The Quintet for Percussion & String Quartet is a chamber version of the Concertino for percussion & orchestra commissioned by the Israel Chamber Orchestra for the percussion artist Chen Zimbalista. Despite its origins, it has the distinct nature of a chamber work: the stirngs are equal partners throughout, the only exception being a semi-composed semi-improvised solo cadence for the percussionist.
Of the percussive instruments, the marimba is most prevalent, but various other instruments – with or without definite pitch – such as the vibraphone, cymbals and tam-tams, are also used. The Quintet, to be played as a continuous sequence, is of three sections, whose time ratios are arranged telescopically. The first is the longest and most complicated of the three, and ends with a cadence leading to the shorter expressive and lyrical second section, in which the strings come to the fore. Robust rhythmic qualities and a lively, bouncy tempo in the perpetuum mobile vain, characterize the third, even shorter, section which concludes the piece.
comissioned by the Musica Nova Consort.
I have chosen this combination of instruments which produces a very specific sound in which the flute is quite conspicuous. My compositional point of departure was the sonority of the ensemble and therefore I have tried to use instruments of different families which permit a variety of sound production; wind, string, plucked instrument and tuned percussion instruments of wood and metal.
There is only one movement and the work is interally divided into two sections which differ from one another but are connected through common thematic material. The material was drawn from the name Rami which by association reminds one of the notes RE and MI (D and E). Both notes run throughout the composition in various ways. The other materials are taken from the scales typical of my chosen instruments, in particular from the pentatonic scale of the marimba and the natural diatonic scale of the harp.
The character is strongly influenced by the impression of a colourful kleidoscope, whose images change fast. It finds expression in the first section in fast changing materials which are almost never repeated, but are placed side by side. Fast motoric parts alternate in the piece with lyrical expressive passages. In the second section the colouring and kleidoscopic character stem from a different treatment – from the harmonic, rhythmic and orchestral aspect – of a melodic idea which repeats itself time and again as if in a persistent ritual.
"Primus Inter Pares" (which means in Latin –first among equals) was commissioned by the "Relache" ensemble based in Philadelphia, USA.
The piece's name alludes to the relatively prominent role of the Marimba compared to the other instruments and it was dedicated to the Israeli percussionist Chen Zimbalista. The piece is based on three Ladino songs taken out of a book called "the Cycle of Life" edited by the musicologist Dr. Shoshana Weich-Shachak. The songs serve as a "shadow" pool, which I have drawn my main melodic and rhythmic motives from, but at same time the beautiful songs themselves appear fully also in the course of the piece treated in my own harmonic language. The piece is quite rhythmical and it combines the ethnic-folkloristic element with a contemporary, art music idiom.