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Concerto for marimba and chamber orchestra (marimba with chamber orchestra) youth orchestra

by Daniel Rojas (2013)

Concerto for marimba and chamber orchestra


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Concerto for marimba and chamber orchestra / Daniel Rojas.

Library shelf no. 784.326843/ROJ 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Early in the process of composing Chamber Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra, I realised this work would grow to become conversational in character. It is, indeed, common to speak of a concerto as a dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra. Due of the intimate size of the ensemble, however, I gave the orchestral instruments important solo roles. Consequently, they now play an active part in this dialog, the moods of which range from spiritually introspective to enthusiastically charged.

The principal tonal centres for each movement are D, G and E, and are drawn from the initials of the original collaborators of this work: Daniel Rojas, Sarah-Grace Williams and Claire Edwardes. Each of these movements explores a particular extra-musical theme:

I. Serpentine is a reference to the sinuous Amazonian rivers, which are formidable uncompromising bodies of water that can extend for hundreds or thousands of kilometres. Spiralling thematic and layered melodic sequences hint at Afro-Cuban and Amerindian music. The festive character of this movement has a sinister undercurrent that relates to my sentiments surrounding the plight of the indigenous inhabitants of this vast and fertile area.

II. Ebb is a very personal movement that is born from deep introspection that describes the process of gradual withdrawal from youthful ingenuousness. Musically, this movement makes use of chorale, plainchant and tango references to evoke a sense of spiritual and profane transfiguration.

III. Soirée is an extroverted musical depiction of the kind of musical social gatherings my close circle of friends and I enjoy hosting for each other. This movement unfolds as such typical occasion would: amicable introductory conversation, the announcement of food and drink, and enjoying some unrestrained and boisterous spontaneous music making prior to a cheerful farewell.

Similarly to other works of mine, such as my Latin Piano Concerto (2006), Chamber Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra draws from the music of various Latin American traditions such as Peruvian indigenous, tango, Afro-Cuban, as well as Mexican, Venezuelan and Argentine cowboy music.
Daniel Rojas, April 2013

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon, percussion (1 player), marimba solo, strings.

Duration: 25 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — can be performed by a good secondary school, university, community and professional orchestra.

Contents note: I. Serpentine -- II. Ebb -- III. Soiree.

Commission note: Commissioned by Metropolitan Orchestra, Sarah-Grace Williams, Claire Edwardes.

First performance: by Claire Edwardes, Metropolitan Orchestra, Sarah-Grace Williams at TMO: Claire Edwardes plays Rojas (The Independent Theatre) on 22 Jun 2013

The comoser notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Latin American music, tango, salsa, Afro-Cuban music


Performances of this work

23 Jun 2013: at TMO: Claire Edwardes plays Rojas (Balmain Town Hall). Featuring Claire Edwardes, Metropolitan Orchestra, Sarah-Grace Williams.

22 Jun 2013: at TMO: Claire Edwardes plays Rojas (The Independent Theatre). Featuring Claire Edwardes, Metropolitan Orchestra, Sarah-Grace Williams.

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