Advanced Vibraphone and Marimba Duet
by Franz Schubert; arr. Brian Blume
Instrumentation: Vibraphone, Marimba—low C
Written in 1814 and for piano and soprano, Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” or Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, is one of the most famous examples of Romantic-period German Lied. Its emotionalism and use of a famous text—Goethe’s drama Faust—are characteristic of the art song, but it is the accompaniment that sets it apart and makes it a rich work for marimba and vibraphone duet.
In this transcription Brian Blume captures the programmatic nature of the piano part, with the marimba playing the continuous sixteenth notes that are the spinning wheel and the vibraphone playing the quarter-/eighth-note rhythm that serve as the treadle. The vocal part is shared by both players in this challenging piece that offers numerous opportunities to showcase the musicianship of both keyboardists.
Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel is provided as a professionally bound folio with a CD-ROM containing individual parts and an audio recording.