JAPANESE OVERTURE (for 8 players)

Opus #26

An excellent concerto overture work, this exciting piece uses the Japanese Children Song Sakura-Sakura as thematic material, as well as a fragment of a theme from Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos.
If a 8th player is used he/she should double the bass marimba part.

Level: Intermediate

Duration: 6’30” min.

Setup: Percussion Ensemble (7 players)

Available in: Hard copy

> Sample PDF (Opens in a new tab)

Program Note

On my way back from Tokyo to Brazil in 1996, a Brazilian lady sitting next to me on the plane told me her story of how she came to live in Japan many years ago. As a young lady from a poor family, she left her small and quiet city in Northeastern Brazil, and went to Japan to work in a factory and live in Tokyo, a huge and developed city. I wrote this piece based on her story and dreams.

In the first part Lento e Rubato, a sustaining pedal tone in the mallets, together with some Japanese wooden sounds on the percussion instruments, introduces the main motives to be used on the work. The themes used are in the dorian mode, creating an atmosphere of Northeastern Brazilian music, and a citation of the Japanese children song, Sakura Sakura (Cherry Blossom) can be heard throughout the composition. During the allegro part, a dialog between the mallets and drums played in the Japanese daiko style is be established. After the cadenza – open to improvisation by the daiko drums – the main themes are recapitulated before a coda in a faster tempo closes the work.

The piece was commissioned for the 1997 Japanese Percussion Festival where it was premiered by the Tomoyuki Okada Percussion Ensemble.

JAPANESE OVERTURE (for 8 players)

Available in hard copy through the major percussion sellers.
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