• Sofia Gubaidulina
  • Glorious Percussion (2008)

  • Schirmer Russian Music (USA and Canada only)

Available in the USA and Canada only

  • 3(pic).1.4(eb clar, bass clar).0 - 2(2 Wagner tubas [B, F].2.4(ten-bass trbn).2 - perc (timp, whip, wood bl VI, wood bl VII, side dr, bass dr, cym, susp.cym, tam-t). 2 harps. cel. strings
  • 5 solo percussionists (I: crot I, glass chimes I, bamboo chimes I, cabaza, wood bl I, darabuca, hand dr I, bass cr, xyl I, marimba I - II: crot I, glass chimes II, bamboo chimes II, wood bl II, flex I [with bow], hand dr II, bass dr II, vibr II, marimba II - III: medium tgl, flex II, wood bl III, ha
  • 38 min

Programme Note

Berlin Philharmonic
Concerto for percussion ensemble and orchestra.

Commissioned by Anders Loguin, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

First performance:
September 18 2008
Glorious Percussion
Göteborg Symphony Orchestra
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Göteborg, Sweden

1. The solo percussion ensemble consists of five players, some of whose instruments are placed to the right and the left of the orchestra (e.g. numerous gongs) and others of which are placed to the right and left of the conductor (marimba and vibraphone). Five bass drums are at the very front; these are only used at the very end during a large final intensification. The solo percussionists step in front of the orchestra to improvise at seven places during the work.

2. The orchestra is of normal size, whereby the composer uses many brass instruments and few woodwinds. The number of strings should be at least 12/8/8/8/8. In addition, there are two percussionists in the orchestra who make use of timpani, bass drum and tam-tam within the orchestra.

Composer Note:
Two special characteristics distinguish this work from my previous works:
A. The central theme here is the agreement of the sounding intervals with their difference tones. The structure of the form then results from this as well: the sound movement thrice comes to a standstill. Before this static background, only the respective pulsation caused by the intervals of the previous chord remains. Such episodes appear at particular structural points, thus subjecting the form to the law of the Golden Section.
B. The solo percussionists have seven episodes in this work in which they step before the orchestra and improvise without a fixed note-text. This is more or less a reminiscence of a performance practice from a time during which only an oral culture existed.

— Sofia Gubaidulina