Three Chorales (vol. 2)
Composer: Robert Oetomo
Duration: 10 min.
Unlike the first collection of chorales, this volume was composed within only one year. The third chorale is an arrangement of Elgar’s Nimrod from Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) for Orchestra, Op. 36. The progressions to the second volume include technical challenges such as wide intervals in both hands and wider reach between left and right hands. Musical challenges encompass longer phrases and highlighting the moving voices in the inner parts.
Chorale Fantasy was written shortly after my Grandad’s passing in July 2012. Composing this chorale was a way to express my grief and also to celebrate his life. Different to my other chorales, most of the harmonic changes occur due to the movements of the inner voices, therefore be aware of bring these out.
Chorale Fantasy is dedicated to my beloved Opa with great affection.
Lasciato is an Italian word to describe the feeling of relinquishment. Having similar intentions as Chorale Fantasy, Lasciato was composed to express one’s sorrow after abandonment. Three different themes are used in this chorale to explore the different colours of the 5-octave marimba in the low to middle registers.
Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) for Orchestra, Op. 36 is amongst one of my favourite orchestral works. My love for the well-known movement Nimrod led me to arrange it for solo marimba because both the instrument and this piece emit a great mellowness and warmth.
All notes (except for notes with accent in Nimrod) are to be rolled with soft mallets.
About the composer +
Indonesian-born Australian percussionist and composer Robert Oetomo (b. 1988) studied his Master of Music (Künstlerische Ausbildung) degree in performance at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim, where he received highest distinction for his final graduation recital in 2014. He completed his Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours Class I at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia in 2010. His previous teachers include Professor Dennis Kuhn, Jasmin Kolberg, Claire Edwardes, Daryl Pratt, Richard Miller and Gary Wain. He has accumulated many national and international awards including third prize in the Vibraphone category of the 9th Percussive Arts Society Italy International Percussion Competition in 2011, the ‘Just Percussion Marimba Prize’ at the Australian Percussion Gathering (APG) 2010, first prize in both the Open Marimba and Open Vibraphone categories of the 2010 Australian Percussion Eisteddfod and second prize at the 2008 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Award. He also won the 2010 Sydney Conservatorium Percussion Concerto Competition, and was finalist in the 2012 Yamaha Music Foundation Europe Scholarship Competition.
A versatile percussionist, Robert has performed with different orchestras and ensembles including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, the Kurpfälzischen Kammerorchester Mannheim, the Australian Youth Orchestra, Synergy Percussion and Mannheimer Schlagwerk. He presented his paper, ‘The Transcription of J. S. Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites for the Modern Marimba,’ at APG 2010 Symposium ‘Moving Ground – The Changing Face of Percussion’. Robert was invited to perform his work, The Legend of the Golden Snail, at the Gala Concert of APG 2010, performing with highly acclaimed percussionists including Steve Schick, Sylvio Gualda and Kuniko Kato.
As a composer, Robert passionately advocates the development of percussion music. He has composed numerous works for percussion which have been performed all over the world. His first symphonic work, Spirit of The Dreaming with solo didgeridoo, was premiered at the ‘2008 Aurora Music Festival’ in Sydney, Australia. Later that year, it was performed again with renowned didgeridoo soloist, William Barton. Robert was selected for the 2010 Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra Composers' Workshop program during which he composed his new orchestral work, Reflections on an Island’s Landscape, under the mentorship of composer Nigel Butterley and John Peterson. His works are published by Edition Svitzer and Tapspace Publications. Robert is an Encore Mallets, Inc. endorser.
Review (Percussive Notes, May 2014)
Australian percussionist Robert Oetomo’s Three Chorales, volume 2 captivates the mature four-mallet marimbist and listener alike through three tonal chorale settings for marimba. “Chorale Fantasy” is a 50-measure, A-major chorale with an indicated tempo of 68 bpm. This chorale explores the lowest register of the five-octave marimba with beautifully schemed harmonic substitutions that enhance and stabilize the overall A-major phraseology (although the final chord contains an added harmonic second). This chorale is dedicated to the memory of the composer’s grandfather, and you can sense the dignified pathos associated with his memory.
The second chorale, “Lasciato,” is in G major with an opening and ending in the lowest register of the marimba and a middle section that is higher in its tessitura. Smooth rolls are a necessity to communicate the intent of this chorale, whose title is translated as “relinquishment.” It is also full of introspective harmonic beauty.
The third chorale, “Nimrod,” is based upon Edward Elgar’s famous theme from his “Enigma Variations for Orchestra.” This 42-measure chorale in E-flat major captures Elgar’s dignified lyricism.
Any one of these chorales would be a superb addition to the mature percussionist’s recital.
Front Cover graphics and layout: Evi O. (www.evi-o.com)
Photo: Hari Oetomo
Engraving: Robert Oetomo & Johan Svitzer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER