for Marimba solo published at Edition Svitzer
Review by Josh Gottry, published in May 2013
Dedicated to Anna Tuena, this richly romantic work for solo marimba uses the full range of a five-octave instrument as it weaves its way through continually changing moods and emotions. Throughout its three-and-a-half minute duration, Manuel Leuenberger’s solo rarely rests at a single tempo for more than a few measures. The time signature is more consistent, but the composer does sprinkle in a few metric varieties (particularly 7/8 time) in the work’s primarily common-time meter. Featured regularly in this piece is a recurring lefthand, open fifth double lateral stroke marking the beginning of measures. Strung between these anchors are fluid scale passages and dancing, groove-based ideas. The middle section breaks from this structure to explore a calm chorale and dramatic contrasting statements using right-hand octaves. The final section introduces even more variety as it intermingles octave statements with scale passages, all while utilizing the previously established left-hand open fifths in new and more active ways. “Anna” is a beautifully complex but accessible work. It lies well for the player and will allow marimbists to display the full performance value of the instrument in an entrancing work for audiences to appreciate.
Reprinted by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, Inc., 110 W. Washington Street, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46204;