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FANTASY OVERTURE

FANTASY OVERTURE

FANTASY OVERTURE (2008) 
for orchestra
(3, 3, 3, 2 - 4, 2, 3, 1 - timp., 3 perc. - strings) 
8 minutes

Commissioned by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Edward Cumming, Musical Director

 

premiere: February 14th, 2009 by The Hartford Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marc Kaplan

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra commissioned me to compose a piece for their family concert series and my good friend, Marc Kaplan, conducted the premiere. Very special homecoming.

FOUND

FOUND

FOUND (2011) 
for orchestra
(3, 3, 3, 2 - 4, 3, 3, 1 - timp., 3 perc. - solo string quartet + full string section) 
10 minutes

 

Found is the fifth movement of my piano suite, A SINGLE NOON. It's the Central Park of the suite - an oasis amidst the dizzying pace of the city, where time almost stands still. There's a feeling of contentment; of fulfillment. Of belonging.

Even as I composed Found for the piano, I wrote it with the orchestra in mind - the slow sustained chords and floating melodies seemed to call for the resonance of strings and winds and brass - and I've been itching to hear this orchestral version of the piece (it's never been performed).

Here's a performance of the original version.

A SINGLE NOON

A SINGLE NOON

A SINGLE NOON 
for cello and piano
3 minutes

The opening of movement of my NYC-inspired piano suite, A Single Noon, is the sort of thing you might hum to yourself while taking a walk. The sighing theme - sweet, faintly nostalgic - feels just right for the rich timbre of the cello.

A FEVERED DREAM

A FEVERED DREAM

A FEVERED DREAM (2015) 
suite for violin, cello, and piano
5 movements

 

Commissioned by SubCulture Arts Underground, New York

premiere: June 11th, 2015 at SubCulture NYC by Miranda Cuckson (violin), Joshua Roman (cello), and Gregg Kallor (piano)

 

  1. Dirty Little Secret
  2. Blink
  3. Things Unsaid
  4. Whispers
  5. Afterwards

SHORT STORIES

SHORT STORIES

SHORT STORIES (2012) 
for violin and piano
3 movements, approx. 13 minutes

I began composing these pieces during my residency at Copland House in 2012 - the quiet setting and the spirit of the great composer were incredibly inspiring. There are three stories:

1. Faces and Names
2. A Kept Promise
3. Sticks and Stones

UNDERCURRENT

UNDERCURRENT

UNDERCURRENT (2013) 
for cello and piano
3 movements, approx. 15 minutes

Joshua Roman and I had a blast performing Undercurrent at SubCulture in New York City!

THE TELL-TALE HEART

THE TELL-TALE HEART

THE TELL-TALE HEART (2016) 
for voice, cello, and piano
text by Edgar Allan Poe

premiere: October 26th, 2016 in the Crypt at the Church of the Intercession, NYC by: 

Elizabeth Pojanowski, mezzo-soprano
Joshua Roman, cello
Gregg Kallor, piano

Sarah Meyers, director
Shawn Kaufman, lighting designer

The premiere performance was presented by The Crypt Sessions, in collaboration with OnSite Opera.

A PRAYER

A PRAYER

A PRAYER (2016) 
for voice and piano
poem by Clementine Von Radics

premiere: May 25th, 2016 at Carnegie Hall, NYC by Melody Moore (soprano) and Robert Mollicone (piano)

I'm so honored that Melody Moore asked me to compose a song for her Carnegie Hall debut, and I'm grateful to her for introducing me to Clementine Von Radics' writing. This poem, A Prayer, gave me chills the first time I read it - and every time since. Ditto: Melody's singing. I wanted to write something that would let the fragile tenderness of the poem do the talking, and give Melody room to do what she does so, so beautifully.

BUT NOT TO ME

BUT NOT TO ME

BUT NOT TO ME (2015) 
for voice and piano
poem by Sara Teasdale

premiere: April 28th, 2015 at SubCulture New York by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor

poem: 
The April night is still and sweet
With flowers on every tree; 
Peace comes to them on quiet feet, 
But not to me.

My peace is hidden in his breast
Where I shall never be; 
Love comes to-night to all the rest, 
But not to me.

CRANE SONGS

CRANE SONGS

CRANE SONGS (2015) 
four songs for voice and piano
poems by Stephen Crane

premiere: April 28th, 2015 at SubCulture New York by Matthew Worth (baritone), Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano), and Gregg Kallor

  1. In the desert
  2. I saw a man pursuing the horizon
  3. "Think as I think," said a man
  4. A Man Said to the Universe (duet)

Notes From Underground

Notes From Underground

NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND  
3 movements

Commissioned by SubCulture Arts Underground, New York

premiere: September 16th, 2014 at SubCulture NYC by Gregg Kallor

  1. Where You Are
  2. Ballerina Gone Bad
  3. The Good Kind of Crazy

I'm thrilled, and incredibly honored, to be the inaugural Composer-In-Residence at SubCulture in New York City. I composed this piano suite for the first concert of my residency.

A Single Noon

A Single Noon

A SINGLE NOON (2010)
suite for solo piano
approx. 45 minutes

premiere: April 20th, 2011 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City by Gregg Kallor

  1. A Single Noon
  2. Broken Sentences - watch the music video
  3. Night
  4. Straphanger's Lurch
  5. Found - watch a live performance
  6. Espresso Nirvana - watch the music video
  7. Giants
  8. Things to Come
  9. Here Now

 

A SINGLE NOON is a tableau of life in New York City told through a combination of composed music and improvisation. The nine movements are meant to be evocative snapshots - moments of caffeinated bliss, embarrassing subway mishaps, the buzzing energy of a city driven by dynamic, thoughtful, talented, and slightly crazy people.

Now available on Amazon and iTunes!

A DRUNKEN MAN'S PRAISE OF SOBRIETY

A DRUNKEN MAN'S PRAISE OF SOBRIETY

A DRUNKEN MAN'S PRAISE OF SOBRIETY (2012) 
for violin and piano
5 minutes

This is an arrangement of the last song from my set of "Yeats Songs" - it's a virtuosic romp for the violinist, with the pianist (sort of) playing the straight man. Always good to have a drinking song.

THE WAITING

THE WAITING

THE WAITING (2016) 
for solo piano

premiere: January 9th, 2016 at SubCulture NYC by Gregg Kallor

EXHILARATION - Emily Dickinson songs

EXHILARATION - Emily Dickinson songs

EXHILARATION - Emily Dickinson songs (2006) 
nine songs for voice and piano
poems by Emily Dickinson
20 minutes

premiere: March 20th, 2007 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City by
Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor

  1. Exhilaration is the Breeze
  2. It bloomed and dropt, a Single Noon -
  3. Bee! I'm expecting you!
  4. We Cover Thee - Sweet Face -
  5. Wild Nights - Wild Nights!
  6. What Inn is this
  7. I should not dare to leave my friend
  8. Still own thee - still thou art -
  9. Exhilaration - is within -

MY BUSINESS IS TO SING! Emily Dickinson once wrote; what she sings of is the exhilaration of being alive.

In It bloomed and dropt, Dickinson mourns the loss of a single "noon," a metaphor for "the instantaneous, arrested present... when all accident, or 'grossness,' is discarded and there is nothing but essence." It isn't the passage of time that she regrets, but the lost opportunity to inhale more deeply the intoxicating ether of experience. For the poet who "would eat evanescence slowly," the moment is everything.

And it is the moment to which she so compellingly calls our attention - the rapture of those first precious moments of spring, the frenzied urge of sexual yearning, the anguish of watching a beloved die. She illuminates these fleeting sensations with exquisite nuance, urging us to savor them before they vanish forever.

"Let Emily sing for you because she cannot pray," she wrote to her grieving cousins after their father died. A poem, for her, was no mere abstraction, but a vital force - a prayer, a comfort, an inspiration. She felt impelled to let others hear the "noiseless noise in the Orchard" and her poems incite us to seek that noise - that essence - ourselves. "Exhilaration," she tells us, "is within."

I AM

I AM

I AM (2015) 
for voice and piano
poem by John Clare

premiere: April 28th, 2015 at SubCulture New York by Matthew Worth (baritone) and Gregg Kallor

poem: 
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows; 
My friends forsake me like a memory lost; 
I am the self-consumer of my woes - 
They rise and vanish in oblivion's host, 
Like shadows in love, frenzied, stifled throes: - 
And yet I am, and live - like vapours tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, 
Into the living sea of waking dreams, 
Where there is neither sense of life or joys, 
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems; 
Even the dearest, that I love the best
Are strange - nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes, where man hath never trod, 
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator God, 
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, 
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie, 
The grass below, above, the vaulted sky.

LITTLE ELEGY

LITTLE ELEGY

LITTLE ELEGY (2015) 
for voice and piano
poem by Elinor Wylie

premiere: April 28th, 2015 at SubCulture New York by Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor

poem: 
Without you
No rose can grow; 
No leaf be green
If never seen
Your sweetest face; 
No bird have grace
Or power to sing; 
Or anything
Be kind, or fair, 
And you nowhere.

LULLABY

LULLABY

LULLABY (2005) 
for voice and piano
lyrics by Herschel Garfein
3 minutes

Available on Amazon and iTunes!

ONE CHILD

ONE CHILD

ONE CHILD (2014) 
for voice and piano
lyrics by Sara Cooper
3:30

I'm deeply honored to have been invited to compose this song for An AIDS QUILT Songbook: Sing for Hope. The album features new songs by American composers, performed by an all-star cast of musicians - including Joyce DiDonato, Anthony Dean Griffey, Isabel Leonard, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, and many more. It was a privilege to record "One Child" with soprano Melody Moore, and to be a part of this extraordinary project. All profits from the sale of this album will go to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

"Among the brand new songs created expressly for this recording is "One Child," featuring beautiful lyrics by Sara Cooper that point to the promising possibility of a child surviving AIDS and ushering in a new era of health and well-being where once there was so much death and suffering. The poet asks "Is this the moment? Is this the time? Is this when we leave it all behind us? When soon only whispers will remind us of those awful scorching decades that took so many lives." Gregg Kallor has set these lyrics with utmost care, with gentle dissonance that perfectly captures the longing of the text. Soprano Melody Moore's singing is exemplary for its beauty and clarity."

Journal of Singing

SONG

SONG

SONG (2007) 
for voice and piano
poem by Christina Rossetti
3 minutes

premiere: October 26th, 2008 at the Housing Works Bookstore in New York City by
Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) and Gregg Kallor

Available on Amazon and iTunes!

poem: 
When I am dead, my dearest, 
Sing no sad songs for me; 
Plant thou no roses at my head, 
Nor shady cypress tree: 
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet; 
And if thou wilt, remember, 
And if thou wilt, forget.


I shall not see the shadows, 
I shall not feel the rain; 
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain: 
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set, 
Haply I may remember, 
And haply may forget.