by William Bolcom
Instrumentation: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, 2 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low C*
William Bolcom composed Graceful Ghost as one of three “ghost rags” for piano in the early 1970’s. Written in memory of his father, it is now considered his most famous work. In this adaptation for intermediate mallet sextet, Stephen Primatic sensitively crafts the original into a colorfully scored ensemble.
Full of flowing syncopation, elegant melodies, and gentle minor harmonies, it’s not your typical ragtime piece. While indeed graceful in spirit, it has a wistful longing and class that sets it apart. Played at a moderate tempo, the rhythms can be played straight or swung. Either way, this adaptation is likely to leave audiences with a smile on their face and the catchy tune embedded in their memories.
Graceful Ghost Rag ships in a professionally printed folio which includes individual parts on CD-ROM.