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Beethoven in Havana (Horsley)

an Afro-Cuban arrangement of themes from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 adapted for percussion ensemble by Brian Flack
Level: Advanced
Duration: 4:30
Personnel: 14-15 players
Release Date: 2018
Product ID : TSPCE18-012
Price: $48.00
Item #: TSPCE18-012

Formats Available:
Physical Only

Description

At the first performance of Beethoven’s immortal 7th Symphony, the audience demanded an encore of the second movement immediately following its premiere. It’s no surprise that it is still venerated today and performed all over the world. Brian Flack’s adaptation of Joachim Horsley’s brilliant afro-Cuban piano arrangement, is proof that Beethoven’s music is so powerful, everlasting, and structurally sound, it can cross cultural and musical boundaries and be enjoyed by everyone. Adhering to the overall form of Horsley’s original arrangement, Flack has done an amazing job of orchestrating the various piano parts to mallet instruments as well as  the non-traditional percussive sounds to more traditionally Latin percussion instruments.

Beethoven in Havana comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Here's Joachim Horsley's original arrangement that inspired this adaptation. Enjoy!

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

2 vibraphones

3 marimbas (2) low A, (1) low E

Piano

Bass guitar

4 timpani

Drums (large djembe, congas, bongos)

Cymbals (3 suspended cymbals)

Accessories (cajón, claves, castanets, mark tree, cabasa, guiro, maracas, cowbell, ribbon crasher)

Reviews

This 41⁄2-minute arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (mvt. 2) really cooks! Not only does it showcase the staying power of Beethoven’s music, but it gives the percussion ensemble a chance to show off their Afro-Cuban chops as they groove together with melodic lines that dance around each other with playful energy. While this adaptation is based on an arrangement by pianist Joachim Horsley, the rhythmic element of the music falls quite naturally onto the percussion instruments. 

From a logistics standpoint, all the keyboard parts can be performed with two mallets, with the exception of the top two marimba parts, which require four mallets for chordal gures. Additionally, there is a diffculty hierarchy within the parts to accommodate players with different skill levels: keyboard parts are most di cult while the rhythm instrument parts primarily serve as the ostinato-engine of the piece. However, most of the syncopated phrase punctuations are present in almost all the instrument lines, which means every player will get a rhythmic workout at some point along the way. 

If you do not have 14–15 players in your ensemble, you could get away with dropping a few of the parts and cutting/pasting licks across instruments, as melodic material is shared equally among the all the keyboard instruments, often doubling each other at the octave or mimicking what is written for the electric keyboard and bass guitar. Brian Flack does a wonderful job of treating the instruments in an idiomatic fashion, even incorporating creative techniques like playing with the backs of mallets for textural variety. If you are looking for an exciting addition for your next percussion ensemble concert, don’t be fooled by the nod to Beethoven with this work. It grooves, it impresses, and it is wonderfully effective!

–Joshua D. Smith
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, May 2019

Description

At the first performance of Beethoven’s immortal 7th Symphony, the audience demanded an encore of the second movement immediately following its premiere. It’s no surprise that it is still venerated today and performed all over the world. Brian Flack’s adaptation of Joachim Horsley’s brilliant afro-Cuban piano arrangement, is proof that Beethoven’s music is so powerful, everlasting, and structurally sound, it can cross cultural and musical boundaries and be enjoyed by everyone. Adhering to the overall form of Horsley’s original arrangement, Flack has done an amazing job of orchestrating the various piano parts to mallet instruments as well as  the non-traditional percussive sounds to more traditionally Latin percussion instruments.

Beethoven in Havana comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Here's Joachim Horsley's original arrangement that inspired this adaptation. Enjoy!

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

2 vibraphones

3 marimbas (2) low A, (1) low E

Piano

Bass guitar

4 timpani

Drums (large djembe, congas, bongos)

Cymbals (3 suspended cymbals)

Accessories (cajón, claves, castanets, mark tree, cabasa, guiro, maracas, cowbell, ribbon crasher)

Reviews

This 41⁄2-minute arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (mvt. 2) really cooks! Not only does it showcase the staying power of Beethoven’s music, but it gives the percussion ensemble a chance to show off their Afro-Cuban chops as they groove together with melodic lines that dance around each other with playful energy. While this adaptation is based on an arrangement by pianist Joachim Horsley, the rhythmic element of the music falls quite naturally onto the percussion instruments. 

From a logistics standpoint, all the keyboard parts can be performed with two mallets, with the exception of the top two marimba parts, which require four mallets for chordal gures. Additionally, there is a diffculty hierarchy within the parts to accommodate players with different skill levels: keyboard parts are most di cult while the rhythm instrument parts primarily serve as the ostinato-engine of the piece. However, most of the syncopated phrase punctuations are present in almost all the instrument lines, which means every player will get a rhythmic workout at some point along the way. 

If you do not have 14–15 players in your ensemble, you could get away with dropping a few of the parts and cutting/pasting licks across instruments, as melodic material is shared equally among the all the keyboard instruments, often doubling each other at the octave or mimicking what is written for the electric keyboard and bass guitar. Brian Flack does a wonderful job of treating the instruments in an idiomatic fashion, even incorporating creative techniques like playing with the backs of mallets for textural variety. If you are looking for an exciting addition for your next percussion ensemble concert, don’t be fooled by the nod to Beethoven with this work. It grooves, it impresses, and it is wonderfully effective!

–Joshua D. Smith
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, May 2019



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