Gilbert, Anthony: Ziggurat for Bass-Clarinet and Marimba

Product no.: 067-742
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Ziggurat for Bass-Clarinet and Marimba - 12 Min.; 5-Oktav-Marimba, New Music, advanced

The relationship between music and architecture has for many decades been source of fascination for Gilbert. A range of works reflecting on the complexity and beauty of French medieval cathedrals has been the result. Ziggurat is in many ways a companion to these, albeit the type of structure it was engendered by existed a good millennium earlier. It was commissioned in 1993 by the Duo Contemporain, Henri Bok, bass clarinet and Miguel Bernat, percussion, as a sequal to a number of pieces he’d written for them reflecting on the architecture of Chartes Cathedral.
Although it was a type of memorial to a leading figure in Babylonian (or indeed Amerindian) society, the ziggurat celebrates life. Starting at ground level, a pathway or staircase winds up around the conical structure, decorated with passages of visual narrative and imagery. Gilbert’s duo for bass clarinet and marimba engages in a similar journey, continuously climbing but also episodic, with passages of wild virtuoso music separated by steady, directed motion. Colour-changes involving bass clarinet multiphonics and rich chordal writing for the marimba feature strongly.
In its original form the work lasted over eighteen minutes; in 2014 Gilbert decided to extensively rewrite the work in order to sharpen its musical focus. It is now just over two thirds of its original length, with resultant heightened intensity.
Browse this category: Percussion Solo with Clarinet