Oetomo, Robert: Three Chorales for Solo Marimba Vol. 1

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Three Chorales for Solo Marimba Vol. 1 - 15 Min.; 3 Sätze: Amy, Timeless Sorrow, Postlude; 4 Schlägel, 5-Oktav Marimba mittel bis schwer


hree Chorales (vol. 1) is a collection of my earliest works for solo marimba. The chorales were composed in three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010. They were conceived as an experiment to explore the different colours of the 5-octave marimba in the low to middle registers, but also with technical challenges intended. 

Amy is the first of three chorales composed in 2008. It was a gift for a good friend of mine, Amy Putt, whom the work is also dedicated to. The work is in three sections; A, B, A followed by a codetta. I have created and used a system to match the English alphabet (26 letters) with the pitches used in western classical music notation. Section ‘A’ is based on her first name and section ‘B’ is based on her last name. 

Composed in 2009, Timeless Sorrow is an expression of my emotions going through a difficult time in my life. The opening harmonic progression was inspired by the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Op. 64 . The funeral march feel to the work reflects aspects of Mahler’s symphonic writing. In a way, the harmonic writing of this chorale is quite symphonic due to the inspirations that were drawn by for this work. 

Postlude (An Aftermath) is the last of three chorales composed in 2010. The original instrumentation of the work is for orchestra, composed for the final scene of my chamber opera. The final scene of the chamber opera is of a male contemplating taking his own life away in his bedroom, and finally doing so. The reoccurring theme gives the feeling of slight hope, false hope, and eventually hopelessness.  All notes (except for notes with tenuto in Amy) are to be rolled with soft mallets.

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