Tales from the Center of the Earth

From Wind Repertory Project
Nebojša Živković

Nebojša Živković

Subtitle: Concerto for Marimba/percussion and wind ensemble

This work bears the designation Opus 33.

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 16:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Nebojša Živković
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


1. – 8:40
2. – 8:25


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II (II doubling Contrabassoon)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Tuba I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos (2)
  • China Cymbals
  • Cowbell (2)
  • Crash Cymbals (2)
  • Crashers (2)
  • Crotales
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Plastic Blocks (2)
  • Snare Drum (piccolo)
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Thunder Sheet
  • Tom-toms (5)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In a spring of 2002 I was commissioned to compose a piece for one percussion soloist and wind ensemble. Commissioner was a consortium of 12 universities from the USA led by the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music. The school's conductor Glen Adsit and percussion Professor Benjamin Toth requested a piece that would be a real challenge for a soloist, showing well the possibilities of marimba as well as of percussion, and also leaving some space to the orchestra and especially to its percussion section to “show up”. Since the solo part has been composed ON the set-up, it really uses all possibilities and colors of the chosen instrumentarium ina very effective and hugely virtuosic way. Therefore is also important for the soloist to build his set-up exactly as indicated in order to make all “licks” playable. In a little less than a year later after a commission, a concerto was finished and premiered in Hartford in April 2003.

Tales is a musical story that is drawn from an oriental Balkan-like mood. Even if the large formal structure of the piece is divided in two main sections, there are many "little tales" in between such as dreamy cadenzas for the marimba and winds and an Egyptian-sounding groove in the tutti passages. After the "oriental: awakening introduction the music moves into a slow dance written for the marimba, which I like to think of as a "Camel-Groove". The dance is developed and leads into a tutti climax, which is broken by a crack of the whip. After a cadenza on marimba and a brief reminiscence of the Camel-dance, the first section ends quietly in the sounds of cymbals reminiscent of deep-water waves.

The second movement is connected attacca and begins with low drums and two tubas. This is immediately supported by a slow uneven rhythm in 5/4 plus 9/8. The percussion grows slowly and adds a touch of mystery. In generally, the second movement is energetic and supported by strong rhythmic pulses, often performed by the whole ensemble in unison. Volcanic-like eruptions start in the percussion section and together with a soloist, lead to a percussion cadenza.

Tales from the Center of the Earth has purposely been composed in rather tonal musical language with more progressive harmonies featured in the second movement only.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer