Toru Takemitsu

Gitimalya, for marimba & orchestra

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    This work for marimba and orchestra was composed in 1974. It is similar to a concerto - the marimba plays very complex passages, and is otherwise the featured instrument - except that the solo marimba continually blends into the orchestral sound and the piece is not organized in the traditional 3-movement concerto form. The percussive and rhythmic nature of the marimba as an instrumental character is brought forward. At one point, the marimba plays steady-rhythm single tones like raindrops against the orchestral sound. Toward the middle, Middle Eastern music is suggested with highly inflected melodies from the oboes. The steady-rhythm single notes from the marimba then begin to suggest gamelan music. After a brief orchestral interlude of mysterious sustains, the single-note passages have offbeat accents suggesting a slight jazz-inflection (if not style). A solo follows in which the player switches to the wood handles of the mallets for special effects. Subtle tone color comments by the orchestra support the solo at various moments. During the last minute a orchestral sustain leads into a lush surface chord that slowly disappears.