Composer: Kai Stensgaard
Instrument: Multi Percussion
Duration: 8 min.
Combardo is a multi-percussion solo piece inspired by the idea of using advanced four mallet marimba technique to create a challenge for multi percussion players and marimba players. It is fun to play and has a great apeal to the audience. Furthermore you can develope your four mallet skills by studying this piece!
8 Tom-Toms (the four highest can be substituted with two congas and and a set of bongos) 4 Wood Blocks
1 Chinese Opera Gong
1 Chinese Cymbal
1 Crash Cymbal (medium)
1 Grand Cassa
1 Kick Drum with pedal
Performed by Jonathan Fox
About the composer +
Kai Stensgaard, is internationally recognized as a leading concert marimba artist and composer from Denmark. KS is one of the pioneers in six mallet playing, and he has composed several works for marimba. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by marimba players all over the world. Kai has performed in various music festivals and concert venues. These include: Featured six mallet player at Percussive Arts Society Convention, Taiwan International percussion Convention, International Festival de Marimbistas in Chiapas and Tabasco in Mexico, Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, Simon Bolivar Concert Hall, Royal College of Music and The Purcell Room at Southbank Centre in London, Marimba 2010 Festival in Minnesota, concert tours in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, USA, EU and Jury member of the Italian International Percussion Competition.
He is the auther of the marimba method “The Six mallet Grip” and “Advanced Marimba Techniques” He has published 7 CDs and a DVD displaying his compositions and personal marimba style. Since 2010 an endorsing artist for Salyers Percussion with KS Signature Mallets.
Kai was among the first marimba players in Denmark and studied the marimba with Karen Ervin, L.A and Leigh Stevens, N.C. He has been a working freelance musician as a marimba soloist and as percussion player in several Danish Symphony Orchestras. From 1980 to 1990 he was the head of the percussion department at Nordjysk Academy of Music.
In 2011, he and engenier Michael Hansen, invented a brand new mallet instrument called the Aluphone and it has become a part of the percussion instrumentarium. The Aluphone is a solo instrument like the marimba and the vibraphone.
“Combardo is an amazing new work for multi-percussion that rocks through all the common modern mallet permutations in melodic but powerful fashion. Whether used as a keyboard technique builder or a new avenue for marimbists and percussionists alike, this composition will provide a physical workout that will thrill audiences. Kai Stensgaard continues to innovate, and we continue to benefit!”
- Jonathan Fox
Review (Percussive Notes, February 2022)
Kai Stensgaard is well-known for his sixmallet marimba prowess, as well as his mallet compositions and recordings. With this 5½-minute solo, his aim was to write a multi-percussion piece that marimba players could approach as if they were playing permutations on a marimba — essentially working their four-mallet technique on drums, woodblocks, and cymbals.
Throughout the work, some really cool sounds come from this solo (e.g., rippling a 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 permutation on toms), and it looks like it would be fun (and a bit easier) to approach the toms and woodblocks like an oversized “drummy” marimba. One of the drawbacks is the formulaic approach to the writing, which groups most of the sounds and groove ideas into predictable four-bar phrases with obligatory cymbal-crash bookends before starting the next sequence. This type of writing is limiting, and detracts from the cohesive potential of a long-form piece. The result is a piece that sounds fragmented and rudimentary.
—Joshua D. Smith
Front Cover Design: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Engraving: Kai Stensgaard
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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