Brian Slawson’s Frightmare is based on two classic works by the great Ludwig van Beethoven. Adapted for beginner-level percussion ensemble, the two movements are dark and haunting, yet sharply contrasting. The first, “Full Moon,” is eerie, brooding, and gentle. The second, “Shadow Dance,” is lively and articulate.
Both movements employ simple techniques and appropriate doubling to enable a highly musical performance by beginner percussionists. Where the first movement focuses on rolls and slow strokes, the second switches to a straightforward waltz style. Nearly the entire work consists of quarter notes and dotted half notes, except for a featured marimba part in “Shadow Dance” that takes the lead with eighth notes. Although particularly handy for Halloween concerts, any ensemble of developing players is sure to have fun with this piece year-round!