David Valdés

Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll?

Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll? Last December 27 my article on the tambourine part of Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” (from “The Nutcracker”) was published on the Grover Pro website. You can read it clicking on the banner below: Thank you very much to Svetlana Manakova for helping me to translate the Russian indications. …et… Continue reading Tchaikovsky´s “Arabic Dance” – Articulate or roll?

Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum.

Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum. I have found a very peculiar drum in an antiques fair. It measures 44,7x31cm or 17″ 10/16 x 12″ 4/16). They  are not “exact” measures in neither system, which is quite bizarre. It also features some nice single point lugs and the tension rods are off-set. As you can… Continue reading Restauration of a Givernau tenor drum.

“Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”?

Histoire du Soldat. Percussion part.

“Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”? “Histoire du Soldat”, by Igor Stravinsky, is one of the most important works in the percussion repertoire, as it was one of the first to be written for a percussion set. Apart from its “percusive” importance, it is a masterwork which is played very often (whether staged or… Continue reading “Histoire du Soldat”, what about the “L´”?

Herd bells in “Tosca”.

Herd bells in “Tosca”. I have been to Rome lately, where I have spent some wonderfull days together with my family. Among many other places of general and musical interest, I have been to the Castel Sant´Angelo. The third act of “Tosca” takes place at this impresive building. More precisely at the upper platform. LA… Continue reading Herd bells in “Tosca”.

“Lieutenant Kije” and a peculiar tambourine technique

Lieutenant Kijé and a peculiar tambourine technique. On January 2, a new article of mine was published on the Grover Pro Percussion website. © Grover Pro Percussion Dealing with the very specific tambourine technique requested by Prokofiev in “Troika”, you can read it HERE. Tambourine part in “Troika”.     …et in Arcadia ego. ©… Continue reading “Lieutenant Kije” and a peculiar tambourine technique

Modification of a Premier bass drum

Montaje de parche de piel, aro, garra y llave. © David Valdés.

Modification of a Premier bass drum. This project is a consequence of a larger one; namely, to provide myself with the proper drums to recreate as close as possible the original sound, character and looks in Stravinsky´s “The Soldier´s Tale”.   For the bass drum I used a 28″x12″ Premier (model 188) from the 70s.… Continue reading Modification of a Premier bass drum

Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”

Strohinstrument. © Lefima

Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”. We, percussionists, very often play on instruments that, in reality, are not those that the composer indicated. We have the keyboard xylophone in “Bluebeard“ (B. Bartok), a part impossible to play on a regular xylophone; the glockenspiel parts in many works (“Magic Flute”, Mahler #7, «Daphnis et Chloe», etc.), which… Continue reading Xylophone in Richard Strauss´ “Salome”

The New Year’s concert, the “Österreichische locke” and tradition on snare drum

The New Year’s concert, the “Österreichische locke” and tradition on snare drum With the New Year´s Concert still fresh, today I´d like to write about something we all like: the snare drum “solo” preceding the traditional “Radetzky March”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhEGMSOIptw Here you have the snare drum part. Apart from some misprints here and there, which can… Continue reading The New Year’s concert, the “Österreichische locke” and tradition on snare drum

“Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”

Matraca. Fuente desconocida.

“Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”. At the end of the last season I was lucky enough to play “Feste Romane” (“Roman Festivals”) which, together with “Fountains” and “Pines”, form Ottorino Respighi´s “Roman Triptych”. It is a work featuring an exuberant, imaginative and brilliant orchestration. It requires a “percusive force” of one timpanist plus nine percussionists and, in… Continue reading “Tavolette” in “Feste Romane”

Editing timpani parts (and III)

© David Valdés

Editing timpani parts (and III). In this last article on the series I have wanted to use examples from Verdi himself to prove my points when editing the timpani part of his “Requiem“. It is not my intention when quoting the composer to fall into an “ad verecundiam” fallacy; by showing examples of his writing… Continue reading Editing timpani parts (and III)