Upbeat Suite (Dance of the Little Swans, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks, and Danse Boheme arranged for mallet quartet). Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Modest Mussorgsky, Georges Bizet. Arranged by Brian Slawson. Percussion Ensembles. For Glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, and 4.3-octave marimba (low A) (4 players). Difficulty: Medium. Folio & CD-ROM. 16 pages. Duration 5:00. Published by Tapspace Publications (TA.TSPCE-92).
Upbeat Suite is an arrangement for percussion quartet of three orchestral excerpts, by three different composers, that share common rhythmic elements of upbeat, or 2-beat, feels: "Dance of the Little Swans" by Tchaikovsky; "Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks" by Mussorgsky; and, from Carmen, "Danse Boheme" by Bizet. Their cheerful nature dictates a light, bouncy style and is enhanced by the use of grace notes and appoggiaturas. A frequent arranger of classical themes, Slawson is adept at capturing the character of the original while still writing idiomatically, and in this case accessibly, for small mallet quartet. This is a rare marriage that will have you thinking Suite thoughts of your developing ensemble. Upbeat Suite comes as a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing individual parts and a recording.