In 1996, my friend and composer Mark Alan Taggart composed a new marimba solo to be included on my first CD, Polaris. Mark and I were teaching together at East Carolina University at the time and I had been fortunate to premier his Notturno for solo steel drum and brass choir and also his duet, Athletic Conveyances for tuba and percussion. At the time I was recording the CD Mark was involved in another composition project and he was delayed in starting this new work. But he had a strong inspiration for his new marimba solo, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Mark was inspired by Bach’s cello suites and he wanted to write a “Suite” for solo marimba based on the Baroque dance suite but with a contemporary harmonic language. He delivered two of the movements, Prelude and Courante, to me at the end of the recording process and I fell in love with them. So I scheduled an additional recording session and recorded these two amazing movements. Mark finished the remaining movements of the Suite later but they were never published. Now for the first time ever, Mark Alan Taggart’s Suite for Marimba is available and free.
As you might know, I am not a huge fan of transcriptions for marimba (our art has been there…done that!). I believe that one day the music of Bach on orchestral/university auditions and international competitions will be replaced by the music of contemporary artists like Mark Alan Taggart. It is up to this current generation of performers and composers to create compelling literature for the marimba that can stand up to the legacy and artistry of transcriptions of Bach’s music. Consider this offering another step in that journey!
Please leave me a comment if you download one or more of these movements.
Enjoy this wonderful Suite for Marimba by Mark Alan Taggart!
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