8 Ricercari op. 51 per strumenti a percussione (1-6 players) - 19 Min.; only score, Marimba, Xylo, Vibra, Röhrengl., Glsp., 3 TBl., 2 Pk., 2 Kl.Tr., Rührtr., Gr.Tr., 4 Bongos, 4 Toms, 2 Tria., 8 Bck., 6 Gongs, 6 Tams, Lastra; from new compete critical edition 2009.; advanced
The Editio Bärenreiter Praha publishing house has been putting together its Complete Critical Edition of Works by Miloslav Kabeláč (1. 8. 1908 – 17. 9. 1979) since 1999. To mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth, two titles have been published, now established repertoire works both in the Czech Republic and chiefly abroad, which will complete the 4th series of the critical edition – Eight Inventions for Percussion Instruments and Otto ricercari for percussion instruments.
Kabeláč had a lifelong and profound interest in percussion instruments. “These are instruments,” he would say, “which are played, not just struck or beaten. They may be entrusted with music.”
After the phenomenal success of the cycle Eight Inventions for percussion instruments Op. 45, Kabeláč embarked upon another cycle at the request of the ensemble Les Percussions de Strasbourg – EIGHT RICERCARI (written in the years 1966–1967, with minor revisions from 1971). In this case, Kabeláč did not merely aim for a continuation of the previous cycle – he wanted to create a work of a different character, a new and distinctive composition; nor would he allow himself any repetition (in fact, each of Kabeláč’s symphonies is written for a different set of instruments). In Ricercari Kabeláč chiefly makes use of the specific qualities that percussion instruments offer the composer. Ricercari was written for one to six players and again employs Kabeláč’s new proportional notation.
The autograph of the work is kept at the Czech Museum of Music in Prague. A copy of the piece was made privately during the composer’s lifetime which was itself duplicated to provide scores for all the ensembles who included this work in their repertoire. The current edition of the score, in practice also used for performance purposes, is therefore the first ever printed edition and corresponds both to the autograph and the meticulous copy made at the time and corrected by the composer.