Title: Rhapsody#2 for Solo Timpani
Author: Alexis A. Orfaly
Description: Rhapsody #2 is a piece for solo timpani using five drums. This piece is a showcase of all that the timpani and the timpanist can do, requiring a large variety of pitches and dynamics as well as a great amount of dexterity from the player. The piece starts with a slow introduction in the style of an incantation. Slowly and freely the piece picks up steam and the rhythmic motives and thematic material are introduced. The heart of the piece is a jaunty almost dance-like rhythmic motive that keeps the listener on guard with a variety of mixed meters. Eventually, this “dance” dies out into a recitative-like section. After this, the opening incantation returns followed by a driving coda to finish the piece. One thing that is striking about the piece is the enormous amount of information given by the comnposer in the form of dynamics, phrasing and musical instruction. I believe this helps make the piece one of the most musical timpani solos available today.
Annotated by Greg Simonds