To date, the solo marimbist’s repertoire from the Classical and Romantic periods contained only a handful of transcriptions. The Bicentennial Collection will give audiences a taste of Liszt’s solo piano works transcribed for marimba and fill in a long standing stylistic void in our repertoire.
Although the works chosen here required only a little alteration from the original scores to work on marimba, Romanski has been editing and gathering these selections into this collection for several years. Altogether, the collection exhibits a spread of solo piano repertoire that spans Liszt’s entire career.
Franz Liszt’s music is known for its flash, virtuosity and enduring appeal among audiences. The combination of technical prowess and musical depth is something that is often missing in modern marimba solos. Kevin Romanski’s transcriptions of a few of Liszt’s solo piano pieces for 5-octave marimba contain detailed and helpful performance notes and transcriber’s suggestions, recommendations for sticking and excellent engraving that leaves plenty of room between staves for performers to add their own markings.
Romanski was careful to choose from among Liszt’s work those piano solos that would naturally work well on marimba. Because of this, as little as possible has been changed from the original, and edits are restricted to that which is necessary and helpful to the performer. The selections are lovely and timeless. with the music dictating the technical prowess needed rather than the other way around. The required techniques are, however, advanced with the full repertoire of skills called for such as one-handed rolls, dead strokes and six-note arpeggiated chords. The articulation and dynamic markings are plentiful enough to be helpful without stifling the performer’s own musicality.
Franz Liszt, The Bicentennial Collection is a wonderful example of Romantic era piano music made to work well on the marimba. Each piece would be a wonderful addition to any graduate level recital or professional concert. The pieces are challenging, but short enough to be a realistic project for a busy marimba professional.
— Marilyn Clark, Percussive Notes — March 2017