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Marimba Suite No. 2 (by Daniel Levitan)

Price: $18.00

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The contrasting four movements of this suite are unified by the use of a formal device in which a short amount of material is repeated four times. In the first movement, the thematic material sets-up a series of variations in blues form. The second movement is a sort of rondo. The third movement is characterized by rapid transformation in which the repeated material serves as a release. In the final movement, the first series of repetitions presents the theme note by note. Can be played on a 4.3 marimba

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Musical FeaturesThere is much to be determined by the performer, given the minimalist rhythmic structure of each movement. Expressive markings are almost non-existent, including dynamics and large phrase markings. For an earworm in each movement, the composer utilizes repeated material throughout specific to each movement (typically 1-2 bars), and these are inserted frequently throughout each movement.
Mvt. 1: Moderate tempo. constant 16ths (4-mallets) with use of syncopation by either the permutation or use of rests. The melodic material is frequently in mallet 4. This movement is very tonal, utilizing a series of variations in blues form.
Mvt. 2: Brisk tempo, definitely adding to the complexity. These harmonies are reminiscent of Levitan’s popular Marimba Quartet. The repeated material in this movement creates more of a rondo form. The syncopation is again present, and this time in 7/8. Similar rhythmic figures are used in each bar, again creating a minimalist rhythmic structure.
Mvt. 3: Brisk tempo. This movement uses the muffling device also found in Levitan’s Marimba Quartet. The dampened notes happen quite frequently throughout this movement and certainly add a challenge to the execution. Constant 16ths are broken up by syncopated accents throughout. This movement works better with 2 mallets.
Mvt. 4: Moderate tempo. This movement utilizes a constant alternating stroke in the RH, with melodic material in the LH. The movement begins very simplistically and gradually builds the melody in the LH. The movement is tonal, and various key areas are explored, but not reflected in the key signature. This is a very lyrical minimalist movement.
Technical FeaturesMvt. 1: Alternated strokes, light touch, idiomatic
Mvt. 2: Double Verticals- frequent interval changes, no more than 2 octaves apart; alternated strokes, less idiomatic
Mvt. 3: most likely performed with 2 mallets, less idiomatic due to muffling
Mvt. 4: Alternated (different from Mvt. 1 by the repeated tones in the RH, melody in LH), idiomatic
Duration4 movements: 18 minutes
InstrumentationMarimba 4.3 Octave
Level SuggestionHigh School : Mvt. 1
College/Professional: Mvts. II, III, IV