John Psathas


Number of percussion players: 1

Total number of players: 2

Instrumentation: vibraphone and piano

Approximate time: 3 min


‘Fragment is an adaptation for vibes and piano from the original piano duet. According to the composer, the work is related in mood and musical material to the second movement of his large double concerto for percussion, piano and orchestra, View From Olympus. Fragment is appropriately titled due to its length, clocking in at less than three minutes (45 measures). The music consists of slowly shifting sixteenth-note based chordal patterns, with the vibraphone weaving in and out of the chordal texture of the piano. The vibraphone part requires four mallets, but mostly consists of slowly-moving melodic lines and chords. New Zealand composer John Psathas is a unique voice in contemporary music. Many will know his work Matre’s Dancce (1991), which has become a standard on percussion recitals. Fragment would be a refreshing and unique addition to any undergraduate recital.


-John Lane, Percussive Notes, August, September 2009.


Annotated by Nicholas White