Composer: Yasuo Sueyoshi

Title: Mirage pour Marimba

Description: Mirage is a marimba solo published in 1975 as part of the book “Marimba Pieces 1.” This piece is extremely technically challenging and also poses distinct musical problems. The piece is made up of four main sections, each unique but linked by the appearance of subito fortissimos and rapid grace notes. The first section contains three small parts, and introduces the fortissimo and rapid grace note themes immediately.  The first part is made up of rapid fortissimo passages juxtaposed with small, reserved soft gestures. The middle of the section is a slow gently swelling piano section. The third part returns to the rapid fortissimo gestures.

The second section is a funeral march with dark sonorities. The soft march is static, but contains interpolations of loud, harsh notes in the high register of the instrument. The end of the section ends in a loud scream or cry, followed by another return to the fast and loud grace note passages. After a short transition, the third section starts with a swelling tripletty dance. The section eventually grows to a fortissimo climax, before dying out. The final section is extremely difficult and remains fortissimo until the very end. It moves quickly across the entire instrument and accelerandos to as fast a tempo as the performer can muster. Eventually the energy dissipates and the piece shrinks back into darkness.

Annotated by Greg Simonds