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Bright Sheng

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Deep Red (2014)
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Programme Note
Bright Sheng Deep Red (2014)
Composer note:
Deep Red, co-commissioned by the Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Center, receives the world premiere performance on July 21, 2014, in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Gerard Schwarz conducting and John Parks as the soloist.

The orchestration calls for the solo marimba with an ensemble of 11 players: flute, oboe (doubles English horn), clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, French horn in F, piano, 2 violins, viola, violoncello and double bass.

One of the most challenging aspects in writing for the marimba is the instrument’s limited range of timbre. In this work, I attempted to remedy this by using different devices in orchestration, some sublte while others bold. What I hope to achieve is an assortment of tonal colors within the warm deep red marimba sound.

The basic thematic materials of the work comes from the reconstruction of a love song I wrote during my teenage years living in Qinghai, a remote province on the Tibetan Plateau in northwestern China, where folk music was abundant.

— Bright Sheng
The FIVE-OCTAVE Marimba needs to be amplified with a single speaker placed near the soloist. The house system should not be used.

  • 29 JAN 2018
    First Congregational Church, Sarasota, FL
  • 25 JUL 2015
    Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music
    Lenox, MA
    Tanglewood Music Center Fellows and the New Fromm Players
    George Nickson, marimba; Bright Sheng, conductor
  • 03 MAR 2015
    Weill Hall, New York, NY
    Blue Period Ensemble
    Elliot Moore, conductor
  • 21 JUL 2014
    Deep Red World Premiere
    Eastern Music Festival
    Greensboro, NC
    Eastern Music Festival Orchestra
    John Parks, marimba; Gerard Schwarz, conductor

…a lavishly textured and absorbing marimba concerto in all but name…
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe,27/07/2015
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