The Big Top, Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra
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"The Big Top" is a piece in three movements for symphony orchestra and solo percussionist who is required to play nine different percussion instruments. In the first movement the soloist alternates playing on marimba and non-pitched percussion; the themes presented on the marimba are varied and developed by the soloist as well as the rest of the orchestra and the non-pitched percussion is used in combination with the entire ensemble to create polyrhythms. In the slow second movement the soloist produces unsystematic rhythms using non-pitched percussion exclusively while the orchestra provides a sustained sound texture. In the last movement the soloist uses pitched and non-pitched percussion again; here, the material played by the soloist represents a circus character that has four arms. This movement features an extended percussion solo and the most chromatic musical language in the piece highlighted by final cadential tutti.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- Acknowledgments -- Instrumentation -- Performing Notes -- Score -- Appendix -- Vita.