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String with one other instrument (works are in alphabetical order)
ALPINE SPRING (2008) for flute & harp by Howard J. Buss was composed for Italian flutist Elena Cecconi. Its picturesque Italian subtitle, Riflessi sul lago alpino, translates as “Alpine Lake Reflections” and is suggestive of the glorious awakening of Spring in the region immediately south of the Dolomite Mountains in northern Italy. As one listens to this music it is easy to imagine the glistening reflections of the dramatic Dolomite peaks and vibrant green spring foliage in the lake. Alpine Spring is divided into 2 main parts. The first is introspective and at times mysterious. The subdued quality of the music coupled with the beautiful melodic lines suggests the alluring enchantment of dawn at the lake. The festive second part is in an ABA-Coda format and mixes Buss’ unique style of soaring lyricism with crisp, energetic rhythms and colorful harmonies. The B section is developmental and at one point the flutist is asked to flutter tongue, suggesting the presence of birds. Alpine Spring received its world premier in 2008 in the Sala del Ridotto del Teatro Municipale in Piacenza, Italy by flutist Elena Cecconi and harpist Paola Devoti. This work is recorded on the CD Flauto e arpa by Elena Cecconi and Paola Devoti on the Bottega Discantica (Italy) label BDI 187. This CD is imported by and available from Brixton Publications CD-113. (11'30") Grade V
CANTILENA (2005) for flute and viola by David Alpher. From the composer: “As its name suggests, Cantilena is all about singing, lyric lines. It’s a songlike dialogue, with contrasting tempi. While melodies are hardly foreign to either instrument, the viola-in the chamber literature and especially the symphonic literature-has had a surfeit of accompanimental, supporting figures. This unthrilling role is kept to a bare minimum in Cantilena. I tried to create a genuine duo, a give-and-take aural relationship between two beautiful instruments that rarely have the whole stage to themselves.” Cantilena was commissioned by flutist Sally Schlichting and was premiered by her and violist Sam Williams in November 2005. (5’30”) Grade IV-V.
Sound samples: Excerpt_1.mp3; Excerpt_2.mp3
DUMKA for cello and piano by Roman Placzek leans on traditional patterns and sounds of Moravian folk music. The composer states, “I made sure that my understanding of nationalistic influences of the great Moravian composers, Martinu and Janacek, are clearly present in my musical depiction of the emotional state that inspired me to write it. It was “bells” and “scales” ever present in Martinu’s music that depict the childhood he spent running up and down the stairs of the bell tower in the small Moravian town of Policka. Janacek, my geographically closest influence, is reflected in my use of intriguing rhythms in piano accompaniment, thus paying homage to his style based on compressing rhythmical and melodic motives and sequences according to raw speech of the native Moravians.” (5’7”) Grade V. YouTube video
INNER QUEST (2011) for flute & harp by Howard J. Buss was written for the Italian duo of Elena Cecconi, flute, and Paola Devoti, harp. This beautiful and intriguing composition captures a wide range of emotions. The character and musical development of Inner Quest is analogous to the train of thoughts and feelings one may experience during a spell of internal dialog.
(7') Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3
LUMINOUS HORIZONS for bassoon and harp by Howard J. Buss was inspired by the spectacular photos of Pluto taken by the New Horizons probe. The title refers to one image in particular, the stunning backlit photo showing the illuminated blue sky of Pluto. The austere, yet beautiful surface of the planet reveals rugged mountains, craters, and ice plains. All of these observations are incorporated into the musical fabric of this work one way or another. Written for Richard Meek and the 2016 IDRS Conference. (9’) Grade V. B456 $20.00
PHOENIX (1986) by Haskell Small. This dynamic duo was inspired by the story of the Phoenix in ancient Egyptian mythology. Sparkling, a fabulous showpiece! Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." Recorded by Virginia Nanzetta, flute and Sydney Harth, violin on the CD 25 Preludes on Northeastern Records Classical Arts NR-242-CD. - version for flute and violin Sound Sample.mp3 (1030) Grade V.
RHAPSODY AND ALLEGRO (2000) for piccolo & harp by Robert Frank. The first movement alternates between free, cadenza-like material and metered, coordinated passages. The second is playful with soaring, lyrical melodies. Commissioned for Diane Boyd, premiered at the 2000 N.F.A. Convention in Columbus, Ohio. (8) Grade V.
Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2 (the ending).mp3
SEASIDE REFLECTIONS (1993) by Howard J. Buss captures the serenity of musing by the sea. On the preface page to the score is printed the following free verse by the composer. It is suggested that the poem be narrated immediately before the performance and/or printed in the program notes to set the mood for the music:: On the shore of eternity swirling currents of liquid chaos gather for and disperse as foam. As rock wears to sand all dissonance transforms to serenity. Time presses no longer. Dedicated to Brian Luce and Carrol McLaughlin. This is a memorable recital piece with real audience appeal. (7) Grade IV.
Seaside Reflections (flute & harp version) sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3
Seaside Reflections for clarinet and harp sound sample: Excerpt.mp3
TETE-A-TETE (2014) for violin and viola duo by Roger C. Vogel, in 5 movements: Beginnings, Hommages, Conversations, Eulogy, and Dance. This significant concert work was written for Maggie Snyder and Michael Heald and premiered by them in February, 2014. The term “tête-à-tête” refers to a conversation between two persons, and these charming pieces represent 5 different moods, or topics that might be discussed. (17’30) Grade V. B939 $18.50
YouTube videos (live performance) Movement 1; Movement 2; Movement 3; Movement 4; Movement 5
TIME CAPSULE (2002) by Howard Buss is a sonatina in four movements: Daybreak, Chorale, Rendezvous, and Homeward Bound and is both fun to play and listen to. The first movement has a frolicking and optimistic character. Chorale breaks with the traditional structure of the chorale in that each phrase gets a measure longer. The harmonies of the second movement contain some spicy dissonances as well. Rendezvous, is in a lilting 6/8 and really "works up a lather" as it progresses to an exciting climax. The final movement, Homeward Bound, begins with a fanfare-like passage that gives way to a spirited dance with intriguing interplay between the instruments. (7) Grade IV.
TRIPTYCH FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO by David M. Sterrett. A “triptych” is a musical collage of 3 contrasting movements unified by a common musical element – in the case of this piece, each movement is in A-B-C-B-A form. While the movements are unified in matching formal scheme, each exudes a different style and character. The first, Scherzo, jokes and jabs with jagged lines and snapping gestures that are sometimes humorous and sometimes aggressive. The second movement, Rhapsody, is the emotional centerpiece of the work and contrasts the snarky character of the Scherzo with gentle, lush, lyrical lines which convey a sense of loss and longing, and ultimately the restorative power of hope. The final movement, Tarantella, follows with its own unique style, a flashy, quick and energetic dance, slightly dark and grim in character, though at times also joyous and playful. Piano score and solo part is included. (11’40”) Grade V. Sound Excerpts: Movement 1.mp3, Movement 2.mp3, Movement 3.mp3;
TWILIGHT REFLECTIONS (2001) for flute & guitar by Roger Vogel, written for the Helios Duo.The lyrical nature of the music suggests images of fading light after sunset reflected on water or glass, and also refers to evening thoughts, perhaps at times dramatic ones. (8) Grade V.
Excerpt 1(the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
TWO POEMS (1992) for flute & guitar by Lee Heritage was inspired by two poems by Emily Dickinson: This - is the land - the Sunset washes - and Wild Nights. Winner of the 1998 Newly-Published Music Contest of the National Flute Association. (630) Grade IV.
Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3; Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3
WAVE TRAIN (1990) for flute & guitar by Howard J. Buss. The interaction of the lyrical melodies in this beautiful and frequently performed work is reminiscent of the patterns created by intermingling waves on the surface of water. The flute & marimba version of this work is recorded on the HoneyRock label by the McCormick Duo. This is an attractive feature number which also works well as a contest piece. (615)
WINTER SUN (1996) for flute & guitar by Roger C. Vogel. This charming work reflects the hope radiating from the sun on a long Winters day. (6) Grade IV.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3
ZOOM (2011) for bass trombone (or tuba) and harp by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by Brandt Attema and Astrid Haring and written during the winter of 2010-11. The composition was inspired by the spectacular images as seen through a satellite camera as the composer zoomed in on the coastline of The Netherlands. The strong narrative quality of the music couples with Buss’ unique style of soaring lyricism with crisp, energetic rhythms and colorful harmonies, makes this work accessible to a wide array of different types of audiences. (10'30") Grade VI.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2 .mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4, the ending.mp3
View at ZOOM: YouTube Video
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String Music Index:
(Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.)
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