Prelude to Paradise was written to reflect the composer's personal view of the chaotic events surrounding the end of days as they are depicted in the Book of Revelation. This impressive work for percussion orchestra is the epitomy of "tour-de-force" – from the four 4-mallet marimba parts to the blazing-fast scalar licks on the xylophone and vibraphone parts. As exciting to play as it is to listen to, Prelude to Paradise will have audiences on their feet begging for more once it's over.
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 13
Level: Difficult | Duration: 8:00
Xylophone (Crotales, Triangle, Marching Machine )
Chimes (Suspended Cymbal)
Vibraphone 1 ( 3-octave)
Vibraphone 2 ( 3-octave)
Marimba 1 (5-octave)
Marimba 2 (5-octave)
Marimba 3 (5-octave)
Marimba 4 (5-octave)
Timpani ( Suspended Cymbal, B-flat Crotale )
Percussion 1 (Kick Bass Drum, Ribbon Crasher, China Cymbal, Tam-Tam)
Percussion 2 (Snare Drum, 3 Concert Toms, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbal)
Percussion 3 (Tam-Tam, Concert Bass Drum, Triangle, Suspended Cymbal, Sizzle Cymbal, China Cymbal, Chains, Brake Drum, Floor Tom)
Prelude to Paradise was written to reflect my personal view of the chaotic events surrounding the end of days as they are depicted in the Book of Revelation. I’ve always found the vivid imagery in this story to be quite shocking and powerful, and I’ve strived to replicate those feelings through the music. Although the piece is not intended to chronicle the story, some important events and details of the book can be heard musically.
The number seven is one of the most significant numbers found in Revelation, and for that reason the piece is primarily metered in seven. There are numerous accounts in the book where “the stars of heaven fall unto the earth,” and this is illustrated by densely harmonized, rapidly descending passages in the vibraphone and xylophone. Towards the middle of the piece, the symbolic opening of the seventh seal can be heard, as well as the subsequent “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour,” represented by 30 beats of (near) silence. The second half of the piece depicts Jesus marching onto mount Zion with the 144,000 who were redeemed from the earth, where he leads them into battle with the beast and onto their final judgments.