Composer: Tobias Broström
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
Duration: 11 min.
In Ombra Tobias Broström has carved out his music in a similar way to his orchestral pieces from recent years. This entails creating a living and progressive musical form with variations in timbre and color, and also harnessing the tension of harmony and modality. Ombra means “shadow” in Italian and most of the piece was written in Italy in December 2009.
“For me, the music consists not only of the dark quality of the conception of the word ‘shadow’, but also its volatile nature. Music never offers the same story to every listener, but I particularly like the concept of narrative in music. You could see Ombra, or rather listen to it, as though it were a Chinese shadow play,” says Tobias about his work.
Percussion Ensemble (4 players)
Marimba (4 1/3-octave)
Crotales (one octave)
4 Log Drums
About the composer +
Tobias Broström was born in 1978 in Helsingborg, Sweden. Following four years of percussion studies at the Malmö Academy of Music, he embarked on the pursuit of a Master’s degree in composition, studying with the Swedish composer Rolf Martinsson and the Italian composer Luca Francesconi.
Broström has composed chamber opera and various chamber music, but during the last years he has mainly focused on orchestral writing in works such as La Danse, Transit Underground, Crimson Skies, Crimson Seas, Kaléidoscope, Violin Concerto, Arena – Percussion Concerto No. 1, Piano Concerto – Belle Epoque, Samsara, Cello Concerto and Lucernaris – Concerto for Trumpet, Live Electronics & Orchestra, which was composed for Håkan Hardenberger. Numerous soloists, conductors, ensembles and orchestras, including, Robin Ticciati, Michael Sanderling, John Storgårds, Anna Larsson, Karen Gomyo, Thomas Søndergård, Andrew Manze, Dima Slobodeniouk, Johannes Gustavsson, Per Tengstrand, Colin Currie, Mats Rondin, Tõnu Kaljuste, Simon Preston, Johan Bridger, Hugo Ticciati, Jaime Martín, BBC Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dresdner Philharmonie, BBC Philharmonic, Komische Oper Berlin, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Estonian National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Wales, Gävle SO, Helsingborg SO, Trondheim SO, Malmö SO, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Vogtland Philharmonie, Oviedo SO, NorrlandsOperans SO, Aurora Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Rider, Musica Vitae, Third Coast Percussion Quartet, Malleus Incus, Essens:1 and Gageego have performed his works. Tobias’ music have been performed throughout Europe, the USA and Asia.
Between 2006 – 2009 Tobias was Composer-in-Residence with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra under principal conductor Robin Ticciati, resulting in two new orchestral works each year. Two of these, Crimson Seas & Lucernaris were selected by Swedish Radio to represent Sweden in the European Broadcasting Union’s International Rostrum of Composers in 2007 & 2009. In autumn 2008 his Arena – Solo Version was picked out to be performed at the 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music at the Venice Biennale and his orchestral piece Transit Underground was nominated for best orchestral piece of the year by Swedish Music Publishers’ Association. In 2010 Lucernaris was nominated for best orchestral piece and in 2012 La Danse was nominated.
Review (Percussive Notes, September (61) 2012)
In Italian, ombra means “shadow.” Composed mainly while Tobias Brostrom was visiting Italy, he states that this piece “should be listened to as though it were a Chinese shadow play…. For me, the music consists not only of the dark quality of the conception of the word ‘shadow,’ but it is also volatile in nature.” With the use of large tam tams, bass drums, log drums, rather closed voicings, and harmonic tension on the keyboard instruments, that dark quality does predominate.
Marked lamentoso in the beginning with slow rhythms, the piece increases little by little in tempo, rhythm, and density, followed by a sudden free rubato section. One by one, the parts sync up in rhythmic unity for a tutti ending.
Approximately 11 minutes in length, “Ombra” is a valuable addition to the percussion chamber music repertoire. It is suitable for advanced undergraduate, graduate, and professional ensembles, requiring a high level of musicianship, sensitivity, and ensemble awareness.
—Susan Martin Tariq
Oil painting: Claes Eklundh, 2009Claes Eklundh was born in 1944 in Malmo, Sweden. An artist since 1964 he has lived and worked in New York, Rome, Paris, Berlin and Florence. He has exhibited extensively in Europe and North America. He is also a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Stockholm.
Oil painting: Claes Eklundh, 2009 (www.claeseklundh.se)
Front Cover graphics and layout: Claes Eklundh
Engraving: Tobias Broström/Johan Svitzer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER