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Fandango and Fugue in A Minor

marimba solo
Composer: Larry Lawless
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: marimba (5 octave)

Program Notes:
The opening to this challenging work is loosely based on the Spanish folk dance that is an offshoot of the Flamenco style. It begins with a 4 against 3 independence exercise that outlines the Andalusian cadence associated with the fandango, followed by a rubato singing style cadenza, into the main section reminiscent of the Spanish guitar pieces so often adapted to marimba. A full blown fugue follows that stretches the players ability to juggle four voices at the same time, but relates back to the fandango with intervening stretto and a closing restatement using the Fandango rhythms and cadence.

"This unaccompanied four-mallet marimba solo is divided into two components: a “fandango” and a “fugue.” The 36-measure “fandango” (a Spanish dance-form) is in 12/8 and juxtaposes patterns of 4-against-3 and 3-against-2 between the right and left hands before providing harmonic arpeggiations alternating between tonic and dominant in A minor. This first section cadences on a half-cadence on an E-major triad. The second section is a four-voice fugue with the subject first appearing in the alto voice (or upper hand) with a real answer in the tenor voice, followed by imitative entries in the soprano and bass voices of the four-mallet marimbist. Subsequent developmental sections take the performer through several near-related tonalities. A low-E marimba is required for this delightful, challenging solo. This eight-minute composition would be appropriate for a senior college recital or a graduate-level keyboard percussion recital." — Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, May 2010

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