This arrangement of Eric Sammut’s Rotation 1 by Andrea Venet is for a percussion ensemble of 10-14 players. With an expansion of orchestration and the addition of percussion parts, this arrangement provides a fun and groovy addition to your program. Each of the marimba and vibraphone parts may be doubled. Both synthesizer parts are optional.
“Rotation 1” is a wonderful large percussion ensemble arrangement of Eric Sammut’s marimba solo of the same name. With additional harmonic elements, creative orchestration and challenging ensemble playing, this arrangement pays homage to the original while offering a new way to hear this classic. Arranger Andrea Venet worked with the source material well, keeping it recognizable while adding whimsy.
The keyboard instruments do most of the heavy lifting here, with the marimbas playing in unison and trading on the original material. The vibraphones, glockenspiel and crotales are primarily used for additional harmonic material and to color the marimba lines, although they are used effectively as the primary melodic line in the B section of the piece. All keyboard players, with exception of the glockenspiel/crotales, should be facile in four-mallet technique. Stickings are conveniently provided by the arranger.
The non-keyboard parts (percussion 1, percussion 2 and timpani) are well written and provide a pop-like backbeat to the tune. Kudos to the arranger for giving the timpani player an active and melodic part in the arrangement. The percussionists split up what is essentially a drumset part, and Venet recommends combining those parts into a drumset part if the number of players is limited.
The addition of two synthesizers in this arrangement could have prevented some groups from performing the piece; however, these parts are optional, and the synthesizer 1 part can be played on piano. Both synthesizer parts double material that is found in the keyboard percussion instruments, so they are not essential to a successful performance.
“Rotation 1” is a fun, relatively short work for large percussion ensemble that would fit well in any percussion ensemble concert and could be performed by advanced high school and college percussion programs.
— Justin Alexander, Percussive Notes — July 2017