Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Piano Concerto No. 2

The second piano concerto was written for Amy Briggs, and commissioned by BMOP with funds from the Jebediah Foundation. It was written in the spring of 2011 at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.

The piece is also on a YouTube compilation album here.

Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments was originally written for string quartet, woodwind quintet and piano and commissioned by the Kaufman Center (Merkin Hall). It was written mostly at Civitella Ranieri in 2008. I arranged it for chamber orchestra (double woodwind quintet, strings and piano) in 2010 for the US Marine Chamber Orchestra, who premiered that version in May, 2011. Boston Modern Orchestra Project recorded it, thusly. The whole piece is also on a YouTube compilation album here.

The first movement assigns characteristic material to each group and then mixes and matches them at the end. That's Sarah Bob on piano.

The second movement sorta kinda channels spirituals and call-and-response.

The third movement is a deconstructed tango.

The fourth movement starts bebop, does a fugato, then a gigue, and then combines aspects of all the movements.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Preludes Book 6

Préludes Book VI was started at the Hambidge Center in northern Georgia in June, 2015 and finished in Maynard, Massachusetts in September, 2016. Here the conceit is that every title is gibberish.

Wayo (#51) is a slow passacaglia on a 3-bar theme written for Sarah Bob. Wayo is something her 13-month old daughter said.

Gfornafratz (#52) is based around fast broken octaves. Here's the crappy MIDI.

Twünk (#53) is based on fast scales in swing eighths. Beff came up with the title through the following process: The beginning sounds tinkly. Tinkle. Twinkle. Twink. Twunk. Twünk. Here is the crappy MIDI.

Fløpie (#54) starts as if it were a falling-thirds étude, and gradually adds complications that accumulate to broken-octave boogie woogie things in the left hand.

Twîfff (#55) is an irregular scales étude that slowly builds chords and evaporates them. Here is the crapfest MIDI.

Lèþidomm (#56), by virtue of its number being a multiple of 14, extracts music from my second piano concerto, frames it such that it begins and ends, and is dedicated to Amy Briggs. This one takes the very beginning of the piece, which is supposed to take off from Martler, and tacks on a little concert ending. This is a video of Amy playing that beginning before I wrote that 1-bar concert ending. 

Gnöpélledie (#57) was written on a request for a Satie-inspired piece. There is a reference to the first Gymnopédie in it, but otherwise it's not very Satie-like, except perhaps poetically.

Sprüllinəƒ (#58) is another broken octave prelude. Here is the crapfest MIDI.

Füllingræ (#59) was written for David Falterman as a promise in a twitter thread. It starts out like a repeated-note toccata and goes in some slightly different directions. This is the crapfest MIDI.

Krœłstächs (#60) alternates between rising lines that start in the low register and restricted register melodies and figuration that falls.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vocal music

See List of Compositions for a complete list of vocal music.

Musician (1990) is a setting of the poem of the same name by Louise Bogan. It was originally written for string orchestra with celesta, and this arrangement for voice, violin and piano was made for Judy Bettina. The violinist is Curtis Macomber, god-of-the-violin. (Dagnabbit, I don't think it breathes right)

I wrote Three Encores for Judy Bettina and Jim Goldsworthy in 1991. The first one is a simple vocalise. Sorry about the silly title.

The second one, below, is a scat piece which is, in its own weird way, an homage to Milton Babbitt's Phonemena.

The third one is a vocalist that takes a long, hot bath inside the world of Berg.

For Wittgenstein (1994) is the fifth song (of five) in the cycle Nothing But the Wind, written for Susan Narucki. The poem is by Joseph Duemer and was written specially for the cycle.

Georgic (2000) was written for Jim and Judy on a poem by Phillis Levin.

Three Songs on Poems of Louise Bogan was written in 1989 for Judy Bettina.

Concerti with chamber orchestra

Cerberus (1991-92) was written for Beth Wiemann, and is a triple concerto folding in another clarinet and bass clarinet occasionally turning into a mondo soloist. This is Beff with the Empyrean Ensemble. The movements are meant to be played attacca, so get your mouse ready ...

Locking Horns (2001) was commissioned by Sequitur for Daniel Grabois. Some of the movements are played attacca (IV & V) and some are not. The soloist plays only one note in the first movement (he got to leave the recording session early). Each movement begins with the same sequence of notes, and the harmony and melody at each movement's climax is the same. Because it was something I thought of.

This is a performance of the whole piece in a single YouTube movie.

And here it is broken up by movements.

Wind ensemble

Ten of a Kind (2000) was commissioned by "The President's Own" US Marine Band. The autogenerated YouTube movies below represent the commercial recording of the piece done in May, 2001. It's in four movements, in the order presented below.

Sibling Revelry (2004) is an arrangement of four "vernacular" piano études. It is a recent release by the Marine Band, who posted the recordings on YouTube. These are the four movements in order, followed by the original piano versions.

Cantina (2007) was commissioned by the Barlow Foundation when I won the Barlow Prize. The Marine Band recorded it in 2009 and editing finished in 2010, and the date of release, if any, is unknown. It has been posted on their website at least once.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Symphony #5

I want to write a full-length ballet. One of these days. So I thought I might use my position with the New England Philharmonic to try out some ideas for dance music. Thus, the boilerplate which follows:

Dance Episodes (Symphony No. 5) was written in the summer of 2013 and commissioned by the New England Philharmonic. I had intimated to the conductor, Dick Pittman, that I would like to try and write a few little short vignettes of maybe 3-4 minutes each for premiere by the orchestra in its 2013-14 season, and that the piece, to be called Dance Episodes, would be 10-12 minutes. But I liked the way the first movement was going and it needed a lot more space to grow, so it expanded, largely on its own but with my help, to eight minutes. The other movements got longer, too, and by the end of the summer I had a symphony of four movements rather than vignettes, and 24 minutes instead of 10-12. There was not enough rehearsal time scheduled for the whole piece, so the orchestra did just the first movement on its May 3, 2014 concert, and will premiere the whole thing on October 27 of 2014.

Here's the recording I got of the first movement, Zephyrs. Rather a fine performance with a few jitters toward the beginning. I started with the intention of letting things air out, have space, and breathe. About halfway through writing it, I no longer called it Lotsa Flutes, but Zephyrs. So it's airy. The piece is copyright © by CF Peters and is presented here with their permission.

The casual listener will note how the composer uses technique to mask a certain surfeit of content.

Now added later is the premiere performance by the NE Phil on October 25, 2014. The first movement here is the May performance, which doesn't have the strange noises in the recording that the October performance does. The third movement is pretty.