Transitions for solo percussion with wind ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2010)
Instrumentation: two flutes, two oboes, three clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, four saxophones, four horns, three trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani (4), and two percussionists (suspended cymbal, triangle, china cymbal, bass drum, tam-tam, hi-hat, concert toms (4), crotales, xylophone, chimes, bells) in addition to the soloist (4.3-octave marimba, vibraphone, concert toms (4), 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 university ensembles. 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 percussion ensemble.