TYMPANON is truly unique in the timpani literature, a proper heavyweight so to speak.
The score itself, with a performance duration of roughly half an hour, makes great demands on all participants. In addition, there are only a few solo works for two timpanists, where the players are confronted with such a large number of different musical ideas. The technical demands are, of course, high, yet Arend Weitzel’s arrangement can be accomplished with the right rehearsal schedule.
About the origins of this arrangement:
TYMPANON was composed and premiered in 1970 by Helmut Bornefeld (1906-1990) as a solo work for six timpani. The original score contains so many technical difficulties for the performer that sharing the job between two players seems unavoidable.
In 1984, Arend Weitzel was given a copy of TYMPANON by Helmut Bornefeld. Bornefeld knew about the technical difficulties in performing his work and wrote a letter to Weitzel, giving him a free hand to…"organise the type and the number of instruments so that a convincing whole is achieved!"
However, Bornefeld also re-worked TYMPANON once more himself, in which he shortened and revised the work.
In 1997, Arend Weitzel arranged the original into a version for two timpanists, which was premiered at a chamber music concert in Bochum, Germany. It was important for him, on the one hand, to keep the compositional structures of the original, whilst also ensuring that two equal parts were created, allowing musical dialogue and playability.
This version is the first to combine the original version with elements of Bornefeld’s revised version. However, these elements can only be found in the 7th scene, where the original score is slightly expanded and some elements are added, which has benefited the musical development of the final movement greatly. Otherwise the abridgements of Bornefeld’s revised version have been ignored. Parallel to the publication of this arrangement, the same publisher (Carus-Verlag Stuttgart) also released the Bornefeld’s revised version for one player.