Transitions (solo percussion with percussion ensemble)

Transitions for solo percussion with percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2010)
Composed: 2009
Duration: 13′
Difficulty: Difficult
Instrumentation (soloist plus 7 players): 5.0-octave marimba, two 4.3-octave marimbas, two vibraphones, xylophone, crotales, bells, chimes, 4 timpani (4), triangle, suspended cymbal, china cymbal, high-hat, 8 concert toms, bass drum, tam-tam, bongos, snare drum
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The concept behind Transitions is that of a single day and the gradual shifts and changes within it. There are three distinct but related segments reflected in the piece: Dawn, Day, and Dusk; these form uninterrupted movements in a slow-fast-slow format. Within the faster middle movement is a percussion cadenza. The melodic and harmonic content of Transitions is based almost entirely on the B half-whole octatonic scale. The opening pitches in the solo vibraphone form the primary motive of the work and bring continuity to the piece as a whole. After the first statement, this motive is immediately restated in the ensemble’s percussion section, later used as punctuation tones in the cadenza, and finally restated in retrograde in the final measures of the work, again in the solo vibraphone, as an indication of the inevitable connection to the start of a new day. This concerto is truly an exciting and challenging work for the soloist including virtuosic material on both pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments. This work will captivate any audience with its musical contrasts and fascinate them with the visually stimulating choreography in the soloist’s performance. This composition is written at a performance level consistent with most college or advanced high school literature. The solo part is intended to be accessible to graduate or advanced undergraduate percussion performers. This piece is also available as a solo with piano reduction or wind ensemble.