'Bach in Brazil'
Marimba and Organ
We musicians, Yoshiko Masaki and Manuel Leuenberger, bid you a warm welcome with this recording and invite you to a little musical journey back in time. Sounds which have barely known each other up to the present day are being merged into a wonderful listening experience.
Our time travel begins with the Concerto No. 1 for marimba and strings by the Brazilian composer and percussionist Ney Gabriel Rosauro.
This composer, who has been very important for the development of the marimba, also wrote the second piece that we present you here. It is about a geographical journey within our time travel. To be more specific, it is the musical rendering of Johann Sebastian Bach paying a fictional visit to Brazil.
Arrived in this particular land, we have a stopover with Heitor Villa-Lobos. About 80 years back in time on our expedition lays the cradle of his Bachiana Brasileira No. 5. With this tune, serving as a remembrance of Johann Sebastian Bach, he sends us even further back into the past to the very same. It is after counting down yet another 200 years that we arrive in the year 1738 and the time of origin of Bach`s Harpsichord Concert No. 1, which concludes our recording at the highest stage.
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"Dedicated to Anna Tuena, this richly romantic work for solo marimba uses the full range of a 5.0-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."
- Josh Gottry -
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