Drawn from the poem by Edgar Allan Poe of the same title, Eldorado is a setting of this story for bass voice and non-pitched multiple percussion duet. So as to highlight the text without restricting the idiomatic character of the percussion instruments, the voice is often orchestrated over silence as the percussion part provides both a stylistic context in the opening and interludes as well as conversational responses throughout the verses. The tempo should be maintained consistently throughout, as with a clear intent to arrive at the destination, but not in a hurried manner. The percussion instruments should be played with hard felt mallets. Those notes marked with a “z” and staccato should be performed as a single buzz stroke. All rolls should be performed as multiple-bounce (buzz) rolls. The pitches of the drums used should be graduated low to high (left to right) and a thin 16-inch crash cymbal (or similar) should be used. This duet was premiered by Caleb Gottry (voice) and Ben Zazick (percussion) in 2020.
It is always good to see works for young musicians that encourage collaboration between disciplines. The payoff for this piece is the ability to successfully perform and accompany the vocalist, a skill that is necessary as we progress through our musical training. – Kyle Cherwinski
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.