Online catalog of concert music: solos, duos, chamber music & more!
Keyboard Music - piano, harpsichord and organ
(Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.)
CAFÉ for solo piano by Marc Douyon is based on the Haitian folk tune “Manmam voyém pézé café.” The main theme quotes this folk melody, which is then developed with various compositional techniques. Original secondary themes and motives by the composer are an integral part of the colorful musical tapestry as well. Café is divided into two main parts, the Prelude and the Dance. This work begins with lyrical melodic fragments over a light chordal accompaniment. A recitative follows with a theme, which is also lyrical in nature. But, soon after, that same theme from the recitative takes on a happier character in a waltz accompanied by a walking bass. There, syncopated rhythm, sequences, chromatic harmony, and refrain-like passages take the dance to new heights until the end. (4'38”) Grade IV.
CELESTIAL VISIONS (1993) for solo piano by Howard J. Buss. This colorful composition consists of three contrasting sections. The first is characterized by vibrant tone clusters and powerful exclamations juxtaposed with gentle harmonics and delicate arpeggiated figurations. The beautiful, lyrical central section gives way to a lilting 12-tone toccata. (8)
Grade V. Score Sample.pdf - YouTube video
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5 (the ending).mp3
FIVE PRELUDES for solo piano by Roger C. Vogel was written in 2011 for Evgeny Rivkin, Although a prelude often is a work that precedes a larger composition, a prelude may also be an independent work. These five preludes each have a different character: dramatic, expressive, dance-like, lyrical, and energetic. The total duration of Five Preludes is about 13 minutes without pauses. The durations of the individual preludes is as follows: Allegro con brio, 2’40”, Lento espressivo, 2’42”, Allegro ritmico, 2’25”, Adagio espressivo, 2’40”, Allegro appasionato, 2’30”. Grade V.
Sound samples: Prelude 1.mp3; Prelude 2.mp3; Prelude 3mp3; Prelude 4.mp3; Prelude 5.mp3
IMPROMPTU FOR PIANO by Marc Douyon is an intriguing and vibrant composition. Its rapid notes, relaxed rhythm, and quick tempo changes, contribute to the improvisatory character that permeates the work. The interplay of the different melodic ideas and motives, key changes, rhythmic figures, and the extensive range of the composition create a sense of purpose and direction. (3’25”) Grade V.
Sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (1985) for solo piano by David Alpher was inspired by the visual variations that Pablo Picasso painted in 1957 on Velasquez 1656 masterpiece commonly known as Las Meninas. Several different musical styles are employed during this Theme and 21 Variations in a manner analogous to the stylistic changes Picasso effected from one painting to the next. (16) Grade V - VI.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the beginning).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3
PRELUDE AND TOCCATA FOR PIANO by Marc Douyon is based on the Haitian folk tune “Linglinsou.” The main theme quotes this folk melody, which is then developed with various compositional techniques. Original secondary themes and motives by the composer are an integral part of the colorful musical tapestry as well. The composition opens with a lyrical melody that suggests an atmosphere of complaint, anguish, and despair. But soon, the lyrical main theme, which makes use of hemiola figures, takes the shape of a gracious tribal dance in compound meter. Shortly thereafter, however, the character of the piece changes into an agitated toccata characterized by driving staccato notes, accents, and a close hand position at the piano. The final moments of the piece are heroic-like in nature, but also convey a sense of calm after the storm. (7’) Grade IV-V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1(beginning).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (ending).mp3
SCHERZI for piano by Allen Molineux - These miniatures are six different ways of looking at the scherzo genre. The first deals with allowing the performer to freely play the material. The second, at times, hints at a jazz-like swing style. The third is a special kind of quodlibet in that it uses snippets of well-known scherzi for piano and also for orchestra with numerous appearances of the Chopin “Scherzo No. 2” holding it all together, while some actually interact with each other. For example, Brahms, Clara and Robert Schumann do get in a bit of a tangle and Bruckner seems to be at odds with the early Romantics of Beethoven and Schubert. The fourth is a conversational contrast between herky-jerky and groove motion. The fifth, which is the briefest, is a contest between a short staccato figure and an ever-expanding legato one. The final scherzo is a distorted ragtime piece where the left hand avoids the typical march-like accompaniment pattern. (9’50”) Grade V. Sound samples: Scherzo1.mp3; Scherzo2.mp3; Scherzo3.mp3; Scherzo4.mp3; Scherzo5.mp3; Scherzo6.mp3
TRIBUTE TO KEROUAC, version for solo piano by David Alpher was inspired by the work, life, and times of Jack Kerouac, King of the Beat Generation. Cast in seven entertaining movements, this significant composition is hugely influenced by jazz. In the preface to the score the composer writes: "Kerouac demonstrated the epic contradiction of America: on the one hand its wild energy, joy of life, and expansiveness; on the other, its tendency to self-destruct. Tribute to Kerouac is my musical response to, and commemoration of, this important American writer who liked to describe himself as a 'jazz.poet.'"The ensemble version of this work (for clarinet, tenor sax, piano & string bass) is recorded on Ongaku Records. (17) Grade V.
Keyboard in chamber music
- trios (Top of Page)
CANTICLES for clarinet, cello, and piano by Roger Vogel is a beautiful, lyrical work in two movements: Lied Rhapsody and Serenade-Caprice. While often associated with liturgical music. The term “canticle” is simply a synonym for a song. In Canticles the main musical ideas are song-like melodies that are shared by all three instruments. (18’)
CONSTELLATIONS for flute, piano, and percussion (1 or 2 players) by Howard J. Buss is part of a series of compositions by the composer inspired by the awesome grandeur and beauty of the cosmos. The forward thrust, narrative quality, and colorful ambience of the music suggest the musicians are on a wondrous journey exploring a series of varied and colorful star systems. The juxtaposition between agitated chromatic passages and tonal, focused sections is analogous to the experience of viewing up-close, seemingly chaotic space "debris" (dust, rocks, gas, etc.) as contrasted with the beauty and exquisite organization of star systems viewed from afar. (13’15”) Grade V-VI. YouTube performance
CONTRASTS IN BLUE (2001) for trumpet,
trombone and piano by
J. Buss. A dramatic and colorful work in 2 picturesque movements:
Evening Shadows & Summer Sea The music is evocative of
the imagery suggested by the titles of the movements and of the musical
blues as well. The themes of shadows and water also suggest
a kinship with the impressionist style of 100 years earlier. (15:30) Grade
CONTRASTS IN BLUE for oboe, bassoon, and piano by Howard J. Buss. A dramatic and colorful work in 2 picturesque movements: Evening Shadows & Summer Sea. The music is evocative of the imagery suggested by the titles of the movements and of the musical blues as well. The themes of shadows and water also suggest a kinship with the impressionist style of 100 years earlier. This composition is a must! (1530) Grade V.
Score Samples: Movement 1.pdf ; Movement 2.pdf
Sound Samples: Movement 1A.mp3; Movement 1B.mp3; Movement 2.mp3
DESERT ODYSSEY (1997) for clarinet, bassoon, and piano by Howard J. Buss. Although there is no specific program involved in this music, it does nevertheless have a strong narrative quality. Because the continuous development of material takes the form of a chain of episodes, the music exhibits some of the attributes one might associate with a journey through the spectacular and awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert Southwest. Beautiful, lyrical sections contrast with intense and dramatic passages in this colorful work. Desert Odyssey was commissioned by The International Clarinet Association and was premiered at the organizations ClarinetFest 1997 hosted by Texas Tech University. The performers were Marguerite Baker, clarinet; Richard Meek, bassoon; and Jennifer Garrett, piano. (11 ) Grade V. Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4 (the ending).mp3 Hear in its entirety on a YouTube video.
Score Samples (score in C): Excerpt 1.pdf; Excerpt 2.pdf; Excerpt 3.pdf
THE DEVILS SONGBOOK Eight Irreverent Songs (1993) for medium or high voice, bassoon (or cello or contrabass) and piano by Roger C. Vogel is based upon humorous texts which explore the nature of various aspects of human nature. The songs are entitled Of Politicians (lyrics by William Shakespeare and Hilaire Belloc), Of Businessmen (lyrics by Mark Twain), Of Critics and Music (lyrics by Robert F. Murray, Charles Lamb, and the composer), Of Vanity (lyrics by James Thomson), Of Attorneys (lyrics derived from an anonymous quote on the Headstone of Mr. Jonathan Gill, Esq. who died February 6, 1751), Of the Media (lyrics by Humbert Wolfe), Of Vanity (anonymous) and Of Celebration (lyrics by Dorothy Parker).(2015) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Of Politicians, Excerpt 1.mp3;Of Attorneys, Excerpt 2 .mp3; Of Businessmen, Excerpt 3.mp3;
Of the Media, Excerpt 4.mp3; Of Critics and Music, Excerpt 5.mp3;
Of Virtue, Excerpt 6.mp3; Of Vanity, Excerpt 7.mp3; Of Celebration, Excerpt 8.mp3
(1977, renotated 2005) for flute, one percussion,
and piano by Roger Vogel is a programmatic work consisting
of 2 main parts. A slow, mysterious opening segment is followed by a
faster, rhythmic section which develops the opening ideas and builds to
a strong and memorable climax. Percussion: Timpani
(4), triangle, snare drum, glockenspiel & temple blocks. (515)
DREAM TRIO for violin, cello, and piano by Roman Placzak is in 3 movements: Dream, Intermezzo, and Memory of the Dream. The inspiration for this work was the composer’s youthful falling in love with a beautiful pianist who was a year older student at Ostrava Conservatory. The chosen key for the work is A minor for the outer movements and C major for the Intermezzo. All three are closely connected thematically. While Dream and Memory of Dream describe the emotional upheaval the composer experienced, Intermezzo is a joyful sonic depiction of a snowy day that came while he was working on the piece. (15’22”) Grade V. B172 $36.00
Score Samples: Movement_1.pdf; Movement_2.pdf; Movement_3.pdf
FANTASIA (1988) for flute, clarinet, and piano by Howard J. Buss. The musical material in this colorful composition moves gradually from the contemplative opening section to an intense and driving finish. The writing is fresh, and the music is full of vitality and vivid imagination. A fabulous sonic journey. - The Atlanta Constitution. (730) Grade V. Hear in its entirety: YouTube Video
Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
FLORIDA TABLEAU (1987) for clarinet, trombone, and piano by Howard J. Buss is a picturesque work in 3 movements: The March of Progress, Pastorale, and The Eternal Sea. The energetic first movement features dramatic contrast between lyrical lines in the winds sounding over a hard-driving piano accompaniment, and a development section characterized by staccato melodic fragments being passed among the players. The beautiful second movement, Pastorale, is impressionistic and paints a sonic portrait of rural Florida's vast pasture lands, forests, lakes, and the Everglades. The final movement, The Eternal Sea, begins and ends with turbulent sections, one can easily imagine great waves crashing on the shoreline. The middle part of the movement has a swashbuckling and almost humorous quality about it, suggesting people frolicking at the beach. Florida Tableau was commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association. A curious musical blend of the old and the new, much like modern Florida itself. - The Orlando Sentinel (1640) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt Mov.1.mp3; Excerpt Mov.2.mp3; Excerpt Mov.3.mp3
FUGUE AND POSTLUDE (1987,1995) for flute, bassoon, and piano by Haskell Small combines a fugue, an older, more serious form of Baroque origin, with a thoroughly modern piece written in a free-wheeling, urban style of jazz. Regarding the contrasting characters of the two movements, the composer states, The postlude includes a reference to the fugues subject, but cannot sustain a properly serious attitude, quickly dissolving back into jazz. Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." The world premiere of Fugue and Postlude was performed on October 3, 1995 in Tokyo, Japan by flutist Yoshiko Ohta, Bassoonist Shigeru Ohta, and the composer on the piano. Recorded on the 4Tay Records CD Twisted Pine Branch (8) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3
IMAGINATIONS (2012) for horn, trombone, and piano by Howard J. Buss showcases the agility and beautiful, sonorous tone of the horn, trombone and piano ensemble. Ranging from lyric tenderness to powerful (and sometimes fiery) technical displays, the 2 movements, Contemplative and Auspicious, explore a wide range of sonic atmospheres and moods. The sophisticated musical language, coupled with the soaring melodies and intriguing rhythms, make this a significant, audience-friendly concert work. Imaginations was composed for Gene Berger, horn; John Seidel, trombone; and Elizabeth Seidel, piano. (13’) Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Movement 1, excerpt 1.mp3); Movement 1, excerpt 2.mp3; Movement 2, excerpt 1 .mp3; Movement 2, excerpt 2.mp3
IN DARKNESS (1989) for high voice (soprano or tenor), alto sax, and piano by Roger C. Vogel. In Sophocles tragedy Oidipous Tyrannos the protagonist was separated from his parents at birth. He unwittingly fulfilled a prophesy by killing his father in a quarrel and then marrying his mother when he became king of Thebes. In Darkness is a narrative of the events that took place after the incestuous marriage became known.The text for this musical work was translated and adapted by Timothy Gantz. Although the melodic and harmonic language of this composition is modern, it incorporates some of the flavor of the ancient Grecian melody by deriving important motivic material from the ancient Dorian scale as it was sung in the chromatic genus. Recorded on the OASIS CD Love Letters, available from Brixton Publications CD-109. This powerful and engaging composition makes a memorable concert feature. (1630) Grade V.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
JAZZICAL #5 for euphonium, tuba, and piano by Howard
J. Buss, was written for Gail Robertson and Stacy Baker for ITEC 2016. This engaging work juxtaposes technical and spiritual elements of jazz and classical music. (7’30”)
KOREANA (2015) for flute, clarinet, and piano by Randall Snyder is a suite of traditional Korean folk songs harmonized in various Western styles. The gentle T’aryong was originally a movement from the monumental Yongsan Hoesang, an orchestral suite first notated in the 15th century. It was later adapted as the graceful Dance of the Crane. Han o baeng nyon is a folk song from the eastern province of Kangwondo (now divided between North and South Korea). Its existential lyrics speak of the transience of existence; even five hundred years is not enough time to fully experience life. The bluesy melody is harmonized in the style of Ravel. Arirang is the most well known of Korean melodies and exist in several distinct versions. This one, from Kyonggi Province around Seoul, features a pentatonic melody in a setting influenced by Aaron Copland. Sarag Ga is love song from a P’ansori, the uniquely Korean opera-like form performed by just a vocalist and single drummer. Its essentially monophonic texture is embellished with Neo-Classic dissonances and rhythms suggestive of Stravinsky. (6’50”) Grade IV.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3, Excerpt 3.mp3, Excerpt 4.mp3
LOVE LETTERS (2002) by Roger C. Vogel is an entertaining and memorable song cycle based on texts selected to represent the many different aspects of the universal emotion of love: from longing, exuberance, excitement, and playfulness to sorrow and despair. The songs may be performed individually. The work is published in two versions, each with a different instrumentation and number of songs. The version for high voice, violin & and piano is recorded on the OASIS CD Love Letters, available from Brixton Publications CD-109.
Version for high voice (soprano or tenor), violin & piano songs with durations:
Your Letter Moved Me 2:29; I Lie Awake 3:52; Dear Miss West Forty-seventh Street 1:49; My Dearest Nell (voice and piano) 7:45;The French Ladies 3:39;My Darling Dear, Delightful Ringo 2:57;Have You Heard That I Love You (voice & violin) 3:07; . Alas! I have Suffered Your Scorn! 11:36; Everything Measurable Passes 1:45; Interlude (violin & piano) 2:59; and Adieu, I Seal My Letter 4:36 Videos of the songs in the version for voice & piano:
1.Your Letter Moved Me 2:29
2.I Lie Awake 3:52
3.Dear Miss West 47th Street 1:49
4.My Dearest Nell (voice and piano) 7:45
5.My Darling Dear, Delightful Ringo 2:57
6.Adieu, I Seal My Letter 4:36
NIGHT FLIGHT (1999) for piccolo, clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss. This riveting work showcases the piccolo and clarinet & piano, exploring their different registers and colors. It provides exciting contrasts between lyrical and technical sections. Night Flight was commissioned for the 1999 National Flute Association Convention in Atlanta and was premiered at the event by Rebecca Arrenson, piccolo; Robert E. Price, clarinet; and Paula Peace, piano. (9) Grade V-VI.
Recorded by Lois Herbine, piccolo; Allison Herz, clarinet; and Charles Abramovic, piano on the critically-acclaimed Crystal Records CD "TAKE WING" available at www.crystalrecords.com/flute.html#CD713.
Sound Samples: # 1.mp3; # 2.mp3.mp3; # 3.mp3
ON THE WING for violin, alto saxophone and piano by Roger C. Vogel was written in 2013 and revised in 2017 for Rachel and Stephen Fischer. It was inspired by the thrill of flight, as well as that of being in motion, traveling, and being active. The intense energy of taking off, soaring, gliding, and diving is depicted in its musical gestures. The opening begins with ascending motives and progresses through contrasting sections that represent different aspects and emotions that are experienced in flight. As the work progresses these motives recur in various ways, with some surprises, until the final exhilarating coda. Cast in one movement of about 15 minutes in length, the violin, alto saxophone, and piano compete, complement, intertwine, and reflect on the musical ideas equally. (15’) Grade V. B961 (score & parts) $30.00
Sound samples: Excerpt 1 (the beginning).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4 (the ending).mp3
PASSAGE TO EDEN (2001) for clarinet, French horn, and piano by Howard J. Buss. This dramatic and colorful work is in 4 continuous movements. The mood of the first is of ominous significance, as if one was preparing to embark on an arduous journey. The music is lyrical, yet contains an undercurrent of tension and anticipation. The second movement is characterized by a contrapuntal dialogue between the clarinet and the horn over a driving ostinato in the piano. This section is hugely influenced by jazz. The lyrical and animated counterpoint sounding over the running bass line and chord punctuations in the keyboard gradually give way to a section of turbulence which serves as a transition to the relative calm of the following movement.The third movement, in 6/8 meter, has an easy flowing vitality. There is a silvery brilliance to the music with a hint of nostalgia. The interweaving melodic strands grow increasingly romantic in quality and then, quite suddenly, give way to a developmental passage which builds in intensity and expectation. The finale is spirited and jubilant in character. The atmosphere generated is one of a triumphant proclamation which grows increasingly exultant as the work culminates in a rousing coda. (12') Grade V-VI
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3
REMEMBRANCES (2000) by Howard J. Buss is a lyrical, enjoyable work written in an appealing modern style. It was written immediately following the death of the composer's 97-year-old grandmother. Rather than being a somber memorial or musical epitaph, this charming and melodious composition is a celebration of life. The character of the opening section is contemplative. Gradually the music becomes more animated and Remembrances finishes in a spirit of buoyant optimism. (8) Grade IV. Remembrances, version for clarinet, cello & piano sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3
Remembrances, version for flute, cello & piano Score sample: Excerpt.pdf
Remembrances, version for trumpet, cello & piano Score sample: Excerpt.pdf )
REVERIE (1992) for clarinet, viola and piano by Howard J. Buss. This beautiful, neo-impressionistic work was commissioned by Luis Rossi and the Trio de Buenos Aires. It was premiered by this ensemble in Madrid, Spain at the Circulo de Bellas Artes on February 20, 1994. Reverie is a sophisticated work, rewarding for the performers and audience alike. As the title suggests, the music is contemplative. The writing is idiomatic and imaginative. This composition is a "must". (1030) Grade V. View in its entirety on YouTube
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3
ROMANCE AND CAPRICE (2004) for flute/piccolo,
alto flute, and piano by Howard
J. Buss. The hauntingly beautiful first movement is followed by a
dramatic tour de force hugely influenced by jazz. (940)
SERENDIPITY SUITE for trumpet (Eb, Bb, and Bb piccolo), trombone, and piano by Howard was composed in the late summer of 2016 for trumpeter Brittany Hendricks and trombonist Bruce Faske. The work is in 3 movements: Auspicious Moon, Slow Dance, and Excursion. The composition is designed so that the trumpeter uses an Eb trumpet in the first movement, a Bb trumpet in the second, and a Bb piccolo trumpet in the third. Included is an alternative trumpet part so that the work can be performed exclusively on a Bb trumpet. (12’40”) Grade V. B460
- score & parts -$28.50
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3, Movement 2.mp3, Movement 3.mp3
TRIO for flute, cello, and piano by Haskell Small is divided into three exciting movements: Allegro non-troppo, Andante, and Allegro molto energico." Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." Recorded on the CD 25 Preludes: A Musical Odyssey (Northeastern Classical Arts NR 242-CD) by Virginia Nanzetta, flute; Douglas Wolters, cello; and Haskell Small, piano. (10) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3
TRIO LYRIQUE for horn, bassoon and piano by Howard J. Buss was composed for Gene Berger; horn; Keith Sweger, bassoon; and James Helton, piano for the 2013 International Horn Symposium at the University of Memphis. As the title implies, the overall character of the music is lyrical, and it gradually evolves from a contemplative and mystical opening to a spirited finale. Although written in one continuous movement, this engaging work is divided into several major, contrasting sections set off from one another with intriguing metric modulations. (10’) Grade V. View on YouTube
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3); Excerpt 3.mp3
Keyboard in chamber music - quartets (Top of Page)
THE DISTANCES THEY KEEP (2001) for two
high voices (sopranos or tenors), flute, and piano by Roger
Vogel is a beautiful, lyrical work about mans relationship to nature,
and wild birds specifically. It is based upon an enchanting poem of the
same name by Howard Nemerov. Recorded on the OASIS
CD Love Letters (ORCV4000), available
from Brixton Publications CD-109. The vocal ranges required are
d below the staff to A above the staff, and Db below the staff to A above
the staff respectively. (1230) Grade V.
EINE KLEINE SNAILMUSIK for high voice (soprano or tenor), trumpet, cello and piano by Roger C. Vogel is a humorous setting of May Sartons poem of the same name. Theatrical gestures are used in this lighthearted and playful work. In the preface to the score thecomposer writes, "The humor in this work will be greatly enhanced by setting a lighthearted mood before beginning the work and by appropriate gestures throughout." The vocal range is from d below the treble staff to Ab above the staff. (8) Grade V.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
INTO EACH LIFE (1997) for flute, cello, piano, and one percussion by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by The Florida Flute Association and the Brannen-Cooper Fund as a tribute to the renown flutist Albert Tipton. This colorful work is cast in two main sections, the first of which juxtaposes lyrical and turbulent passages. The final section takes the form of a joyous fugue. The instrumentation includes vibes, orch. bells, cymbals, tam-tam, bongos, wood block and tambourine. (11) Grade V. Score Sample.pdf Percussion Set-up .pdf
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
JAZZICAL #4 (2012) for horn, trombone, tuba and piano by Howard J. Buss . The composer states, “It was not my aim to create a specific hybrid style by synthesizing jazz and modern classical music; rather, my intent was to systematically strip away the fundamental elements of jazz to explore at what point the music ceases being jazz and becomes classical. The style of this work is the resultant this procedure. Because the subject of what constitutes jazz (there are so many kinds) is so complex, depending upon the background and views of the listener, the music will sound jazzy (in varying degrees) to most, and mostly classical to others. (12’45”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt_1.mp3; Excerpt_2.mp3; Excerpt_3.mp3; Excerpt_4.mp3
LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (1985) for oboe, cello, guitar and piano by David Alpher
was inspired by the visual variations that Pablo Picasso painted in 1957
on Velasquez 1656 masterpiece commonly known as Las Meninas.
Several different musical styles are employed during this Theme and 21
Variations in a manner analogous to the stylistic changes Picasso effected
from one painting to the next. (16') Grade V.
THUNDER ROLL for 3 percussion and piano by Zack Browning in 2 movements: Night Visions is a slow and ethereal with much dramatic contrast. Day Attack is fast-paced in which rhythmic displacement and mixed meters create a compelling style reminiscent of the music of Bartok. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: Vibraphone, snare drum & suspended cymbal; Perc. 2: Triangle, tam-tam, bass drum, glockenspiel, xylophone & roto toms; Perc. 3: Timpani (4). This is a well-written piece with audience appeal. - Percussive Notes Magazine (10) Grade V.
YouTube performances: "Night Visions", "Day Attack"
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3
SONG WITHOUT WORDS for piano, violin, viola, and cello by David Alpher is a heartfelt and powerful tribute to the composer’s long-time friend and colleague, Lila Deis (1944-2010). The first movement, Loss, is self-explanatory; music of mourning. After this, and without any pause, the bleak mood is demolished by one huge chord, as though Lila were saying “Enough of that. Let’s have a party!” This super-loud chord ushers in a movement called Perpetual Motion, which is a tribute to Lila’s nonstop upbeat energy and verve. Following a pause for breath, the third movement, Perpetual Song, concludes the work with a kind of festival of melodies, a tribute to the unforgettable lyricism of Lila’s art. (21’) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt_1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt_2.mp3; Excerpt_3.mp3
TRIBUTE TO KEROUAC for clarinet, tenor sax, piano and string bass by David Alpher was inspired by the work, life, and times of Jack Kerouac, King of the Beat Generation. Cast in 7 entertaining movements, this significant composition is hugely influenced by jazz. In the preface to the score the composer writes: "Kerouac demonstrated the epic contradiction of America: on the one hand its wild energy, joy of life, and expansiveness; on the other, its tendency to self-destruct. Tribute to Kerouac is my musical response to, and commemoration of, this important American writer who liked to describe himself as a 'jazz.poet.'" This significant work is recorded on Ongaku Records CD#024-112. (17) Grade V.
Sound Samples: I. American Nocturne.mp3; II. Movin On.mp3; III. Remembered.mp3;
IV. Intermezzo.mp3; V. Beat Scene.mp3;VI. Urgency.mp3; VII. Epilogue.mp3
THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER (1989) For
narrator, flute, viola and piano
by David Alpher. Based upon Lewis Carrolls well-known poem from
Through the Looking Glass (1871) this entertaining composition
transforms the familiar words from their Victorian and child-like context
to a very different sound world primarily influenced by jazz. Finalist
in the 1996 Newly-Published Music Competition of the National Flute Association. (15) Grade V.
Keyboard in chamber music - quintets and larger ensembles (Top of Page)
THE BIG BANG (1992) for 6 percussion and piano by Howard J. Buss. This significant work in 2 movements is a musical representation of the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe which contends that our ever-expanding universe began as a colossal explosion at a single point in space. During the first movement, The Creation, all musical development grows out of an initial blast of sound. Waves of sound mass gradually crystallize into definite pitches leading to the formation of the natural harmonic series. 12-tone fragments intertwine and gradually coalesce into perceptible melodies. This musical development is analogous to the formation of compounds, amino acids, etc. Midway through The Creation the spark of life" is introduced in an abrupt shift of musical activity which undergoes continuous development to the end of the movement. The animated second movement, Dance of Life, is a joyous celebration of life. Percussion distribution: Perc. 1: 2 suspended cymbals, 3 brake drums, 2 cowbells, temple blocks, tam-tam & sand blocks; Perc. 2: Orchestra bells, 5 roto toms & triangle; Perc. 3: Flexitone, timpani (4), wind chimes, bongos & a thunder sheet (or a large tam-tam); Perc. 4: Xylophone, suspended cymbal, bass drum, and chimes (tubular bells); Perc. 5: Marimba, 2 anvils metal pipes may be substituted), tambourine, finger cymbals & a triangle; Perc. 6: Vibraphone, chimes (tubular bells) which are to be shared with player 4, snare drum, 2 suspended cymbals & tam-tam.The piano is treated as an integral part of the percussion battery. This engaging work is appropriate for a college-level percussion ensemble. (18) Grade V.
Sound Samples from the First Movement: Sample 1A.mp3; Sample 1B.mp3; Sample 1C.mp3;
Sound Samples from the Second Movement: Sample 2A.mp3; Sample 2B.mp3; Sample 2C.mp3
View on YouTube at The Big Bang: I. “The Creation” and
The Big Bang: II. The Dance of Life
LAND OF THE FARTHER SUNS (1992) for narrator, 4 flutes (flute/piccolo, flute, flute/alto flute & flute/bass flute) and piano by David Alpher. The text in this significant concert piece is from the poetry of Stephen Crane. The work is constructed in the manner of a song cycle, only with narration rather than singing. The music is modern, yet accessible, and contains sections in a jazzy vein. Finalist in the 1996 Newly-Published Music Competition of the National Flute Association. Recorded by Flute Force with Garrison Keillor on the Innova CD Eyewitness. (20) Grade V.
Land of the Farther Suns (Ensemble Version) Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3;
Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
SHORT STORY (1980) for flute, clarinet, oboe, cello, and piano by Haskell Small was commissioned by the Georgetown Symphony. The thematic material is mostly of a lyrical nature juxtaposed with a "chase" motif and several sections of a gently jazzy flavor. It is essentially in sonata form, with an introductory recitative-like section that repeats in the middle and at the end of the composition. A short fugue based upon the main lyrical theme precedes the ending. Recorded on 4Tay Records The Twisted Pine Branch. Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." (1030) Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3; Sample 2.mp3
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