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Strings in chamber music - quartets (works are in alphabetical order)
EINE KLEINE SNAILMUSIK for high voice (soprano or tenor), trumpet, cello & piano by Roger C. Vogel is a humorous setting of May Sartons poem of the same name. Theatrical gestures are used in this playful work. In the preface the composer 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
THE ENCHANTED GARDEN for bassoon, violin, viola, and cello by Howard J. Buss was composed for Keith Sweger and the 2016 IDRS Conference. The character of the music is meditative and reflective, Buss states, “While presenting the instruments in an interesting and flattering way, the primary goal of the music is to transport the listeners to a sonic world analogous to that of a lavish garden shimmering in the beautiful ambiance created by the late afternoon sun.” (10’05”) Grade V. Score Sample.pdf
Sound Samples: 1 (the beginning).mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3, 4.mp3, 5 (the ending).mp3
INTO EACH LIFE (1997) for flute, cello, piano & 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 work is in 2 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 Chart.pdf
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 - YouTube video
LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (1985) for oboe, cello, guitar & 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.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3
A YouTube video with a slideshow of the paintings
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
TRADITIONS (1990, 2014) for violin, clarinet, guitar & string bass by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by the Luski Endowment for Viva Klezmer! as part of the nationwide 50th Anniversary Celebration of the American Music Center. In 2014 the composer revised the work, further developing some sections. Traditions is a synthesis of traditional Jewish Klezmer music and elements of Western concert music. From the ornate opening cadenza (based upon the well-known "Shalom Alechem" melody to the jubilant, energetic "freilach" which concludes the work,The piece spans a wide range of emotions. It is meticulously notated so that even if one has not performed Klezmer music before, it is relatively easy to play in this exciting style. (710)
Grade IV-V. Score Samples: Score_excerpt.pdf; Clarinet part.pdf
TRIBUTE TO KEROUAC for clarinet, tenor sax, piano & string bass by David Alpher was inspired by the work, life, and times of Jack Kerouac, King of the Beat Generation. Cast in 7 movements, this work is influenced by jazz. In the preface 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.'" 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 & piano by David Alpher. Based on 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.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
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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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