Toshimitsu Tanaka composed Two Movements for Marimba in 1965 and with it won a prize at the 1968 National Arts Festival for the Centenary of the Meiji period, and the Supreme Prize at the 1969 Japanese National Arts Festival. The piece is split into two movements. The first is driven by a strong rhythmic pulse and its ever-changing meter structure. The second movement opens with a mysterious chorale followed by a furious second half of the movement that builds to a very exciting close. This is a very popular piece for solo marimba that has been played by some of the world’s greatest marimba virtuosos. A great performance piece for the advanced marimbist.
“I expressed my aspiration for strong sound with primitive vitality developing rhythm motifs in this work. I have always longed to write my works, whether chamber music or orchestral works, in Allegro tempo. Such eager desire for the tempo shows one of my attitude as a composer which I have maintained since I started to compose. My works such as Four Requiems for Orchestra and Sadro Concerto are fruitful results from the point of view. Two Movements for Marimba is a kind of introduction to the two works. Since it was written in 1965, it has been played by a lot of percussionists. Eventually the work has had the great fortune of being performed by excellent musicians around the world.”
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