The compositions on this CD by Stanley Leonard span 40 years, from 1967 to 2007. This percussion music collage is created to give the listener a glimpse into the fascinating world that has been such an important part of Leonard's extenseive musical experience.
3. Traveling Music
4. Collage for Solo Timpani
Collage celebrates sixty-five years of my involvement in the world of percussion music and the seventy-fifth anniversary of my existence on planet earth. The compositions on this CD were written between 1967 and 2007. Originally I wrote music for my students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because there was a significant need for snare drum, timpani, solo percussion, and percussion ensemble music. Circus, my first percussion ensemble, was composed at CMU in 1958, published in 1972, and continues to be performed today internationally. Canticle (1995), a CD distributed by Ludwig Music, provides a sampling of music I wrote during my twenty years at CMU. During my ten years as a faculty member at Duquesne University I wrote solo compositions, music for the school percussion ensemble, and music for the percussion group, Tempus Fugit. Then I began composing works for long time percussion colleagues and their ensembles. I also wrote individually commissioned solo and ensemble pieces. On this recording my most recent composition is Collage for Solo Timpani.
This percussion music collage is created to give the listener a glimpse into the fascinating world that has been such an important part of my musical experience. I am indebted to the energy and talents of the Louisiana State University percussion group and their director, Dr. Brett Dietz, for bringing the music to life. On this recording all works are conducted by Stanley Leonard except Hurricane and Xylem which are conducted by Brett Dietz. The year of composition is indicated opposite the title.
- Stanley Leonard
This music was written for and premiered by the Louisiana State University percussion group on April 22, 2004; the composer conducted. The Greek word kymbalon can be translated as "cymbals." The opening chime statement is an ancient Greek melody written in the second or first century B.C., titled Skolion or Seikilos Song, and is attributed to a Greek musician named Seikilos. The music is an epitaph her wrote for his wife. Kymbalon honors Seikilos with a serious processional for the departed loved one, and then with a celebration of life. The work, in 5/4 and 5/8 rhythmic pulse, is a series of settings or variations on the opening theme. There are nine percussionists.
This piece is scored for four marimbas and includes a rhythmic accompaniment with triangle and finger cymbals. It was written for one of my students at Carnegie Mellon University and was performed as the processional for his wedding ceremony.
Traveling Music (2002)
This work was written for and premiered at the annual Percussion Summit concert in Naples, FL, September 2002. You are invited to become part of an imaginary journey that explores the music of planet earth. Listen to the sounds of percussion from around the world. The performers have their bags packed, so pack yours and join them for some Traveling Music. Ten percussionists strike their suitcases with drumsticks to begin and end the journey.
Collage for Solo Timpani (2007)
Collage for solo timpani was written especially for this recording. Its title refers to music in the slow second section that hints at several timpani solos which appear in well-known orchestral works. The references are not exact statements but will be recognizable to the experienced listener. The main character of the work reflects the style of solo writing for timpani I have deomonstrated over the years, that is, timpani music in a quasi melodic fashion utilizing the pedals for more than just tuning pitches. I perform this work on my set of four Hinger timpani.
Item # 16620
This piece is a movement from a larger composition titled Symphony for Percussion that was completed in 1969. The Symphony is a work in four movements that highlight different members of the percussion family. Xylem featured percussion instruments made of wood. Marimbas and xylophone provide a melody; wood drums, temple blocks, castanets, claves, and woodblocks demonstrate that even non-pitched wooden instruments have a melodic voice. There are nine performers.
Written for solo multi-percussionist and keyboard percussion quartet, Shadows reflects these words that are written on the inside front cover of the score:
Moon shadows, move mysteriously across the dark landscape.
Sun shadows, dance in the light.
Morning shadows, shift night into day with peaceful motion.
Evening shadows, capture all that has been, now fade away.
Shadows was first performed in Pittsburgh, PA in October 2005 by a quartet from the Duquesne University Percussion Ennsemble. Eliseo Rael was the soloist; the composer conducted. The soloist on this recording, Brett Dietz, is director of percussion studies at LSU.
The music of Zanza is an imaginary dance celebration using percussion instruments from different ethnic regions around the globe. It was written for Mitchell Peters and the UCLA Percussion Ensemble in Los Angeles, CA. Zanza is one of the names sometimes given to the thumb piano or kalimba, used to accompany singing in African cultures. The sound of the kalimba appears in the beginning and ending of Zanza. My thumb piano has seven tones; consequently this piece is linked together with rhythms of seven beats. The work requires six performers.
This work is scored for fourteen percussionists and describes the force and energy of a hurricane. It was written for and premiered at the Naples Percussion Summit concert, September 2005. It is an homage to Mother Nature for her hurricane which caused the cancellation of the previous year's concert!