GANGSTA Jay Anthony Gach
Gangsta is music influenced by the Film Noir genre of cinema. Film Noir - mostly shot in gloomy grays, black and white - thematically showed the dark and inhumane side of human nature. Replete with dingy realism, cynicism, doomed loved, defeat and entrapment film noir emphasized the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark, and sadistic sides of the human experience. An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, and a suspicion that anything-can-go-wrong fatalism were all stylized characteristics of Film Noir.
As typical of the gangster genre of Film Noir my short musical essay begins with a simulated shrill police whistle followed by six gunshots. Then follows a nervous repose, after which the score introduces the “big theme” and further intensely dramatic music leading to a shattering conclusion.
– Jay Anthony Gach
Still Motion – a cycle for orchestra Rain Worthington
The inspiration for Still Motion arose from a combination of sorting through the emotional residue of year’s end and the impatient desire to move ahead with life with a new year’s beginning. It is a mix of edgy energy, reflective sadness and strength of conviction.
– Rain Worthington
FragMENTS Marga Richter
“In the early 1960's I experimented with capturing transient musical ideas and presenting them in short movements without development. These included Eight Pieces for Piano (1961), Darkening of the Light for Solo Viola (1962), Fragments for Piano (1963), Suite for Violin and Piano (1964) and Soundings for Harpsichord (1965).
I orchestrated Eight Pieces for Piano in 1961 and Fragments in 1974. The orchestral incarnations could be compared to the difference in effect between an etching and a water-color or oil painting. In Fragments, although each of the five movements has its own “personna” there are thematic repetitions and relationships among them which unify the set.”
– Marga Richter
A TANGO FANTASY Phillip Rhodes
This piece, called A Tango Fantasy, was originally commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1985. I had planned a three-movement work called A SYMPHONY Of DANCES, the two other movements being a Sarabande and Reel Time Variations. Pinchas Zukerman was to have conducted the premiere performance at one of his last concerts as Music Director of the SPCO. A number of unforeseen events, however, caused me to have to withdraw from the commission. Since an extension of the deadline was not possible, the piece was never performed by the SPCO.
From time to time, over a period of many years, I have considered revising the Tango and finally completed the project in 2014. The title of the piece rather aptly describes what it is about. Since it was intended as the first movement of a symphony, however, I decided to cast it in traditional sonata form (more or less) with an introduction, first theme, second theme, development, varied recapitulation, and extended coda.
– Phillip Rhodes
Summertime George Gershwin
Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist
Prelude for Charles Steven Winteregg
Prelude for Charles was written upon the death of the conductor, Charles Wendelken-Wilson, and performed by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra as a tribute to their former music director. The premiere was conducted by Neal Gittleman and took place on September 10 and 12, 2009.
Charles Wendelken-Wilson greatly advanced the Arts as a conductor, a classical radio station program director, and a champion of symphonic and operatic music. There were many aspects of Charles: his love of Romanticism, his appreciation of the dramatic moment in a symphony, his affection of opera, and his fondness for the odd musical story in a rehearsal. Prelude for Charles mirrors that experience in that it starts in a very contemplative mood but soon dissolves into a myriad of musical thoughts of Charles, all in a neo-Romantic style. The thematic materials are based on musical representations of the name “Charles” with a written “c” represented by a musical “c,” and the written letters without a corresponding musical letter assigned a musical note to represent them. The harmony rarely features a simple musical triad and is somewhat more complicated. While Charles was very accessible, he was not what one would describe as a “simple” man but a complicated person with layer upon layer of depth. Ultimately Prelude for Charles is not only a musical representation of Charles Wendelken-Wilson but also a piece that Charles might have enjoyed rehearsing, and conducting.
– Steven Winteregg
IN MEMORIAM Douglas Anderson
In Memoriam was written in October, 2001, in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on 9/11/2001. I was a professor of music at the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY in downtown New York City, four blocks from the World Trade Center; there I conducted the BMCC Downtown Symphony. I had recently moved from Brooklyn to the Hudson Highlands, in upstate New York.
While I lived in Brooklyn, we lived next door to a firehouse (Engine 205, Ladder 118), and after the initial shock of alarms at all hours, we came to enjoy and admire our courageous neighbors. They were always there, alert and awake, morning and night. They were cheerful, happy men, and they were the guys who run into a burning building when everyone else is running out.
On the morning of September 11th I was driving from my home upstate to work when I heard on the radio what was happening; I turned around and went home. I knew from my years in Brooklyn that this disaster was one that would call in firefighters from all around. I knew that my former neighbors would be there, running into those towers. And sadly, I found names and pictures of those I’d chatted and joked with, on the long list of those lost that day.
So when my orchestra reassembled for the first classical music concert in the downtown area after the tragedy, I felt the program had to accomplish two things: help us all return to normalcy as best we can, while recognizing the losses we had all suffered. I don’t run into burning buildings; I’m merely a composer. So I wrote this piece to help us all remember those we lost that day: In Memoriam.
– Douglas Anderson
EVENT HORIZON Bruce Babcock
My most influential mentors in terms of both composition and orchestration were American/Swiss composer Paul Glass, Hugo Friedhofer, and Earle Hagen. Paul studied with Witold Lutosławski, Earle studied with both Ernst Toch and serialist George Tremblay, and Hugo orchestrated dozens of scores for Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Max Steiner, among many others. Event Horizon reflects some of those influences and serves as a tribute to that legacy.
Scored for conventional full orchestra, the score does require a wide range of percussion instruments while employing only four players.
Event Horizon is a term used in the field of general relativity. It is most commonly associated with black holes and refers to the point at which the gravitational pull of the black hole becomes so great as to make escape impossible. Both my father and grandfather were astrophysicists, which inspired the title.
Event Horizon was recorded by an orchestra consisting of some of London’s finest orchestral musicians, known for the day as The Wembley Players.
– Bruce Babcock
Crown of the Continent Stephen Lias
In June of 2014 I had the amazing privilege of serving as Artist-in-Residence at Glacier National Park in Montana. Crown of the Continent, the result of that residency, celebrates the vibrant and rugged landscape, the sweeping beauty, and the colorful “wild west” history of this remarkable place.
– Stephen Lias
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