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Two Preludes for Mallet Sextet (Chopin/Debussy)

Prelude No. 4 in E minor (Op. 28, No. 4) and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
Level: Medium
Duration: 4:15 (total)
State Lists: Texas | Missouri
Release Date: 2015
Delivery Method: Physical
Product ID : TSPCE15-015
Price: $38.00
Item #: TSPCE15-015

Formats Available:



Description

In this collection, Chad Heiny masterfully transforms two timeless piano works into colorful, beautiful pieces for mallet sextet.

While Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in E minor (Op. 28, No. 4) exudes melancholy and despair, its beauty is undeniable. In this arrangement, contrasting timbres of woods and metals provide a foundation for such effective colors as bowed crotales and chime tremolos. This is a great piece in which the small ensemble can refine their abilities to express through fluid, elastic tempo, as well as developing a keen ability to balance.

Debussy’s Girl With the Flaxen Hair, from his first book of piano preludes, is famous for its simplicity and remains one of the composer’s most popular works. This rendition for mallet sextet captures its warm lyricism through expert orchestration. And while retaining the nature of Debussy’s simplicity, this arrangement will still provide a good challenge for ensembles in creating a cohesive sum of their parts.

These two preludes have similar instrumentation and ensemble size allowing them to be performed as a complimentary set. However, each work may be performed separately with equal appreciation.

Two Preludes for Mallet Sextet comes as a professionally bound folio and includes a CD-ROM containing individual parts and an audio reference recording.

Instrumentation

  • Crotales (2 octaves)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Chimes
  • 2 vibraphones
  • 2 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low C

Reviews

This collection of two adaptations for keyboard percussion sextet includes two familiar piano works: Chopin’s “Prelude No. 4 in E minor” and Debussy’s “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair.” As a clarification to the instrumentation listed above, only the Debussy requires two vibraphones, and the notes and setup diagrams suggest that two 4.3- octave marimbas may be used for the Chopin, although the last two chords of the piece require a low E and F in one marimba part. Three mallets are required for performance of each marimba part in the Chopin (block chords throughout), and bowed crotales are also utilized in that prelude. Felt-covered chime mallets are called for in both selections, and medium yarn mallets are used to roll on the chimes occasionally. All other key- board parts are playable with two mallets throughout, using standard techniques, andmallet recommendations (soft yarn, hard plastic, etc.) are provided in the score.

The form, harmonies, and melody hold very true to the original piano scores, with Chad Heiny utilizing primarily the chime and crotale voices in adding his personal touch to the arrangements. Additionally, the mallet choice and bowed effects, along with clearly no- tated articulation and pedaling, provide clarity as to Heiny’s intent in his orchestration. In general, the scoring is fairly thick, with no parts laying out for more than three or four measures at a time and all voices present in most measures. In the Chopin, the two marimba parts are written in unison for all but a couple measures and the bells and vibes play much of the melodic content together in octaves. Similarly, in the Debussy, the bell part only plays two notes that aren’t doubled in another voice, and the chime/ crotale part is frequently doubling a vibraphone voice.

While these are perfectly functional arrangements, there is nothing particularly effective or impressive about the orchestration that makes this a better choice than other adaptations of classical works for keyboard percussion ensemble. Perhaps the redundant scoring was particularly appropriate for the commissioning ensemble, but many ensembles performing these arrangements might benefit from a slightly thinned score with more independence of voices and lines that pass between players rather than lay-er over top of each other so extensively.

–Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 54, No. 2, May 2016

Description

In this collection, Chad Heiny masterfully transforms two timeless piano works into colorful, beautiful pieces for mallet sextet.

While Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in E minor (Op. 28, No. 4) exudes melancholy and despair, its beauty is undeniable. In this arrangement, contrasting timbres of woods and metals provide a foundation for such effective colors as bowed crotales and chime tremolos. This is a great piece in which the small ensemble can refine their abilities to express through fluid, elastic tempo, as well as developing a keen ability to balance.

Debussy’s Girl With the Flaxen Hair, from his first book of piano preludes, is famous for its simplicity and remains one of the composer’s most popular works. This rendition for mallet sextet captures its warm lyricism through expert orchestration. And while retaining the nature of Debussy’s simplicity, this arrangement will still provide a good challenge for ensembles in creating a cohesive sum of their parts.

These two preludes have similar instrumentation and ensemble size allowing them to be performed as a complimentary set. However, each work may be performed separately with equal appreciation.

Two Preludes for Mallet Sextet comes as a professionally bound folio and includes a CD-ROM containing individual parts and an audio reference recording.

Instrumentation

  • Crotales (2 octaves)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Chimes
  • 2 vibraphones
  • 2 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low C

Reviews

This collection of two adaptations for keyboard percussion sextet includes two familiar piano works: Chopin’s “Prelude No. 4 in E minor” and Debussy’s “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair.” As a clarification to the instrumentation listed above, only the Debussy requires two vibraphones, and the notes and setup diagrams suggest that two 4.3- octave marimbas may be used for the Chopin, although the last two chords of the piece require a low E and F in one marimba part. Three mallets are required for performance of each marimba part in the Chopin (block chords throughout), and bowed crotales are also utilized in that prelude. Felt-covered chime mallets are called for in both selections, and medium yarn mallets are used to roll on the chimes occasionally. All other key- board parts are playable with two mallets throughout, using standard techniques, andmallet recommendations (soft yarn, hard plastic, etc.) are provided in the score.

The form, harmonies, and melody hold very true to the original piano scores, with Chad Heiny utilizing primarily the chime and crotale voices in adding his personal touch to the arrangements. Additionally, the mallet choice and bowed effects, along with clearly no- tated articulation and pedaling, provide clarity as to Heiny’s intent in his orchestration. In general, the scoring is fairly thick, with no parts laying out for more than three or four measures at a time and all voices present in most measures. In the Chopin, the two marimba parts are written in unison for all but a couple measures and the bells and vibes play much of the melodic content together in octaves. Similarly, in the Debussy, the bell part only plays two notes that aren’t doubled in another voice, and the chime/ crotale part is frequently doubling a vibraphone voice.

While these are perfectly functional arrangements, there is nothing particularly effective or impressive about the orchestration that makes this a better choice than other adaptations of classical works for keyboard percussion ensemble. Perhaps the redundant scoring was particularly appropriate for the commissioning ensemble, but many ensembles performing these arrangements might benefit from a slightly thinned score with more independence of voices and lines that pass between players rather than lay-er over top of each other so extensively.

–Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 54, No. 2, May 2016



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