Well, I got a rather nice email today from my publisher HoneyRock, of a review of my Marimba Fantasy by one Tom Morgan (whom I don't know) to be published in the April issue of Percussive Notes magazine. It's a good many times better than I would have expected any review for something of mine to be, so I thought I would share it for those interested. Check it:
This difficult and rewarding unaccompanied solo for five-octave marimba is written in a contemporary atonal or neo-tonal style with much rhythmic variation and complexity. The opening section (in 11/16) begins in octaves but is soon off in a playful romp that covers the entire range of the instrument. The texture is often one or two voices, punctuated by four-note chords. Interspersed are counter melodies and passages in contrary motion, with shifting rhythmic patterns and changing meters.
The piece eventually settles into a dance-like mood shifting between 5/8, 6/8 and 4/8, but this is shortlived. A monophonic, more free and legato section follows that soon returns to material similar to the opening. The most difficult part of the piece is probably the slower section, which requires the player to use a "mandolin roll" with the left hand, performing a rolled glissando while the right hand plays a choral as a one-handed roll on top. This moves to a more traditional rolled choral marked "majestic and broad."
The solo concludes with another fast sixteenth-note passage, climaxing with angular melodic patterns and a crescendo to fff. This is a monumental work requiring much musical and technical skill. It is destined to become a standard in the solo marimba literature.