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Point Bak (by Gerard Lecointe)

Price: $58.00

Product Information

This is a complex work, based on themes from "The Well-Tempered Clavier" by J.S. Bach. This percussion quintet is scored for two four-octave vibraphones, two 4.5-octave marimbas, one low-C bass marimba, one four-octave xylo9phone and one glockenspiel. Two suspended cymbals and one large tam-tam are also required.
Movement I has a thick texture with many repeated notes in the marimba parts. The vibes and xylophone play fragments from the first fugue and later the second prelude and second fugue. The second movement is Andante and quite lovely, featuring melodies from preludes III and VIII. The third movement begins with a transition section based on the 17th prelude, and then moves to an adagio section with material from prelude VI. Cymbals and tam-tam are used here to excellent effect. The piece concludes with movement IV, beginning with fragments from prelude V, fugue III and preludes XXI and XXII. After a moderate opening, it soon changes to a rollicking and playful section based on material from prelude X. Running sixteenth-note passages continue throughout the movement, finally giving way to a concluding section at a more moderate tempo based on prelude I material.
This piece is technically difficult and musically challenging. Four-mallet technique is required throughout, along with an excellent command of musical phrasing and nuance. But this is an enormously rewarding piece for the performers and will be a moving experience for the audience.
--Tom Morgan, Percussive Notes -- December 2007


View Excerpt

Musical FeaturesIn 1997 I composed Point Bak on request of a French festival dedicated to the work Jean Sebastien Bach. My goal was not to arrange once again some pages of the Master of Leipzig, but to compose a work intended for all type of audiences. Thus I decided to compose a musical entertainment working around the "First Book of the Well Tempered Clavier ", which starts, as each one knows, by the universally known C major prelude.

Then preludes and fugues are following from what I extracted few themes keeping original tonalities. Each time it is only few bars that I use as material of composition and that become alternately rhythmic or melodic.

The first movement is built on a rhythmic obstinacy, some repeated notes unceasingly from the first fugue then from the prelude and fugue number two; power of the sound, musical hallucination.

The second movement builds a new melody on some notes of the third prelude and concludes by juxtaposing the sublimes harmonies of the eighth prelude and citations of Maurice Ravel; intimacy, beauty of the instruments.

After a short introductory using the seventeenth prelude, the third movement ventures through bitonale modes mixing quasi simultaneously prelude number nine and tenth fugue, then it concludes using a new theme with rhythmic cells of the sixth prelude; shimmer and flutter of sonorities.

The last movement starts in the style of Prokofiev diverting several short element of themes, and is followed by a musical mischief startup around four bars indefinitively repeated from the preludes ten and sixteen, this fourth movement resumes the obstinacy of the first forming thus a musical arch; swiftness, sound pleasure.

As a conclusion, the first prelude must be considered as an epilogue reinforcing the idea that the music from the man who would have most influenced the occidental music stays universal and will always resist to all temptations and all modes.

Gerard Lecointe

Technical Features
Instrumentation2 vibraphone, xylo, glock, 3 marimbas, 2 cymbals, tam-tam
Level SuggestionAdvanced