Concerto for Vibraphone
Movements (may be played individually)
1. Distant and Ancient Fanfares – 6:00
2. Interlude I. Imaginary Antarctic Bird Songs: Homage to Vaughan Williams – 2:00
3. Dreamscape Variations – 11:00
4. Interlude II. Meditation: Homage to Hovhaness – 2:30
5. Toccata a la Samba – 11:00
C Piccolo/Flute III
Oboe III/English Horn
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV-V
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Agogo Bells
- Bass Drum
- Brake Drum
- Finger Cymbals
- Prayer Bowl
- Sandpaper Blocks
- Shakers, plastic
- Snare Drum
- Splash Cymbal
- Surdo, Primeira and Segunda
- Suspended Cymbals (2)
- Wood Block, small and large
None discovered thus far.
Concertos for vibraphone are rare. Even educated percussionists are at a loss to name more than three. With this concerto, it was my intent to highlight this underutilized instrument in a soloistic capacity in a substantial piece. Cast in three large movements, separated by two brief percussion interludes, the piece serves as vehicle to showcase the vibraphone’s assets -- symmetric range, pedal, vibrato, pitch bend, bowing, and other timbral effects -- in an accessible, yet challenging, work.
Distant and Ancient Fanfares is based on a six-note synthetic scale. This movement vacillates between jarring noises, militaristic rhythms, flurries of sound, and dissonant hymns.
Imaginary Antarctic Bird Songs is a tribute to Ralph Vaughan Williams, who, in his Sinfonia antartica [sic], wrote one of the earliest exposed parts for vibraphone in the symphonic repertory. The harmonies in the piano are lifted from Vaughan Williams’ vibraphone part and the other percussionists perform a series of bird-like sounds.
Dreamscape Variations is a variation set on the material heard in the first two bars of the movement. A shimmering effect -- at first jokingly referred to as “vibraphony” -- is created through a series of homogeneous timbral polyrhythms. These patterns are found throughout the movement, and they create a synthetic “vibraphone ensemble” with each player having a different motor setting.
Meditation: Homage to Hovhaness pays tribute to Alan Hovhaness. In his Symphony No. 4, the second movement is a percussion feature in which the percussionist exchanges extended mixed-meter solos that continue through ensemble passages that are in a different tempo and meter. Hovhaness’ polymetric and polytempi ideas have been retained, as well as the extended mixed-meter solo. In further homage, Hovhaness’ name was treated in a modified soggetto cavato process and Morse code provided the rhythmic groupings.
Toccata a la Samba shows off the soloist’s agility. The rhythmic construct is the traditional samba patterns found in the national Brazilian dance and their inversions. Two dark jazz scales, Dorian Be-Bop and Phrygian Dominant, provide the melodic and harmonic material. This movement is dark, monolithic, and aggressive.
- Program Note by composer
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Symphony (Steven D. Davis, conductor; Jim Clanton, vibraphone) - February 2010
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Ave Maria volgarizzata da Dante (as arranger) (2019)
- Concertante (2005)
- Concerto for Vibraphone (2009)
- Des Monstres et prodiges (2017)
- ...in fragile bark, o'er a tempestuous sea, the common harbor... (2016)
- i/xhale (2017)
- Mehter Suite (2019)
- Sapphire (2013)
- Selections from "The Nutcracker Suite" (as arranger) (2013)
- Song for Edie (2015)
- Toccata and ... (2020–21)
- Tornado (2004)
- Trobairitz (2019–20)
- Winter Night (Sleigh Ride) (as arranger) (2016)