THREE PRELUDES for Solo Marimba

Opus #11

Some of the most beautiful pieces of the marimba literature, these pieces are essential preparation prior to undertaking the first marimba concerto, as they introduce the composer’s style and technical approach.

Level: Intermediate

Duration: I) 4:30, II) 5:30, III) 5:00

Setup: For Solo Marimba (low A), 4 mallets.

Available in:  Hard copy and PDF

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Program Note

The Preludes are among my earliest compositions for marimba and I always advice students to play them before they attempt to play the first marimba concerto, as the style and technique used in the preludes is further extended in the Concerto.

PRELUDE N.1 for solo marimba was originally written for guitar, explaining the harmonies from flamenco music, as well as the Spanish mood of the work. The marimba version was completed in 1983 and is dedicated to Rose Braunstein. Throughout its three themes, the spirit of the Spanish music can be felt, and the fingerings of guitar arpeggios are suggested in the third theme.

PRELUDE N.2 was written in 1986 as an homage to the great Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos, who continues to serve as my main inspiration and motive for writing music with Brazilian roots. The first theme is a tribute to the master, and the second and third themes are based on melodic sequences that are characteristic of the Bachianas Brasileiras series of Villa Lobos as well as on diminished chord passages that are common in his works for guitar.

PRELUDE N.3 was written in 1987, soon after my arrival in Santa Maria, RS, Brazil and is dedicated to my first percussion teacher, Luiz Anunciaçao. The introduction and coda are presented with rolls and are in a choral style. In the second part, two new themes are introduced in a fast alternating motion of the mallets, demonstrating the virtuosity through expressive melodies.

Prelude N.1 performed by Ney Rosauro


Prelude N.3 performed by Lizzie Van Wirth


Prelude N.2 performed by Jose Antonio Moreno

Prelude N.1 Solo guitar version by Alvaro Henrique

THREE PRELUDES for Solo Marimba



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