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Bolero's Blues (Download)

for percussion orchestra
Level: Advanced
Duration: 4:20
Personnel: 14 players
Release Date: 2021
Product ID : TSPCE21-017DL
Price: $48.00
Item #: TSPCE21-017DL

Formats Available:


Description

Bolero’s Blues, in David Reeves’ own words, is “a bluesy personification and tongue-in-cheek nod to both the Spanish dance form called the ‘bolero’ and the wildly popular one-act ballet score Bolero by Maurice Ravel.”

Indeed, this work for advanced percussion orchestra is full of colorful moments that are a treat to listen to. Frequent meter changes complement a chromatic, blues-oriented harmonic language. The result is a collection of phrases that vary wildly in character, always engaging the listener. This is a perfect centerpiece for a collegiate or advanced high school percussion ensemble concert, and may be performed with or without a conductor!

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel (pedal glock, if available)
  • Xylophone
  • 4 vibraphones
  • 4 marimbas—(2) low A, (2) low F
  • Chimes
  • Crotales (2 octaves)
  • 4 timpani (32”, 29”, 26”, 23”)
  • Tam-tam (medium preferred)
  • Drums — snare drum, bongos, kick drum w/ pedal, concert bass drum
  • Accessories — castanet machine, medium triangle (mounted), sand blocks (2), slapstick
  • Cymbals — hi-hat, small China, medium China, splash, med/large suspended, sizzle

Reviews

“Bolero’s Blues” is a 5-minute work for percussion orchestra. As stated by the composer, it is a “bluesy personification and tongue-in-cheek nod to both the Spanish dance form called the ‘bolero’ and the wildly popular one-act ballet score Bolero by Maurice Ravel.” Requiring 14 players and an enormous instrument list, it is suitable for advanced high school or college-level ensembles.

The piece is orchestrated in typical fashion, utilizing a variety of pitched and non-pitched instruments commonly found in most programs. However, it requires 28 instruments and a variety of implements for each player. Four vibraphones, four marimbas (two low-F and two low-A), glockenspiel, xylophone, and four timpani provide the pitched content, while numerous cymbals, drums, and other auxiliary instruments are used by the remaining three players. It is important to note that two octaves of crotales are needed, creating a potential challenge for some ensembles. The score and notation key are highly detailed and provide essential information for executing gestures. Additionally, all keyboard parts are equal in difficulty, with varied challenges in the non-pitched parts, giving directors flexibility when making assignments.

I love the overall feel of this composition! Despite the constant mixed meters, an intense groove throughout propels it to the end. I recommend it for a rhythmically confident ensemble as part of any percussion concert.

—Danielle Moreau
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022

Description

Bolero’s Blues, in David Reeves’ own words, is “a bluesy personification and tongue-in-cheek nod to both the Spanish dance form called the ‘bolero’ and the wildly popular one-act ballet score Bolero by Maurice Ravel.”

Indeed, this work for advanced percussion orchestra is full of colorful moments that are a treat to listen to. Frequent meter changes complement a chromatic, blues-oriented harmonic language. The result is a collection of phrases that vary wildly in character, always engaging the listener. This is a perfect centerpiece for a collegiate or advanced high school percussion ensemble concert, and may be performed with or without a conductor!

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel (pedal glock, if available)
  • Xylophone
  • 4 vibraphones
  • 4 marimbas—(2) low A, (2) low F
  • Chimes
  • Crotales (2 octaves)
  • 4 timpani (32”, 29”, 26”, 23”)
  • Tam-tam (medium preferred)
  • Drums — snare drum, bongos, kick drum w/ pedal, concert bass drum
  • Accessories — castanet machine, medium triangle (mounted), sand blocks (2), slapstick
  • Cymbals — hi-hat, small China, medium China, splash, med/large suspended, sizzle

Reviews

“Bolero’s Blues” is a 5-minute work for percussion orchestra. As stated by the composer, it is a “bluesy personification and tongue-in-cheek nod to both the Spanish dance form called the ‘bolero’ and the wildly popular one-act ballet score Bolero by Maurice Ravel.” Requiring 14 players and an enormous instrument list, it is suitable for advanced high school or college-level ensembles.

The piece is orchestrated in typical fashion, utilizing a variety of pitched and non-pitched instruments commonly found in most programs. However, it requires 28 instruments and a variety of implements for each player. Four vibraphones, four marimbas (two low-F and two low-A), glockenspiel, xylophone, and four timpani provide the pitched content, while numerous cymbals, drums, and other auxiliary instruments are used by the remaining three players. It is important to note that two octaves of crotales are needed, creating a potential challenge for some ensembles. The score and notation key are highly detailed and provide essential information for executing gestures. Additionally, all keyboard parts are equal in difficulty, with varied challenges in the non-pitched parts, giving directors flexibility when making assignments.

I love the overall feel of this composition! Despite the constant mixed meters, an intense groove throughout propels it to the end. I recommend it for a rhythmically confident ensemble as part of any percussion concert.

—Danielle Moreau
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022


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