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Two Antiphonal Portraits


Genre: Percussion Ensemble
# of Players: 12
Level: Medium | Duration: 12:00
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    An excellent study in polyrhythms, pitting quintuplets against triplets against syncopated sixteenth note patterns. Requires independence among all players. All keyboard parts require 4-mallet technique. Great challenge!

    Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 12
    Level: Medium | Duration: 12:00

    Player 1 (4-octave marimba, cowbell)
    Player 2 (4-octave marimba, agogo bells)
    Player 3 (4.3-octave marimba, maracas)
    Player 4 (4.3-octave marimba, guiro)
    Player 5 (3-octave vibraphone, 3 suspended cymbals)
    Player 6 (3-octave vibraphone, large tam-tam)
    Player 7 (orchestra bells, woodblock, claves)
    Player 8 (orchestra bells, temple blocks, small tam-tam)
    Player 9 (xylophone, 4 concert toms)
    Player 10 (xylophone, bass drum, bongos)
    Player 11 (2-octave crotales, chimes, 3 triangles)
    Player 12 (2-oct crotales, chimes, suspended brake drum)

    Program Notes
    Two Antiphonal Portraits was composed in 2000 for the University of South Florida Percussion Ensemble. Stylistically, it reflects influences of late twentieth century sound mass composition, Latin-American percussion, and the concerto grosso procedures found in many Baroque instrumental compositions. The title refers to the division of the twelve performers into three groups of four, with two groups placed on opposite sides of the stage and the marimbas in the center. Although it is scored mostly for melodic (keyboard) instruments, all performers also play indefinitely-pitched wood, metal and membrane instruments. Most of the antiphonal passages occur in the parts for the vibraphones, xylophones, chimes, orchestra bells and crotales, all scored in pairs. The four marimbas function mostly as an independent sub-ensemble, occasionally interacting with the other instrumental groups. Throughout both movements, there is interplay between ideas introduced by definitely and indefinitely-pitched instruments. Overlapping textures of long sustained sonorities, counterpoint and repeated percussive passages are also essential structural materials in both movements. Thematic ideas introduced in a tentative and restrained manner in the contemplative first movement are developed more aggressively in the more complex, aggressive and rhythmically driven second movement. Melodic and harmonic materials in both movements are based on short segments of the chromatic scale. The rhythmic motives in the indefinitely-pitched instruments parallel the melodic contour of those introduced in the pitched instruments. Although the pitched instruments dominate much of the piece, the coda of the second movement consists of repeated cross-rhythms played entirely on indefinitely-pitched instrument.

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