NEW AMERICAN MASTERS, VOLUME 6
World Premiere Recordings of Newly Commissioned Works
Dog Tales  - ADRIENNE ALBERT
Award-winning composer Adrienne Albert (ASCAP) has had her chamber, choral, vocal, orchestral and wind band works performed throughout the U.S. and around the world. Having previously worked as a singer with many composers, including Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, and Gunther Schuller, Albert began composing her own music in the 1990s. Her music has been supported by noteworthy arts organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, American Composers Forum, MTC/Rockefeller Foundation, Subito Awards, Mu Phi Epsilon Fraternity, ACME, and ASCAP. Recent commissions include works for The Cornell University Chorus, Peter Sheridan, Holyoke Civic Symphony, Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, Palisades Virtuosi, Zinkali Trio, Pennsylvania Academy of Music, Chamber Music Palisades, Pacific Serenades as well as private individuals. A graduate of UCLA, Albert studied composition with Leonard Stein, Stephen “Lucky” Mosko, and orchestration with Albert Harris. Her music is recorded on MSR, Naxos, Navona, Centaur, Little Piper, Albany, and ABC Records and is published by Kenter Canyon Music (ASCAP). Adrienne’s music can also be found through FluteWorld, Theodore Front Musical Literature, and Trevco-Varner Music. For more information, please visit: www.adriennealbert.com.
When I was commissioned to compose a new work for the November, 2014 concert of Palisades Virtuosi, I was told that the theme of the concert was “Music Born of Adversity.” Another holocaust piece, I thought? Or maybe something to do with Ebola? Oh no. Too depressing. How was I to know that, at that exact time, my rescue dog, Dodger, would run away from a friend’s home miles from where we live. Frightened and trying to find his way back home, he ended up even further away. Good fortune smiled down upon us! A kind and generous dog lover found him and held him in his car until we made our way to pick up this tired animal who was totally dehydrated and exhausted from running miles to who-knows-where. Those who know Los Angeles, the enormous distances between places and the number of cars in the city know that this little creature had to cross many four-to-six lane boulevards and streets before his little legs could carry him no further. As Tennessee Williams said “the kindness of strangers” was, in this case, what saved my precious dog. To the homeless lady who held him, to my friend who drove me to him, and to the man who kept him safe in his car, I forever thank them, wherever they are. Each movement of Dog Tales has a story. The first movement, Three Dog Night refers to my dogsitting for neighbors who have two dogs and go away frequently on long trips. One can only imagine what ensues during those long nights at my house trying to take care of three dogs. Hence, the irregular time signatures and the overlapping motifs. The second movement, The Artful Dodger is a tone poem to my dear dog who “artfully” managed to “dodge” the traffic and possible horrible outcomes on his journey. The last movement, Mutt & Steff, is a short and, I think, humorous homage to a chihuahua (think small dog=piccolo) and a great dane (bass clarinet) who try to figure out how to get along and live together. It is with pleasure that I composed this work for Palisades Virtuosi. —Adrienne Albert
Syzygy  - MATTHEW BAIER
Composer and guitarist Matthew Baier received his Bachelor Degree in music from Nyack College, in Nyack, New York where he studied composition with Paul Lilijestrand and classical guitar with Stanley Solow of Nassau Community College on Long Island. He received his MFA degree in Studio Composition from the S.U.N.Y. at Purchase where he studied composition with Dary John Mizelle. From 1999 to present he has hosted his annual fall program “A Recital of Original Compositions” in Nyack, New York at venues including Grace Episcopal Church, The First Reformed Church of Nyack and Saint Paul’s Festival of the Arts. Featuring many of the area’s best musicians who are dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music, this event enjoys a growing audience each year. Each program includes a number of new works in addition to selections from the composer’s growing repertoire of audience and performer favorites. Matthew has been a recipient of the Individual Artist Grant from the Arts Council of Rockland and the New York State Council for the Arts and also the Meet the Composer Fund. Affiliations include the Rockland Conservatory of Music, Long Island Composers Alliance (L.I.C.A.) and New Music USA. In addition to composing Mr. Baier has performed classical guitar recitals at the Queens Public Library, Suffern Free Library, Nyack Library and The N.Y.U. School of Continuing Education.
The term Syzygy is used in relation to the alignment of celestial bodies, especially the configuration of the sun, moon and earth lying in a straight line. While this work contains no factual scientific or mathematic number sequences in relation to the phenomenon, it does contain simple references: a trio ensemble, three main sections to its form and the exchange of musical phrases in threes.
Syzygy makes use of the 12-tone method of composition as developed by Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951) however it is framed in the standard Classical era sonata-allegro form. A brief introduction precedes the piece where the original tone row is displayed between the piano and clarinet with the flute playing it in its retrograde form. The multi-sectional sonata-allegro form [exposition, development and recapitulation] is re ected in the work’s main sections marked Allegro non troppo, Intermezzo misterioso & cantabile and Fuga 1 & 2 - giocoso. As the work undergoes its periodic variations and corresponding transitions it maintains a dance-like feel with Baroque performance sensibilities that create buoyant and recognizable phrases. Syzygy’s last section contains two fugues with the last being a double fugue that gives homage to Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750). —Matthew Baier
Reflections  - GARY WILLIAM FRIEDMAN
Gary William Friedman is a versatile composer best known for his groundbreaking score for the Tony-nominated, OBIE award winning musical “The Me Nobody Knows.” Born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Brooklyn College where he completed his post-graduate studies in education. He studied electronic music composition at Columbia University with Vladimir Ussachevsky, and advanced classical composition privately with Hall Overton and Jan Meyerowitz. His Outer Circle Critic’s Award winning off-Broadway musical “Taking My Turn” was chosen for presentation on PBS Television’s Great Performance Series. His orchestral, operatic and dance works have been commissioned and performed at venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lancaster Music Festival and the Columbus Symphony. He has co-produced, and composed original material for several internationally acclaimed jazz recordings by his wife, Stevie Holland. Gary served as Music Director for TV’s “The Electric Company,” for which he wrote many songs including the popular “Spider Man Theme Song.” Recent premieres include “Buttefly: A Musical Journey of Hope,” Friedman’s orchestral settings of poems written by children incarcerated in Theresienstadt, which was performed at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, in Bexley, Ohio. His chamber orchestral work, “A Poe Triptych,” inspired by works of Edgar Allan Poe, was commissioned and recently premiered by the acclaimed Pit Stop Players, in New York City. A selection of his symphonic works is available on the CD “Colloquy.” Fanfare Magazine’s review of “Colloquy,” described Friedman as “a composer who has mastered his craft,” and whose “music successfully combines accessibility with artistic integrity, lyricism with abstraction, and abundant heart with refined design.”
Reflections was commissioned and premiered in 2015. The piece is at its heart, a melodic and deeply emotional work to me. In spite of its highly chromatic harmonic structure, my goal was to infuse the work with expressive lyricism. This rhythmic and harmonic lineage can be traced back to the free form Jazz experiments of the 1960’s in which I participated, as a Jazz saxophonist. —Gary William Friedman
I'm Away From My Desk...  - TING HO
Ting Ho has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Music Center and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and is the recipient of the Louis Lane Prize. His original compositions have received performances at Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and elsewhere in the United States and abroad. One of his works was featured in a Voice of America broadcast to the Orient. Dr. Ho received his MA at Kent State University and his PhD at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester. He is currently on the music faculty of Montclair State University.
It’s summer, when we’re often thinking about adding the message “I’m away from my desk...” as our voice or e-mail response. Although we can only dream of the getaways we’d like to take, music of our thoughts will often reflect foreign locales. I’m Away From My Desk... is a three-movement excursion, beginning with the anticipation—by boat, plane or something more exotic? Then a quiet respite, perhaps in a tropical locale. Finally, an evening in dance mode, samba perhaps... —Ting Ho
Evocare II  - LINDA MARCEL
Linda Marcel’s compositions have been performed internationally; New York City, Rome, Adria and Bevagna, Italy, Potsdam, Germany, Oxford England, Malaga and Sevilla, Spain, and also in Paris, France. She is a board member of the International Composers and Interactive Artists (iCIA) Inc. and CEO of International Arts Educators Forum, (IAEF) Inc. Linda has presented at numerous conferences in North America and Europe. She was awarded the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development – Excellence in Teaching Award, and was chosen for the 2006 MCFP Princeton University Fellowship Program. While a Professor of music at Bergen Community College (1982-2016), Linda founded the Paul Marshall Memorial Scholarship, a foundation scholarship that sponsors students majoring in music at Bergen Community College. She was a leader and contributor to the Ron Mazurek Memorial Scholarship, a foundation scholarship that sponsors students majoring in Electronic Music at Bergen Community College. For more than two decades Linda directed the Ars Nova and Ars Electronica Concert Series at Bergen Community College. She now produces concerts under ICIA and IAEF. Her work supports digital media, dance, drama and music performance while exploring techniques of interactive performance systems. She is dedicated to educational collaborations with institutions worldwide.
Evocare II was commissioned and premiered by Palisades Virtuosi in 2013. It is an evocative exploration of sound that blossoms into an intense lyricism and finishes in a meditative state. It requires the use of Tibetan prayer bowls played by the musicians in several different ways both inside and outside of the piano. —Linda Marcel
Poem For A Lost King  - JEFF SCOTT
Jeff Scott has composed many solo and chamber works for winds, brass, strings and voice as well as for jazz ensembles. Some of these works were featured on his recently released cd entitled the “Urban Classical Music Project.” His works are published by International Opus, Trevco Music, To The Fore Music and self-published at www.MusicbyJeffScott.com. Jeff started the French horn at age 14, receiving an anonymous gift scholarship to go to the Brooklyn College Preparatory Division. He received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music (studying with David Jolley), and master’s degree from SUNY at Stony Brook (studying with William Purvis). He later continued his horn studies with Scott Brubaker and the late Jerome Ashby. He has been a member of the Alvin Ailey and Dance Theater of Harlem orchestras since 1995 and has performed numerous times under the direction of Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Jeff Scott is also the french hornist in the internationally acclaimed wind quintet Imani Winds. Jeff Scott has been on the horn faculty of the music department at Montclair State University (New Jersey) since 2002.
Poem For A Lost King pays homage to the many African Kings (particularly West African), elders and tribal chiefs abducted from their land during the ‘Middle Passage’ era. This programmatic work is informed by their uncertainty of freedom through generations and the hope that there can one day be a sense of reconciliation and true peace or “Hálá” (from the West African language of Mawu). There are specific sections within the work to help depict this story which are: Introduction, Village Children at Play, Dance of the Village Elders and Chiefs, The Furtive Attack, The Abduction and the Dance for Hálá. “Hálá” describes a society or relationship that is operating harmoniously and without violent conflict, healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, safety in matters of social or economic welfare and the acknowledgement of equality and fairness in political relationships. Peace be with you. —Jeff Scott
Sonata No. 2  - GARY SCHOCKER
Flutist-composer-pianist Gary Schocker is an accomplished musician of outstanding versatility. At age 15, he made his professional debut when he performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Schocker has composed sonatas and chamber music for most instruments of the orchestra. He also has written several musicals, including Far From the Madding Crowd and The Awakening, which can be heard on Original Cast Recordings. Both shows were winners of the Global Search for New Musicals in the UK and were performed in Cardiff and at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as in New Zealand. In New York, they were winners of the ASCAP music theatre awards. Schocker has won the International Clarinet Association’s annual composition competition twice and the National Flute Association’s annual Newly Published Music Award numerous times. He is the most-published living composer for the ute with more than 200 pieces in print. Many prominent musicians have played his compositions, including James Galway, who gave the American premier of Green Places with the New Jersey Symphony. Schocker was commissioned to write the required piece Biwako Wind for the International Flute Competition in Biwako, Japan for which he also served as judge.
The Sonata No. 2 consists of three movements. I. Flip — As in flippant, this movement opens with a frisky upbeat quality giving way to some dissonance, nothing too disturbing however. Things work out pretty much ok after an unexpected waltz interlude where the players do a leap into thin air, a kind of question mark ending. II. Old Flame — As in torch song. The clarinet begins the melancholy and the flute carries the torch higher. Eventually the piano also is the featured melodist before returning to its sad chordal accompaniment. Things are again left on a question mark, with the wind players left alone and in unison. III. Fancypants — A fast minuet, in 6/8 not 3/4, this is Haydn-inspired, although, sudden bursts of 32nd notes require a kind of uphill pedaling you would not find in Haydn. The melodies gives way to an Italianate theme and eventually all becomes little points of sound as we disappear again. —Gary Schocker
Please visit our KickStarter Campaign Page to learn more about the CD and see videos about each of our 7 composers!!
Producer: John Ostendorf
Recording Engineer: Paul Antonell
Assistant Engineer: Bella Blasko
Recorded at the Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, New York, July - August, 2016 www.theclubhousestudio.com
Photo of Palisades Virtuosi: John V. Bentz, email@example.com
New American Masters, Volume 6 would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our donors at kickstarter.com including:
ANGELS: Harry D. Mokrynski and Steve Perillo
PATRONS: Matthew Baier and Michael J. Szymanski
BENEFACTOR: Linda Marcel
SPONSOR: Sue & Bob Biskeborn
FRIENDS: Patrick Finley, Hal & Kay Gellert, Julie Greller, Ting Ho, Steven Lavitan, Larry Levy, Jim Lisanti, Alis W. McCurdy, Teddy O’Farrell, Argine & Tigran Safari, Jeff Scott, Roger Stubblefield, William Vollinger
The members of Palisades Virtuosi would like to thank their families for their amazing and constant support and also their patrons and board members for their help without which this recording would not be possible.
Adrienne Albert’s Dog Tales is published by Kenter Canyon Music
Matthew Baier’s Syzygy is published by the composer and available upon request
Gary William Friedman’s Reflections is published by 150 Music
Linda Marcel’s Evocare II is published by C. La Mer Publishing Company
Music for Ting Ho’s I’m Away From My Desk... is available from the composer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Scott’s Poem For A Lost King is published by Music By Jeff Scott www.musicbyjeffscott.com
Gary Schocker’s Sonata No. 2 is published by Theodore Presser Company