Yannay, Yehuda- Permutations, for solo percussion

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For solo percussion, includes score. This challenging multi-percussion solo requires: vibraphone, marimba, orchestra bells, tubular chimes, gong, tam-tams(2), suspended cymbals(2), small cymbal, steel block, temple blocks(4), wood blocks(2), maraca, tom-toms(3), bongos, side drum, and timbale. Duration: ca. 10'

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Review from Percussive Notes:


Yehuda Yannay  


This unique multiple-percussion solo was composed in 1964 and reflects the graphic notation, performance interpretation, and some of the compositional styles conceived by other notable multiple-percussion composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen or Reginald Smith-Brindle. Yehuda Yannay states that “Permutations” was written for and dedicated to composer/percussionist Joel Thome. It lasts about 10 minutes. There are 11 individual pages, which are referred to by the composer as “constellations” and labelled with alphabet letters for the performer to select a unique performance order.  


The ”constellations” may be presented in any order; none should be omitted. Individual “constellations” may be repeated, with or without variations; however, the piece should not exceed 10–12 minutes. This means that it is the intent of the composer that no two performances of  

“Permutations” will be the same. Yannay chose a unique order for his doctoral percussion recital at the State University of New York at Stony Brook given on Dec. 16, 1981. The 1981 performance order reflected similar types of instruments: opening with a keyboard percussion section, continuing with a transitory section, a metal and wood section, a section bringing in the drums, a keyboard section, a louder section containing all the instruments, and a very brief keyboard section to recap and close the piece as it opened (as stated in one suggested performance example).  


There are numerous choices of performance selection—such as the selection of mallets—as well as the setup of the prescribed instruments.  

“Permutations” is not for the faint-of-heart multiple- percussion soloist and would probably be most appropriate for the advanced graduate music school performer.  


—Jim Lambert, 2020