The composer, Robert Stephenson, states "When you’ve been a classical musician for several decades, you can be an eye (and ear) witness to some really spectacular music-making. Over time, I began viewing the percussion family with increased appreciation. It became more than just a handful of colleagues in the back of the orchestra using sticks to hit a drum, triangle, xylophone, etc. Percussionists, along with the instruments they play have personalities!
My own musical imagination began 'hearing' the possibilities of combining an oboe with a marimba. It could be a marriage both complimentary and contrasting. Because the marimba best imitates the sound of 'rattling bones', I already had a possible theme – the 'devil’s interval', the tritone."
The movements in “El Diablo” work around the tritone with a march and tango thrown into the mix. It contains parts that are virtuosic, relentless, passionate and mysterious. The movements are titled "Diabolum," "La Marcha," "Tango," and "Vamos!" Full score and individual parts included. Total duration approximately 13 minutes.
A video performance of entire duo is available on YouTube. The approximate start times for each of the four movements in this YouTube video are (I) 00:00, (II) 03:28, (III) 06:52, (IV) 11:08