Intended to meet a goal of the Classical Marimba League to generate a body of literature for the marimba in older styles, the Antique Sonata is a work that could easily have been written by Bach. Intended to help marimba students and recitalists to delve into older idioms and enliven their programs with music more native to the instrument than mere transcriptions.
For thirty years, much of my music has featured episodic adventures into older musical styles; I have tried to incorporate a full spectrum of idiomatic references into my own personal sound world. Thus, it was very natural for me to create a work that might easily have been written by Bach.
I think the professed goal of the Classical Marimba League, to generate a body of literature for the marimba in older styles, is an interesting one, and should help marimba students and recitalists not only to delve into the older idioms, but also to enliven their programs with music more native to the instrument than mere transcriptions of existing works is likely to do.
The first movement explores the same toccata techniques found in organ works, and violin music of the baroque; the piano and marimba trade back and forth between a perpetual 16th note toccata pattern, and a jaunty rococo theme.
The second movement is an arrangement of a counterpoint exercise written 30 years ago in college.
The third movement is a full-fledged reharmonization of a solo violin piece I wrote when I was 18. The melodic contours of the melody take us further afield harmonically than anything else in the sonata, with many misdirections and surprise modulations. It also features written-out repeats with contrapuntal embellishments added typical of any baroque dance.
The last movement is a "gigue alla rondeau" with sonata rondo lurking around the corner. The rondo theme alternates with a second theme that reminds me of Beethoven putting on his peasant dancing shoes.
Grade Level: 3
Number of Players: 2
Listen to Recordings
Marimba (4.3 or 5-octave)