Lupita is the first movement from Dave Grusin's The Milagro Beanfield War Suite from the soundtrack for the1988 Universal City Studios movie The Milagro Beanfield War. Dave Grusin is a world-renowned jazz pianist who also has dozens of music soundtracks to his credit. This quick, bright, and fast paced movement was originally written for and played on solo piano. The work lends itself nicely to the marimba as it sends a Spanish flare to the listeners' ears.
Prelude No. 2 in c minor is one of five guitar preludes written by Villa-Lobos in 1940. All five of the preludes are well adapted for the marimba. I have chosen the second in the series. The prelude has an A-B-A format with the aggressive B section contracting with the flowing, harmonious A section. Villa-Lobos(1887-1959) is one of the dominant figures of twentieth century Brazilian music and has composed for many different instruments and genres.
Cavatina by Stanley Myers is the theme song to the popular 1971 Universal Pictures and EMI Films presentation of The Deer Hunter. Originally written for solo guitar, this piece represents the tranquility of the woodlands in western Pennsylvania versus the horrors of the Vietnam War. The arrangement for marimba utilizes a one-handed roll to help bring out the melody line while leaving the other hand able to play the moving bass line. The marimba arrangement is available at giffordhowarth.com
Suite No. 3 for Violoncello in C Major by J.S. Bach(1685-1750) is one of six suites written for the cello. These suites are timeless and have been arranged for several different instruments through the years. My interest in the suite was rejuvenated recently when I watched a Sony Music and Rhombus Media production of Suite No.3 performed by Yo-Yo Ma in collaboration with modern dance choreographer Mike Morris. The title of the project was "Falling Down Stairs". After viewing a visual interpretation of Bach's music, my own interpretation changed and I started working on the suite again after an eight-year hiatus.
Virginia Tate by Paul Smadbeck is a recently released work written for marimba. Mr. Smadbeck has written several works and etudes for the marimba and this new work has been compared to his most popular work "Rhythm Song." The listener is treated with a long, relaxing, tranquil feel throughout.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega(1852-1909) is a very popular solo guitar works. Tarrega's inspiration for this piece is taken from his visit to the "Alhambra," a Moorish Citadel in Granada, Spain. Near the center of the largest room is a large water fountain. The piece's continuous melody line captures the sound of the continuous flowing water from the fountain as it resonates off the marble walls.
Leyenda (Asturius) by Isaac Albéniz(1860-1909) is a very often performed work for piano, guitar, and marimba. Originally written for piano and later arranged for guitar by Albéniz himself, this piece has been recorded and performed by numerous players. The adaptation for marimba is taken from the guitar version and requires very little editing. The rhythmic intensity of the piece presents an additional challenge to the already difficult work.
GIFFORD HOWARTH received his Bachelors of Music degree from Ithaca College and his Masters in Percussion Performance from Kent State University. His percussion studies include working with Gordon Stout, Ted Rounds, and Bill Molenhof. He is currently an Adjunct Professor/Artist in Residence at Penn State University in State College, PA along with being on the percussion faculty at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Mr. Howarth is a very active recitalist, clinician, and masterclass teacher focusing on mallet percussion. He is a National Yamaha Performing Artist, a clinician for the Sabian Cymbal Company, and a member of the Vic Firth Education Team. He has recently published a new mallet method book entitled "4-Mallet Technique; as easy as 1-2-3 (4)" available through Tap Space Percussion. He has also published many arrangements and transcriptions of classical and romantic guitar works for the marimba.