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Quatre / Quatre

Composer: Nancy Zeltsman

Instrument: Timpani

Level: Intermediate

Published: 2013

Price: €16.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 6 min.

      My first love within percussion was timpani. I played piano from age 5, but my instrumental direction changed at age 13 within an hour of being thrown into playing timpani at a summer band camp rehearsal. (The marimba—the percussion instrument that would become the center of my musical life—came later.) ....

  • Instrumentation +
    • Timpani (4)

  • About the composer +
    • Nancy Zeltsman is a leading marimba performer, recording artist, teacher, author and festival director who has premiered over 125 solo and chamber marimba works. She has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe and in Mexico and Japan as a soloist and chamber musician. Since 1993, she has taught marimba at The Boston Conservatory (where she is Chair of the Percussion Department) and Berklee College of Music (where she is a Professor). Since 2001, she has been Artistic Director of Zeltsman Marimba Festival, Inc., an annual, two-week summer seminar and concert series (www.ZMF.us). 

      Zeltsman has recorded three solo marimba CDs, and a marimba concerto with Boston Modern Orchestra Project on an all-William Thomas McKinley disc. Nancy recorded three CDs with her former marimba/violin duo Marimolin, and a duo marimba CD with Jack Van Geem. She authored a marimba method, Four Mallet Marimba Playing: A Musical Approach for All Levels (Hal Leonard Corporation), and was project coordinator and editor of Intermediate Masterworks for Marimba (C.F. Peters Corporation): two volumes containing 24 marimba solos, fostered through ZMF New Music and funded by about 200 people.  

      Nancy lives in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For more information, including links to videos, please visit: www.nancyzeltsman.com.

  • Reviews +
    • Percussive Notes, May, 2014

      Nancy Zeltsman and timpani are not usually mentioned in the same sentence. This is not a misprint. According to her program notes, Zeltsman’s first love within the percussion family was timpani. The work was written for Frederic Macarez on his 44th birthday (reciprocating his compositions written for Zeltsman on marimba), hence the title “Quatre Quatre” and the choice of 4/4 time signatures and number of movements: four. 

      Hand-wise, the solo is not terribly challenging; foot-wise, it’s another story! Numerous pitch changes are required throughout, but they are definitely attainable. In her notes to the performer, Zeltsman states: “My aim was to make the music so lyrical and/or rhythmically ‘catchy’ that players’ determination to project the flow of the music would help pull them through the technical challenges.” 

      Movement I, “Chanson de sourire (Smile Song),” is written in sort of a half-time pop/funk groove with the half note at 54 bpm. The writing is “tuneful” with numerous accents, inflections, and hand dampenings that help create a nice groove. Movement II, “Perles noires (Black Pearls),” is recitative-like with more emphasis on lyricism and less demanding on the feet. The third movement, “Chercher le lapin (Rabbit Shopping),” is lyrical in nature, but also requires rhythmic precision and attention to note length through hand dampening as well as “dead” strokes. The final movement,”Valpolicella,” is an energetic pop/calypso-like groove, highly syncopated and tuneful as well. 

      Totaling about six minutes in length, this work offers a charming collection of short, contrasting pieces for solo timpani. Thanks for the surprise, Nancy! 

      —Susan Martin Tariq

  • Credits +
    • Credits Front Cover image: Robert Scott, Circling Hawk Photography (rwalkleyscott.zenfolio.com)
      Front Cover Design: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Photo of Ms. Zeltsman: Liz Linder
      Engraving: Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark