Scherzo for Woodwinds

The Scherzo for Woodwinds was intended to be the third movement of a symphony that I never completed.  The first three movements and sketches for the fourth are all that exist out of a planned five movement work.  The first movement (now relabeled as Fanfare for Brass and Organ) and the second movement (now relabeled as Adagio for Winds and Organ) are today stand alone pieces.

The work in in traditional ABA form.  The initial A section, is for standard orchestral winds (2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, and 2 Bassoons).  It is fast, and in 1.  In fact, it is the fastest work I have written to date.  The trio introduces us to a trio of Oboe d’Amore and two English Horns.  By the end of the trio, the lower clarinets (Alto and Bass) have joined the ensemble.  The final section, adds in the full woodwind ensemble (there are no saxophones in this work).  The bass is bolstered by Contrabass Clarinet and Contrabassoon.

Scoring: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes (1=Oboe d’Amore, 2= English Horn 2), English Horn, E-flat Clarinet, 2 B-flat Clarinets, E-flat Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon.

Fanfare for Brass and Organ

The Fanfare for Brass and Organ is the opening movement of a symphony I never completed.  The first three movements and sketches for the fourth are all that exist out of a planned five movement work.  The second movement (now relabeled as Adagio for Winds and Organ) and the third movement (now relabeled as Scherzo for Woodwinds) are today stand alone pieces. The work does utilize thematic material from the other movements, but can work well as a standalone piece.

The work has elements of the Prelude to Das Rhingold mixed with the fanfare like nature of The Pines of Rome’s “Pines of the Appian Way.”

The work is scored for:

  • 4 Horns
  • 2 Piccolo Trumpets in A
  • 2 C Trumpets
  • 2 Tenor Trombones
  • Bass Trombone
  • 2 Flügelhorns
  • 2 Euphoniums
  • Bass Tuba
  • Contrabass Tuba
  • Organ

 

Prelude and Fugue for Four Trombones

This might be the earliest work of mine that I still hold as performable.  It is originally scored for two Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, and Contrabass Trombone, though the Contrabass Trombone can be played by a second Bass.

This work showed some of my early counterpoint training.  The prelude is a slow and solemn choral that shifts to the direct and noble fugue in A minor.

The work has been played a few times, but sadly, all recordings are now lost.

The work is currently for sale here.

 

Octet for Double Reeds

This work is by far my most complex in terms of counterpoint and complexity of rhythm.  It comes after I was engaged to play a performance of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony 1, which has immensely complicated rhythms and phrasing.  The work is very slow throughout,  but this is countered by the faster rhythms.  The final coda is the only time in the piece to finally center on a single tonality.

The work is scored for a standard eight-person orchestral double reed ensemble (3 Oboes, English Horn, 3 Bassoons, and Contrabassoon).

The work has yet to be performed.

 

Adagio for Strings

My Adagio for Strings is my earliest performable piece (at least the earliest piece I’ll still allow to be performed).  It dates from 2002-2003.  It is a somber piece in C-sharp minor.  At the time of composition, I was heavily studying Bruckner’s adagios from his symphonies.  I was also experimenting for form, particularly in the mathematical sense.  Every phrase in the piece follows, in some way, the Fibonacci series.

This is one of my few pieces for orchestra not involving a soloist.

Below is a performance from 2004 with an ensemble of friends and myself as conductor.

Piano Trio

This work from 2003 probably has more performances than any of my other compositions.  It was written for several friends while I was an undergrad.  At the time, I was heavily studying Beethoven, whose fiery nature can be heard pulsating through the piece.

The sheet music can be purchased here:

https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/trio-for-violin-cello-and-piano/20270792

Below is a performance from 2003.  Since this recording, several major cuts have been made to the piece.