 2008 with notable Czech conductor Vit Micka at the baton. The supporting instrumentation for the marimba solo consists of Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Piano, and a small strings consisting of Violin, Viola, Violoncello, and Contrabass. The inspiration for the piece derives from the seascapes of English painter William Turner (1775-1851) and the piece is written as a single movement in a rough ABA form. Stylistically, the piece displays classic elements of Farmer’s compositional style and the ''A'' section (marked andante melancholico e misterioso) is written in a thick, often muddy orchestration reminiscent of the ''fog'' out of which the marimba gradually emerges. The ''B'' section is faster in tempo and features the agility of the marimba which is now heard in the foreground. The middle section further features melodic interplay and rhythmic conversation between the tutti and the solo marimba culminating in a substantial marimba cadenza. The recapitulation (final ''A'' section) returns to the musical familiarity of the ''fog'' but with slightly different music and a soft coda brings about the Fine.

“Raggedy Andy” A Concerto Fantasy for Marimba and Eleven Instruments
By Elliott Miles McKinley
“Raggedy Andy” was written for marimbist Andrew Martin in 2006 and premiered with the Duquesne New Music Ensemble in 2007. The work is McKinley’s first attempt at a large scale composition for marimba solo and is the composer’s second attempt at writing a percussion concerto (Summer Portraits for Percussion solo and Chamber Orchestra 1993). Despite its namesake, twentieth-century American toy icon Raggedy Andy, McKinley’s work is not based on the exploits of the character and his partner “Raggedy Anne.” Rather the title is derived from the visual image of the marimbist being tossed back and forth while executing the seemingly endless array of virtuosic passages posited throughout the concerto. Similar to McKinley’s String Quartets numbers 3-5, “Raggedy Andy” is constructed in an arch form and the action progresses from start to finish in one continuous movement. The seamless structure of the concerto does, however, progress as a series of character vignettes each exploring the new areas of the marimba in a rhythmic and sonorous way. McKinley’s vast palette of music influences is boldly on display in this concerto from lush Poulenc and jazz infused harmonies to ragtime inspired syncopation that are pervasive throughout. “Raggedy Andy” is free from hegemonic idiomatic conventions and presses forth into new territory of solo marimba composition. Throughout the work, McKinley’s mature compositional style is on display and his emotive, populist style ebbs from the opening note, to the exciting cadenza, to the closing rhythmically-inspired sonic landscape.

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