Sonata No. 3 in C-minor
Composer: Edzard Locher
About the composer +
Edzard Locher (born 1989 in Tettnang, Lake Constance) studied percussion, composition and pedagogy in Zurich. He was percussionist with Kiel Philharmonic and Hof Symphony and is principal percussionist with Hessen State Orchestra Wiesbaden since 2016 as well as an associate professor at Wiesbaden Music Academy. He composes works for percussion and has specialized in percussion arrangements of classical music.
Percussive Notes, February 2023
“Sonata in C-Minor” is a virtuosic marimba solo written in a classic piano style. It has the standard four sonata movements played through as a single piece, and it relates closely to piano sonatas by Franz Liszt, with quotes from works by Carl Nielsen.
The piece has all of the elements one expects from a classical sonata: a large dynamic range, rubato opportunities, challenging technique, changing key signatures, layers of articulation and phrasing, and ornamentation, just to name a few. The piece has several cadenza-like moments and a lot of quick flourishes. Any player wanting to tackle this sonata will need excellent independent rolls, stellar hand independence, and no shortage of chops. This piece frequently calls for independent rolls in one hand while the other plays a part that in an easier piece would be written for two hands.
“Sonata in C-Minor” uses the entire range of the 5-octave instrument, sometimes within a single phrase, and calls for the performer to execute precise articulation while accomplishing large leaps and wide intervals. At one point the player has to hit the highest C and the lowest C within the same beat.
As a percussionist himself, Locher knows the technical limitations of the marimba and pushes them to the limit. The compositional elements are irreproachable and give performers a lot of room to make the piece their own. At almost 20 minutes long, “Sonata in C-Minor” would be an ambitious addition to a graduate or professional recital.
—Marilyn K. Clark Silva
With support from Koda’s Cultural Funds
Painting: "La Primevère" by Alfons Mucha (1860-1939)
Front Cover Design: Nicola Lee
Photo: Christoph Risch
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER