Winter Nocturnes

[for mallet ensemble - six players]

composed for North Star Percussion in 2012: 25 minutes


The sound of multiple marimbas, particularly when played in a large and resonant hall, is very special.   It can be rich and powerful, but also quite subtle and delicate, and the potential dynamic range is unparalleled.  I believe that this sound is only matched in beauty and flexibility by massed strings or voices.


It has always seemed to me that the sound of a marimba in a non-resonant space suggests summer, warmth and celebration.  But in a resonant space, images of snow, ice and deep quiet are evoked.   The sound is warm, and yet somehow suggests the presence of cold just beyond the walls.  Rolls with soft mallets suggest the flickering of candles.


If played in its entirety, Winter Nocturnes is 25 minutes long.  But the movements may be performed alone, or in various combinations at the discretion of the conductor.  (Movements 1 and 3, being largely steady in tempo, could be performed without a conductor, but movements II and IV absolutely require a conductor.)


A recording of the piece is available on Patrick Long's 2013 CD Winter Nocturnes, which is available from iTunes and CDbaby.

Purchase parts (via emailed pdf) $20