by Bruce Stark

(marimba quartet) 

Tuesday's program opened with Bruce Stark's Fugue, a cool, ultra-precise composition whose extended, winding motifs, exchanged from player to player, created music that seemed to move in circular crosscurrents through the Bessie Schonberg Theater.
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Fugue is both jazz-influenced and structurally rigorous. After a four-part exposition the syncopated theme appears in stretti, inversion, augmentation, and rhythmically altered. There are also passages where the music becomes intoxicated with its own momentum, and textures derived from motifs in the theme propel the piece forward. A quiet section in the middle offers contrast to the waves of intensity before and after.

Composed in 1987 for four unspecified voices. In 1989 I prepared a version for the Manhattan Marimba Quartet's premiere of the work in New York City. Twenty years later, I made further revisions and completed this version, performed by the Japan Percussion Ensemble in the audio clip below.

— Bruce Stark


by Bruce Stark
marimba quartet
5 minutes
score (17 pages) and parts

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