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Scirocco (by Michael Burritt)

Price: $15.00

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Written during the Summer of 2001 and premiered at the LHS Summer Marimba Seminar, this piece is dedicated to marimba virtuoso She-e Wu who implored Burritt to write something "over the top". The title means "hot desert wind" and refers to the intense swirling character of the melodic lines. Requires a 5.0 octave instrument.

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Musical FeaturesMusically, the work is built on highly chromatic gestures that swirl in 6’s and 9’s around the instrument. Scales and chords are easily identifiable throughout. Brisk runs and swift passages are intended to create a virtuosic whirlwind of sound.

While it is often difficult to find a traditional ‘tune’ or melody throughout much of the work, it is colorful, and the dolce section in the middle (letter F) grants the listener a much needed respite. If the player breathes, this section can be very warm and lyrical, an oasis in an otherwise technically scorching piece. The overall form is a large arch – ABA (with short coda).
Technical FeaturesIt is important that the performer properly execute the many combinations of lateral/double lateral strokes throughout. If the gestures are not grouped properly, or one tries to play many single notes instead of groupings, the music will be sluggish and obtuse, rather than a searing, swirling hot desert wind. Strong stroke technique, and finger assist, is therefore a must. Player must also have a good command of the keyboard, and be able to shift their body/weight quickly from register to register as well in places.
Duration8 minutes
InstrumentationMarimba 5.0 Octave- 4 Mallets
Level SuggestionCollege/Professional