• Erkki-Sven Tüür
  • Ardor (2001)
    (Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra)

  • Henry Litolff’s Verlag GmbH & Co. KG (World)
  • mba +
  • Marimba
  • 24 min

Programme Note

Ardor – a Latin word for heat, flame, flashing, brightness, loved one.

The key pitch of the Marimba Concerto is the low C, which is the lowest note on the five-octave marimba. I have always been fascinated by the low register of the marimba. Thus the whole work sets out to expose the row based on the lower C. From here the subsequent harmonic developmental processes and the remaining rows of the Concerto are derived, as well as the models for subsequent rhythmic developments in the First and the Third movements. The Second movement forms a contrast with its treatment of "frozen time". It contains long melodic marimba parts, which the strings transform into up to 12-voice slowly changing polyphonic sound fabric. These are interrupted by quick unexpected replies from the marimba to be answered by the woodwinds, similar in its effect to digital delay. As in my earlier instrumental concertos (Cello Concerto and Violin Concerto) the orchestra in the Ardor is not merely for the accompaniment, but plays the interactive role of an "interpreter", a "disturber" or a "resounding resonator". The main variable in the work is the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra. Before the conclusion in the Third movement they are inextricably intertwined. Similarly to my earlier compositions, Ardor merges modal and serial techniques, but more than ever before I have concentrated on the harmonic relations. All the three movements are performed attacca.
As a matter of fact, all that was said before is not so important for the listener, I hope that the musical events presented in Ardor will unfold like an abstract plot in a film, which, depending on the creative fantasy of each listener, might take a completely different turn.
Erkki-Sven Tüür  2002