A massive percussion orchestra of 21 players – 3 Vibraphones, Mba.1 – 3 marimbas (4 1/3 oct.), Mba.2- 2 marimbas (4 1/2 oct.), Mba.3 – 2 marimbas (4 1/2 oct.), Mba. 4– 2 marimbas (5.0 oct.), Piano/maraca, Double bass, Perc. 1- Timpani/Tam Tam, Perc. 2– Small gong/Rain Stick/Orchestra bells/Bell Plate (or large bell), Perc. 3 – Medium gong/Tam Tam/Chimes/Large Sus. Cym./Anvil, Perc. 5 – Small and Large Sus. Cym/Bass Drum/Hand Bells (F#, A, B)Crash Cym., Perc. 6– Snare Drum/Large Sus. Cym./ 2 Toms, Tenor Drum/ Bass Drum/Crotales, Perc. 7- Timpani/Tam Tam.
Maslanka offers this piece in memory of Bob Hohner, one of the greatest contributors to percussion ensemble literature and performance. Strikingly gorgeous sonorities move audience and players alike. Duration: 10 minutes
Program Note, by David Maslanka:
Bob Hohner was one of my closest friends and musical companions. He was one of the very few people I know who didn’t want a recoridng of music that he was to perform. It was his joy to discover musical sound. It was his insistent and persistent effort with “Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble” that rescued this “failed” piece from oblivion, and started a long collaboration between us. I wrote “Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion” for him, and then “In Lonely Fields” for Percussion and Orchestra. He recorded “Arcadia II,” “Montana Music” and “Crown of Thorns,” and we started on yet another composing project when he died. That project was ot have been a “Symphony for Percussion.” I had a flash vision of a stage full of percussion, a large percussion orchestra — sections of marimbas and vibraphones — and lots of players, and I heard them playing a full-scale symphony. The project came to a halt with Bob’s death, but I decided for his memorial piece that I would write at least one movement of this work, using all of the percussion forces available at the time at Central Michigan University. It is offered in memory of Bob, whose dedicated life as performer, teacher and friend touched, and continues to touch, many thousands of people.
“Hohner” definitely requires more percussionists than any of Maslanka’s other works, but one could argue that all of Maslanka’s percussion ensemble pieces honor his concept of “a stage full of percussion.”
— Percussive Notes, March 2010