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Percussion Ensembles

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Nuages Gris

percussion ensemble
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Composer: Franz Liszt (arr. Gene Fambrough)
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Instrumentation: Bells, crotales, chimes, vibraphone, 3 marimbas (2 - low A, 1 - low F), timpani, piano, tam-tam, bass drum, sizzle cymbal, large china cymbal, mark tree

Program Notes:
Franz Liszt composed the piece as a work for solo piano. It is one of Liszt's most haunting and at the same time one of his most experimental works. The harmonies, which are very different from those found in his earlier works, give a very dark and almost morbid feel to the piece. It has been described as representing a high point in the experimental idiom with respect to expressive compositional procedure.

This arrangement aims to highlight the somewhat "static" nature of the piece, similar to the original. The cymbals used in the percussion part should be fairly large and dark sounding if possible. With the exception of isolated glockenspiel, chime, and crotale strokes, the ensemble should strive to blend all elements together into a seamless whole, with no instrument being more important than any other, including the piano.

"Recital and concert programs often feature new music and older compositions that are being arranged for large percussion orchestra. In this arrangement, each of the marimba and vibraphone parts require four mallets simply to play occasional four-note chords. The tempo is quarter note = 60 bpm. Although the individual parts are not difficult, a successful performance will require attention to delicate touch and phrasing. Most of the notes are rolled, so roll speed and legato movement must be addressed.

Much of the material consists of repeated motives, which are usually doubled among the players, or are written in a statement/reply format. The piano part is not difficult and a pianist with limited experience should be able to play it. The piano part also appears in unison with the keyboard percussion material. The colors from the instrument combinations are creative. This could be a nice contrast for percussion programs, which are so often overly rhythmic and technical." — George Frock Percussive Notes, July 2013

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Gene Fambrough Gene Fambrough
University of Alabama-Birmingham
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