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Velocities (1990) by Joseph Schwantner

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Published on Nov 15, 2007

This performance described by Mr. Schwantner as "spirited, engaging, and full of energy."

Velocities (1990), subtitled Moto Perpetuo, is a major component of today's solo marimba literature. It was commissioned by the Percussive Arts Society and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in a Consortium Commission for world-renowned marimbists Leigh Howard Stevens, William Moersch, and Gordon Stout. Its extensive moving lines make this work a challenge for even the most advanced marimbist. Velocities is structured in a single arch-like allegro movement with continuously changing textures and suddenly shifting meters. Rapidly articulated sixteenth notes in four, five, six, and seven note pitch sets develop extensive linear, harmonic, and rhythmic elements of the work. Leigh Howard Stevens gave Velocities its world premiere at the 1990 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Philadelphia. Schwantner's expertly crafted wind works have also become a staple of today's wind ensemble repertoire.

Program Note by Justin R. Stolarik

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Part of Dr. Stolarik's University of Texas at Austin DMA 2 Solo Percussion Recital, entitled "An Unconventional 20th Century Retrospective."

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 at 4:30pm in Bates Recital Hall.

My unconventional retrospective concept delivers a wide variety of musical styles of the twentieth-century -- one work from almost every decade. The pieces not originally composed for percussion have been included as a means to demonstrate the contributions by important composers of the century and to expose the listener to the versatility of percussion instruments.

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