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Concerto for Marimba (2005) and Orchestra

Listen to excerpts:  

Marimba Concerto I. - excerpt
Marimba Concerto II. - excerpt
Marimba Concerto III. - excerpt
Marimba Concerto IV. - excerpt

Instrumentation: 2222 / 2200 / 1 perc. / Solo Marimba / strings



I. Freely; Fast, energetic

II. Playful, accented

III. Slow, mysterious

IV. Fast, precise, reverberant


Duration: 25 minutes


World Premiere:  Commissioned by the ISGM New Music Commissioning Fund for Makoto Nakura. Premiered on March 19, 2005 by Makoto Nakura and Ensemble Kobe at Matsukata Hall, Kobe, Japan.


Program Notes:

I wrote my Marimba Concerto for marimba virtuoso Makoto Nakura who gave the premiere in Kobe, Japan in March 2005. The 25-minute concerto is cast in four contrasting movements and my idea for the work was to bring out two different aspects of the marimba: the virtuoso aspect (quick running passages where the performer's hands seem to blur) and its ability to "sing" (long , lyrical lines) even though the instrument has no true sustain. The first movement begins almost without tempo, very freely, as the orchestra echoes the marimba notes to create floating harmonies. The music gradually speeds up into the main section of the movement where the marimba moves in a rapid perpetual motion. The second movement is a scherzo where the marimba is accompanied by accented string pizzicati. Next is the slow movement where the marimba emerges out of the orchestral texture and "sings". The fourth movement concludes the work with a rhythmically driving finale and a short cadenza leading to the end.


-- Pierre Jalbert

© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Marimba Concerto

Photo:  Julia Jalbert

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