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Fantasia and Toccata

Composer: Daniel Berg

Instrument: Marimba

Level: Advanced

Published: 2012

Price: €18.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 15 min.

      As a young percussionist I played timpani with S:t. Matteus Symfoniorkester (SMSO) in Stockholm. During a production we played among others Gloria by Francis Poulenc, for choir and orchestra. The music, and above all the harmony, had a big impact on me. I was immediately inspired to study more music from Poulenc together with other French composers like Oliver Messiaen. Fantasia and Toccata is strongly inspired by the harmonies of both Poulenc and Messiaen which I have tried to adapt through the marimba.

  • Instrumentation +
    • Marimba

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  • About the composer +
    • Daniel Berg is a Swedish composer, musician and professor in classical percussion. He combines the role of writing music with being a versatile musician and teaches solo percussion and chamber music at the University College of Music in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Örebro in Sweden. 

      In his passion to promote the marimba as a solo- and chamber music instrument, Daniel has worked intimately with a number of composers who have written original music for the instrument. This includes more than 250 world premieres for solo and chamber works. Daniel Berg is an artist of Bergerault Marimbas and Elite Mallets. 

      As a composer Daniel has written a lot for percussion published by Edition Svitzer like his Kroumata for percussion sextet, Images for Percussion Duo and Yán Jiāng (Magma) for solo marimba - a commission from the Taiwan World Percussion Competition 2020.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, May 2013)

      Indeterminacy in music provides the performer with a sense of liberation. Using this technique, the first of this work’s two movements presents the marimbist with 12 boxes. Similar to a painter, the performer now has a color palette of chords to serve as inspiration. Yet, the interpretive possibilities are essentially a blank canvas. Through improvisation and experimentation, the marimbist now has a chance to create his or her masterpiece. With a few exceptions, the performer is granted the freedom to organize the boxes, choose the tempo, and change the dynamics.

      I appreciate Daniel Berg’s ability to emulate the character and harmonic content used by Francis Poulenc and Oliver Messiaen, yet fluidly adapt them to the marimba. The second movement, “Toccata,” has three distinct qualities. The opening presents an intense, flourishing character with virtuosic lateral strokes that resemble the beginning of Poulenc’s “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.” Moving to a smooth, dreamy section, this portion is notated through a series of repeated cells. Lastly, he includes a slow, “melancholy,” chorale that eventually eliminates the rolls and transitions to song-like flourishes.

      Requiring all four standard stroke types in four-mallet technique, this piece includes intervals up to an octave. With the amount of diversity and freedom, advanced marimbists will enjoy adding this piece to their repertoire.

      —Darin Olson

  • Credits +
    • Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Enamel painting: Bengt Berglund
      Engraving: Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition SVITZER