Recitative and Scherzo is a celebration of the view of percussion instruments in their own right as musical instruments.
Genre: Solo Timpani with Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 5 + Solo Timpani
Level: Medium Difficult
Solo Timpani (5 drums)
Percussion 1: large maracas, xylophone, snare drum, 4 temple blocks, crotales (2 octaves), guiro, mark tree
Percussion 2: bells, claves
Percussion 3: xylophone, vibraphone, large cowbell
Percussion 4: chimes, tam-tam, vibraslap
Percussion 5: bass drum, suspended cymbal, marimba (4.3 octaves)
Recitative and Scherzo was commissioned and premiered by Ronald Horner with the Percussion Ensemble of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Gary Olmstead conducting, on November 17, 1998. The music begins with a short solo recitative and continues with dialogue between the solo timpani and the ensemble. A rhythmic fragment containing five beats is introduced. The tension between three beats and two beats is evident throughout the Recitative. The timpani resolve some of this tension in two descending chromatic statements, which are reversed in the opening Scherzo. The Scherzo is dance-like, now moving from pulses of five to six, and reminiscent of music by Franz Liszt, who was a strong supporter of percussion instruments in their own right as musical instruments. Recitative and Scherzo is a celebration of that view.