1. Moiré for Strings, Op. 90 for large string orchestra
This piece for string orchestra was written in 1989 for the strings of the USC Symphony. It features massive sonorities, sometimes for up to sixteen separate parts. I hope you will find sounds here that will resonate for you.
2. Canto Nuovo, Op. 53 for solo recorder
This piece for solo recorder was written for a superb recordist, Konstanze Bender, in preparation for her entry into an international recorder competition. There are brief passages where she must play two or even three lines of music at once.
3. Largo, Op. 80 for piano, clarinet, violin, viola and cello
Largo was commissioned by the Almont Ensemble and is available on Klavier KCD 11039. Slow and sonorous, it has an active middle section. I used this piece as background for a video I made of my late wife's watercolor portraits. It was broadcast widely over public access stations.
4. Playphony, Op. 56 for alto sax and percussion
Playful but technically very challenging, this prizewinning work was premiered in London at a World Saxophone Congress. The players are Reginald Jackson, alto saxophone, and Gary Rockwell, percussion. Both performers are asked to play some fiendishly difficult passages.
5. Essay for Band, Op. 88 for wind ensemble
Written for the U. S. Coast Guard Band, this piece presents band music in a style quite removed from the usual repertoire for band. It is very modern and very powerful, with huge blasts of grand sonorities.
6. Saxophone Quartet No. 1, Op. 78
Saxophone Quartet No. 1 was performed here by the Graduate Saxophone Quartet of Bowling Green University, where they took the work on tour all over the State of Ohio. In one movement, it explores the ranges of all four instruments, especially the lowest range.
7. Reflections II, Op. 76 for solo piano
Reflections II is a solo piano piece, commissioned by Frank Burke, a lifelong friend. It is here played beautifully by Delores Stevens at its premiere at Cal State Dominguez Hills. It is very much a kind of stream of consciousness work, but the overall effect is one of unity.
8. Chamber Symphony, Op. 16 for 12 solo instruments
This composition may remind you of Arnold Schoenberg, and indeed its pitch source is a 12-tone row. The kinds of counterpoint used may be traced to his general style. My earlier works were deeply influenced by Schoenberg and his methods.
9. Periphony, Op. 54 for four clarinet trios
Periphony was a prizewinner in 1980 and is performed here by clarinetists at the New England Conservatory. The work begins and ends with twelve B-flat clarinets. There is a section where eight bass clarinets are playing alone, but most of the work is for eight B-flat clarinets and four bass clarinets.
10. Alchemy, Op. 60 for oboe and tape
Alchemy was written for Rudolf Duthaler, outstanding Swiss oboist and personal friend. Alchemy was the winner of the 1977 Composition Competition of the International Double Reed Society, and Duthaler performed the official premiere at the IDRS Conference at Evansville, Indiana, that same year. This is a work for solo oboe and tape (solo oboe on the tape) where two single strands of music are later combined to form a duo. The piece is full of avant garde performance techniques, most of which I learned from Duthaler himself.
11. Mini-Variations, Op. 25 for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello
Mini-Variations, a primarily 12-tone composition, has as its basis a five-note motive which is the first five notes of the row. Each of the twenty-five variations is fairly brief in a work lasting barely twelve minutes. Its first performance took place at the Claremont Festival in Southern California.
12. Trio Philharmonia, Op. 44 for violin, cello and piano
Written for the Philharmonia Trio of New York, this piece was premiered at the Claremont Festival. Certain of its structural features are based upon the Golden Section. This performance took place at the Schoenberg Institute when it was located on the campus of the University of Southern California.
13. Duo for Alto Sax and Percussion, Op. 71
This was written for two members of the United States Coast Guard Band: Brian Sparks, saxophone, and Connie Coglhan, percussionist. After writing Essay for Band for the USCG Band, the composer was asked by Sparks and Coglhan to compose a piece for them. While Playphony, for the same combination of instruments, reaches beyond the merely technical aspects and introduces humorous visual elements, Duo is a more serious, straightforward opus.
14. Die Reise, Op. 47 for brass quintet (tuba on low end)
The first of my five brass quintets, Die Reise (meaning “The Journey” in German) is here played by the New York Brass Quintet, America’s first brass quintet to gain international fame and to establish the medium of brass quintet as a standard ensemble. This is indeed a musical journey akin to an actual journey, where something fresh and new constantly presents itself to the eye. As in Ensembles for Brass Quintet, every possible combination of the instruments is touched upon.
15. Poems from the East, Op. 52 for wind quartet and soprano
Inspiration for this work came from fourteen poems gleaned from a collection of poems by Japanese children between the ages of six and eleven. Many of them are wildly imaginative as well as deeply felt. Accompanied by a quartet of flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, the soprano-reciter is challenged to convey these poems in both a speaking and sung format. It was first performed at a Composers’ Conference at Johnson State College in Vermont by an assemblage of top NYC musicians.
16. Horn Trio, Op. 48 for three horns, or solo horn and tape
The performance here is from a live concert in 1985 at the University of New Mexico with three horn players, conducted by the composer as part of a concert containing only compositions by the composer. Three kinds of notation are utilized: traditional, graphic, and a combination of both. Armed, therefore, with a great deal of freedom, the players here demonstrated a wonderful spirit of imagination and dedication.
17. Set for Double Reeds, Op. 39 for double reed quartet
Set for Double Reeds, for two oboes, two English horns and two bassoons, was written in 1971 on a commission from the Ford Foundation to be recorded on Long Playing records by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There are movements written in arch form, where movements I and V are similarly related, as are Movements II and IV. The pivotal movement III is independent in nature. A twelve-tone row provides the basic melodic and harmonic materials. In later years the work was released on CD by Crystal Records.
18. Ensembles for Brass Quintet, Op. 58
This work, the second of my five brass quintets, was the winner of the 1976 New Louisville Brass Quintet Composition Competition. Like Die Reise, Ensembles explores every possible combination of the five instruments. In particular, the Annapolis Brass Quintet embraced the work and championed it in the United States and Europe. It was released on CD by Crystal Records.
19. Reticulum, Op. 66 for double reed quartet and double reed quartet on tape
Reticulum, for oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn, and bassoon, was the winner of the Delius Competition sponsored by the International Double Reed Society. It is identical in its structure to Alchemy. Two strands of music (I and II) are played by the live quartet. Then strands I and II are heard simultaneously as an octet, in which case strand II has been pre-recorded. This is followed by a short coda by the full live/pre-recorded quartet.
20. Periphony No. 3, Op. 70 for four sax quartets and four percussionists
Periphony No. 3 is scored for four saxophone quartets and four percussionists. Each quartet has its own percussionist, and the four quintets surround the audience at the corners of the auditorium. This piece was premiered at the 1983 World Saxophone Congress held in Nuremberg, Germany. It is full of avant garde devices and probably represents my most free and daring composition.
21. Canonic Fanfare, Op. 74 for brass quintet
Canonic Fanfare, for brass quintet, is a very short piece in G Major where the offstage players enter one by one playing the imitative passage over and over until they are fully assembled on stage. The lead trumpeter then signals the ensemble to play the final passage to conclude the piece. The Annapolis Brass Quintet, one of the world’s finest brass ensembles, told me they played it literally hundreds of times during their professional career.