Matthew Coley, marimbas – Cicularity [TrackList follows] – self [Distr. by CD Baby] ****:
[with chamber orchestra cond. by Russell Vinick – tracks 14-16]
Matthew Coley is professor of percussion at Iowa State University and besides marimba and general percussion also performs on the dulcimer and cimbalom. This is his first solo album, with the first eight selections being for solo marimba and the closing Concerto Rustico being for marimba and string orchestra.
There are marimba competitions all over the world and quite a few works have been written for solo classical marimba. This CD opens with a Shostakovich Prelude, followed by two fugues by Bach and Shostakovich and two original fugues. After that are two short works: Khan Variations, and Circularity (the album title) by Coley himself. Metamorposis, by Brett William Dietz, is a six-movement work with the titles: zippo lighter, walking bass, feldman’s last memory, tomb, bells… and contagion. The pieces are intended by the composer to be performed separately or in any order. All the musical materials are different for each piece.
The Concerto rustico was composed for a World Marimba Competition in Germany in 2008. It is in a modern though tonal style and sounds influenced by jazz elements. Sonics of the CD are first rate.
SHOSTAKOVICH: Prelude No. XI from 24 Preludes & Fugues; BACH: Fugue in d from WTC Book II; SHOSTAKOVICH: Fugue No. 1 from 24 Preludes & Fugues; BERKHOUT: Fugue on a Chromatic Subject; COLEY: Superfluous 2; VINAO: Khan Variations; COLEY: Circularity; BRETT WM. DIETZ: Metamorphosis; MARCIN BLAZEWICZ: Concerto rustico for marimba & strings