Stylistically, it is a reflective tonal piece featuring rapid arpeggiated gestures and pulsing ostinato figures. The piece began as a technical etude to develop the use of extended 10th intervals in each hand in four-mallet marimba technique. As a result, several passages require wide spreads of the arms as well as within the mallets in each hand, which elicits a sense of virtuosity based on delicacy rather than on power or speed. Duration: 5 and a half minutes.
Scored for 5.0-octave marimba, this new work is full of color and expressive potential for the performer. Comprised of recurring sections containing both rhnythmically aggressive and lyrically rubato passages, the music shifts between modds of contemplation and exuberance. This is achieved as the composer has created seamless transitions throughout the form of the piece.
The performer is called upon to use a variety of four-mallet techniques throughout, including rapid permutations, single-independent rolls and expansive intervals. The latter is seen in a slow passage where the right hand performs a melody that is harmonized at the interval of a tenth, with the left hand sustaining an independent roll in the bass clef. Despite the many technical challenges involved in this piece, all appear to fit idiomatically on the instrument and would b eplayable by an intermediate to advanced performer.
Not merely a showpiece, “A Very Welcome” serves as a platform for serious musical expression by a mature marimbist.
— Jason Baker, Percussive Notes — November 2011