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Duo for Violin and Marimba

By Daniel Levitan

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Duo for Violin and Marimba composed by Daniel Levitan. Percussion Ensemble. For Violin & Marimba (violin, marimba (5-octave)). Difficult. Duration 5:40. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.01240).

Beginning with an extended violin solo that is full of the double stops that are typical of American fiddle music, both instruments spur each other on to a tight, driving expression and a kind of joyful expression of the memories of hurt, akin to the treatment of sadness in both Country music and traditional Blues. The effect of the music is improvisatory, with a relaxed jamming quality, though the music is fully written-out. The final violin solo, winding its way to a quiet conclusion, exudes a satisfied sense of calm in the wake of a good musical session.

Written for the violin/marimba duo of Sharon Leventhal and Nancy Zeltsman, Marimolin, this challenging duet draws on the bluegrass fiddle background of the violin for much of the thematic material for the composition. The violin part features many double stops, glissandi, and harmonics throughout, and the marimba part features bar dampening and ghost notes. While the individual marimba part is not terribly challenging, the ensemble skills required to put the piece together are great. You can hear a recording of Duo on Marimolin's CD, 'Phantasmata.-.

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