from Symphony No. 5 (Prokofiev)
Despite each part being playable primarily with two mallets, this arrangement will likely challenge a medium-advanced ensemble. Careful attention to dynamics, articulations, and the awareness of each player’s role within the ensemble will yield a rich and very musical experience. The keyboard parts are of similar difficulty, while the non-pitched percussion parts require musical sensitivity but have not been expanded greatly beyond the orchestral originals. The fivelet 16th notes near the end should be thought of more as gestures - glissandi with specific pitches, rather than distinctly articulated rhythms. An aggressive, forward energy is recommended for all but the middle section of the piece, and players should be comfortable with dissonance to properly bring across Prokofiev’s distinctive style.
Marimba 2 (4.3-octave)
Marimba 3 (4.3-octave - 5-octave optional)
Marimba 4 (5-octave)
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1: Chimes, Suspended Cymbal, Tambourine
Percussion 2: Snare Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Mounted Triangle
Percussion 3: Bass Drum, High Wood Block, Mounted Triangle
Percussive Notes Review
Due to the percussive nature of the original orchestral work, Prokofiev’s “Scherzo” from “Symphony No. 5” works well for a 12-member percussion ensemble. Matt Moore has wisely chosen to leave out a significant portion of the middle of the work, which is not as idiomatic for percussion.
As for playability, this piece will be accessible for most college players. There are significant sections that contain repetitive material in the keyboard parts, which will make the difficult sections easier to handle. The non-pitched percussion parts are essentially like the original orchestral parts and are quite easy.
The arrangement comes with a disc that includes the printable parts and a recording of the piece. This transcription is effective and will be challenging and rewarding for most college or advanced high school percussion ensembles to learn and perform. It’s a shame that Prokofiev didn’t live long enough to write for the modern percussion orchestra, as he would have surely turned out some real masterworks.
Vol. 51, No. 2, May 2013
Percussion Ensemble 12 | Grade 4+ | 6'50"
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