Sheet music

"Point of No Return" for Flute & Harp

2 parts2 pages01:405 years ago17,248 views
Flute, Harp
"Point of No return" is a "Debussyesque" manifestation that has been floating around inside my head for some time now... I created this piece for Flute and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

"Fantasy" for Flute & Piano

2 parts7 pages05:046 years ago3,826 views
Flute, Piano
Inspired after rediscovering the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto "No. 5" in E minor, I created this Fantasy for Flute & Piano. The title reflects this pieces imagery rather than the musical form, as it is not an actual fantasy. It should be noted that Soviet émigré Alexander Warenberg, a composer for film and television, arranged Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 as a concertante work for piano and orchestra. The work contains majority of the source material from Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony with some original scoring by Warenberg, modification of the original score and a change to many of the score’s harmonies "to improve the sound and balance". Technically, it is Warenberg's work that I refer to here; only peripherally Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. This work still feels somewhat “rough” within the confines of MuseScore and I consider it a "work in progress" and I welcome your constructive comments and suggestions.
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Baroque Trill Styles Chart

1 part2 pages00:366 years ago28,247 views
Piano
The trill (or shake, as it was known from the 16th until the 19th century) is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill. It is sometimes referred to by the German triller, the Italian trillo, the French trille or the Spanish trino. A cadential trill is a trill associated with a cadence. In the baroque period, a number of signs indicating specific patterns with which a trill should be begun or ended were used. In the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach lists a number of these signs together with the correct way to interpret them. Unless one of these specific signs is indicated, the details of how to play the trill are up to the performer. In general, however, trills in this period are executed beginning on the auxiliary note, before the written note, often producing the effect of a harmonic suspension which resolves to the principal note. But, if the note preceding the ornamented note is itself one scale degree above the principal note, then the dissonant note has already been stated, and the trill typically starts on the principal note. Several trill symbols and techniques common in the Baroque and early Classical period have fallen entirely out of use, including for instance the brief Pralltriller, represented by a very brief wavy line, referred to by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (Versuch) (1753–1762). Beyond the baroque period, specific signs for ornamentation are very rare. Continuing through the time of Mozart, the default expectations for the interpretation of trills continued to be similar to those of the baroque. In music after the time of Mozart, the trill usually begins on the principal note. All of these are only rules of thumb, and, together with the overall rate of the trill and whether that rate is constant or variable, can only be determined by considering the context in which the trill appears, and is usually to a large degree a matter of opinion with no single "right" way of executing the ornament.

"Imagination" for Viola & Harp

2 parts6 pages02:413 years ago2,647 views
Viola, Harp
The mind is infinite. Its beginnings and its endings are intangible. Thanks to God, our powerful imagination (the "MIND" of mankind) came into being - a new, completely unique mental power that is continuously exploring, discovering, and unraveling the mysteries of nature. This work is my attempt (albeit amateurish) to portray the mind's insatiable curiosity and its ability to continually adapt and refine itself. To this end, I created this work originally in 2012 for Flute but have re-"imagined" it here today for Viola and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

"Aquarium" from "Carnival of the Animals" for Harp & Strings

5 parts9 pages02:162 years ago1,873 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Harp
"The Carnival of the Animals" is a musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It was composed in February 1886 while Saint-Saëns was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored for a chamber group of flute/piccolo, clarinet (B flat and C), two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but is usually performed today with a full orchestra of strings, and with a glockenspiel substituting for the rare glass harmonica. The term for this rare 11-piece musical ensemble is a "hendectet" or an "undectet." Saint-Saëns, apparently concerned that the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, suppressed performances of it and only allowed one movement, Le cygne, to be published in his lifetime. Only small private performances were given for close friends like Franz Liszt. Saint-Saëns did, however, include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death. It was first performed on 26 February 1922, and it has since become one of his most popular works. It is a favorite of music teachers and young children, along with Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. In fact, it is very common to see any combination of these three works together on modern CD recordings. Movemnent 7 "Aquarium" was originally written for strings (without double-bass), two pianos, flute, and glass harmonica: This is one of the more musically rich movements. The melody is played by the flute, backed by the strings, on top of tumultuous, glissando-like runs in the piano. The first piano plays a descending ten-on-one ostinato, in the style of the second of Chopin's études, while the second plays a six-on-one. These figures, plus the occasional glissando from the glass harmonica — often played on celesta or glockenspiel—are evocative of a peaceful, dimly-lit aquarium. I created this arrangement for Strings (Violins, Violas & Cellos) and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

"Peace by the River" for Alto Sax & Piano

2 parts6 pages05:056 years ago3,431 views
Alto Saxophone, Piano
I created the reflective and tranquil "Peace by the River" from the music I Quo Vis by Patrice Douriaux for Piano & Alto Saxophone. The melody of the piece uses a deliberate, but mild, dissonance against the harmony. This interpretation is meant to invoke visions of reflective solace at the edge of a peaceful river. The piece starts calm after a short piano introduction reinforcing the calm tranquility that exists at the river’s edge. The listener is carried into this carefree environment and allowed to ponder the large expanse of the world as well as the transient gift of peace that exists in this place. Inspiration follows as the listener is moved by this gift and expresses joy and praise and the will to spread the peace of Christ to others. Reflection soon follows as the listener is drawn to quiet mediation within and realizes in proud epiphany that like the word of our Lord, one small stone cast into a peaceful river spreads the gift of its message in all directions; even back to the source. The piece concludes with a joyful exclaim that the peace we feel can truly only be appreciated by sharing this peace with others.

"Entry of the Gladiators" (Thunder & Blazes) for Piano

1 part6 pages03:086 years ago34,483 views
Julius Fučík (pronounced "Foo-chick") was a Czech composer who lived from 1872 – 1916 and was a conductor of military bands. Today his marches are still played as patriotic music in the Czech Republic. However, his worldwide reputation rests on this one work: the Opus 68 march, the Entrance of the Gladiators (Vjezd gladiátorů), which is universally recognized, often under the title "Thunder and Blazes", as one of the most popular theme tunes for circus clowns. "Entrance of the Gladiators" or "Entry of the Gladiators" was originally titled it "Grande Marche Chromatique," reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire. The piece is a little longer than this but the rest is not so familiar to most people. Although originally created for band, this arrangement is for the acoustic grand piano and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

"Canon" in C Major for English Handbells

2 parts2 pages02:196 years ago3,085 views
The Pachelbel Canon in D transcribed in C Major for 5-Octave Handbells. Best played using the "HandBells.sf2" Soundfont by FMJ Software (http://www.fmjsoft.com/siframe.html).

"Carrickfergus" for Harp and Flutes

3 parts4 pages02:216 years ago3,350 views
Flute(2), Harp
"Carrickfergus" is an Irish folk song, named after the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The origins of the song are unclear, but it has been traced to an Irish language song, "Do bhí bean uasal" ("There Was a Noblewoman"), which is attested to the poet Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, who died in 1745 in County Clare. The song appears on a ballad sheet in Cork City in the mid Nineteenth Century in macaronic form. I created this arrangement for 2 Flutes and Concert (Pedal) or Celtic Harp.

"Danse Macabre" for Pipe Organ

2 parts18 pages08:136 years ago6,654 views
Organ, Percussion
The "Danse macabre", Op. 40, was written as a tone poem for orchestra in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old French superstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin. Normally heard as a symphonic performance, this piece is unusual as an organ concerto however, I created this arrangement to emphasize macab elements and uniquely dynamic range of the pipe organ. I took liberal license in my interpretation of the original score, and as such, this arrangement is uniquely my "vision" of how this piece should sound. According to the ancient superstition, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death has the power to call forth the dead from their graves to dance for him while he plays his fiddle (represented by strings on the Swell with its "E-string" tuned to an "E-flat" in an example of scordatura tuning). His skeletons dance for him until the first break of dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year. The piece opens with MIDI Chimes playing a single note, D, twelve times to signify the clock striking midnight I created this arrangement for the Pipe Organ.

"Erbarm dich mein, o herre Gott" (BWV 721) for Viola & Harp

2 parts2 pages04:352 years ago1,304 views
Viola, Harp
It was only for fifteen years, or the first third of his active professional life, that Johann Sebastian Bach served as a church organist. As such, he was mainly expected to accompany church congregations during hymn singing, and to provide them with musical support before the singing began. This involved outlining the melody, giving the key note, and setting the tempo and the mood, both musical and spiritual. When seated before his organ manuals, Bach the musician, believer, and poet instinctively paraphrased the religiously-charged hymn tunes, providing a sort of theological commentary in music. This was the chorale prelude. Bach inherited the basic musical form from Johann Pachelbel, enlarged on it in the style of Georg Boehm and Diderik Buxtehude, and raised it - as he was to do with so many other musical forms - to a peerless degree of development and perfection. No absolutely accurate count of these works can be made, but there are known to exist at least 200 chorale preludes to the hymns most frequently sung in the Lutheran churches of Thuringia. The Chorale "Erbarm’ dich mein, O Herre Gott" ("Lord God Have Mercy On Me") BWV 721 occupies a unique place in the canon of Bach organ chorales. The stately melody rises from a heavy, mournful bass line in a somewhat archaic style reminiscent of Johann Kuhnau. Bach was acquainted with the affable, highly cultivated Kuhnau, a lawyer as well as an organist and composer, and eventually succeeded him at Leipzig's St. Thomas church. The piece can thus be considered as both a musical tribute to Kuhnau’s art, and a prayer for the repose of his soul. This chorale is one of Bach's most strikingly simple arrangements: Within this simplicity, however, is profundity. The setting has the affekt of a mysterious, somber procession, evoking the plea for mercy of the text (in English): Have mercy, Lord, my sin forgive; For Thy long-suffering is great! O cleanse and make me fit to live, My sore offence do thou abate With shame do I my fault confess, 'Gainst Thee alone, Lord, have I sinned. Thou art the source of righteousness, And I the sinner just condemned. Source: http://harmonicclassics.com/album/IT_HC_D_09507/ Although originally created for organ, I created this arrangement for Viola and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

"Funeral March of a Marionette" for String Quintet

5 parts9 pages04:262 years ago1,567 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello
Charles Gounod was born in Paris, the son of a pianist mother and an artist father. His mother was his first piano teacher. Under her tutelage, Gounod first showed his musical talents. He entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied under Fromental Halévy and Pierre Zimmermann. Gounod wrote "Funeral march of a marionette" as a light-hearted piece of musical grotesquerie, a mock funeral procession with a jaunty beat and a carefree tune over a humorously not-slow-enough funeral march. The music in the beginning is supposed to tell the listener that two of the members of the Marionette troupe have had a duel and one of them has been killed. A party of pallbearers is organized and the procession sets out for the cemetery in march time. The music soon takes on a more cheerful spirit, for some of the troupe, wearied with the march, seek consolation at a wayside inn, where they refresh themselves and also descant upon the many virtues of their late companion. At last they get into place again and the procession enters the cemetery to the march rhythm -- the whole closing with the bars intended to reflect upon the briefness and weariness of life, even for marionettes. The "Funeral March of a Marionette", received a new and unexpected lease of life from 1955 when it was first used as the theme for the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The "Funeral March of a Marionette," slight as it is, has never lost its charm. It was originally written as one of the movements of a Suite Burlesque, which was never completed. Although originally written for Piano, I created this Arrangement String Quintet (2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello)

Chorale: "Drum fahrt nur immer hin, ihr Eitelkeiten" (BWV 123 No 6) for Wind Quintet

5 parts1 page02:482 years ago327 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon
Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen (Dearest Emmanuel, duke of the pious), BWV 123, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for Epiphany and first performed it on 6 January 1725. It is based on the hymn by Ahasverus Fritsch (1679). In the opening chorus Bach uses the beginning of the chorale melody as an instrumental motif, first in a long introduction, then as a counterpoint to the voices. The soprano sings the cantus firmus. The lower voices are set mostly in homophony with two exceptions. The text "Komme nur bald" (come soon) is rendered by many calls in the lower voices. The text of the final line is first sung by the bass on the melody of the first line, which alto and tenor imitate to the soprano singing the text on the melody of the last line, thus achieving a connection of beginning and end of the movement. The prominent woodwinds, two flutes and two oboes d'amore, and the 9/8 time create a pastoral mood. The tenor aria, accompanied by two oboes d'amore, speaks of "harte Kreuzesreise" (harsh journey of the Cross), illustrated by a chromatic ritornello of four measures in constant modulation. Christoph Wolff terms the material "bizarre chromatic melodic figures". When the ritornello appears again at the end of the first section, it is calmer in the melodies, with the chromatic theme in the continuo, perhaps because the singer claims he is not frightened. In the middle section, thunderstorms are pictured "allegro" in "exuberant passage-work" of the voice, calming to "adagio" on "Heil und Licht", the reference to the Epiphany. The bass aria is termed by John Eliot Gardiner, who performed the cantata on the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, as "one of the loneliest arias Bach ever wrote". The voice is only accompanied by a single flute and a "staccato" continuo. Gardiner compares the flute to "some consoling guardian angel". The cantata is closed by an unusual four-part chorale. The Abgesang of the bar form is repeated, the repeat marked piano. The reason is likely the text which ends "bis man mich einsten legt ins Grab hinein" (until one day I am laid in the grave). Alfred Dürr notes such soft endings also in Bach's early cantatas Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106 and Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171, but also in Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, BWV 68. The cantata in six movements is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, two flauto traverso, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebster_Immanuel,_Herzog_der_Frommen,_BWV_123). I created this arrangement of the Closing Chorale "Drum fahrt nur immer hin, ihr Eitelkeiten" (Therefore be gone always, you vanities) for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).

"When I am Laid in Earth" (Dido's Lament) for String Quintet

5 parts3 pages05:182 years ago1,904 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello
Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695), was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar. Dido and Aeneas (Z. 626)[1] is an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate. The first known performance was at Josias Priest's girls' school in London no later than the summer of 1688. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works. It was also Purcell's first opera, as well as his only all-sung dramatic work. One of the earliest English operas, it owes much to John Blow's Venus and Adonis, both in structure and in overall effect. The soprano aria "When I am laid in Earth" is the 37th song from the opera (Z. 626/37) and is the most famous excerpt from this work. It can be counted among the finest moments in all of opera. Deserted by her lover, Aeneas, Dido sings her final lament, knowing that she must die without him. She sings first to her handmaiden, Belinda, in a tender and affecting recitative; the aria which follows is built on a five-bar ground bass. Purcell's manipulation of this compositional device, as well as his scrupulous avoidance of sentimental indulgence accounts for the scene's fame. Richard Wagner must surely have known of this scene when he composed his own "Love-Death" in Tristan und Isolde. Although this piece was originally written for Voice (Opera) and String Orchestra, I arranged it for String Quintet (2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello).

"Are You Sleeping?" for Piano

1 part1 page01:02a year ago304 views
Piano
"Frère Jacques" in English called "Are You Sleeping?," "Brother John" "I Hear Thunder" or "Brother Peter", is a French nursery melody. The song is traditionally sung in a round. The translation of "Frère" would be "Friar" in this case, because this song is about Jacques, a religious monk. In English the word Friar is probably derived from the French word frère ("brother" in English), as French was still widely used in official circles in England during the 13th century when the four great orders of Friars started. The French word frère in turn comes from the Latin word frater (which also means "brother"). The Matins mentioned in the literal translation refers to the midnight or very early morning prayers for which a monk would be expected to wake. A possible connection between Frère Jacques and the 17th century lithotomist Frère Jacques Beaulieu (also known as Frère Jacques Baulot), as claimed by Irvine Loudon and many others, was explored by J. P. Ganem and C. C. Carson[4] without finding any evidence for a connection. Francesca Draughon and Raymond Knapp argue that Frère Jacques originally was a song to taunt Jews or Protestants or Martin Luther (see Frère Jacques in popular culture). Martine David and A. Marie Delrieu suggest that Frère Jacques might have been created to mock the Dominican monks, known in France as the Jacobin order, for their sloth and comfortable lifestyles. In a review of a book about Kozma Prutkov, Richard Gregg notes it has been claimed that Frère Jacques Frère Jacques was derived from a Russian seminary song about a "Father Theofil". I created this arrangement for Piano at the request of a listener.

Sonata II (Opus 2 No 2 WB 44) for Viola & Piano

2 parts10 pages10:392 years ago693 views
Viola, Piano
Johann Christian Bach (1735 -- 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh child and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as "the London Bach" or "the English Bach", due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart. Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death. After his father's death, when Johann Christian was 15, he worked with his second-oldest half brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was twenty-one years his senior and considered at the time to be the most musically gifted of Bach's sons. He enjoyed a promising career, first as a composer then as a performer playing alongside Carl Friedrich Abel, the notable player of the viola da gamba. He composed cantatas, chamber music, keyboard and orchestral works, operas and symphonies. Johann Christian Bach's father died when Johann Christian was only fifteen. This is perhaps one reason why it is difficult to find points of similarity between the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and that of Johann Christian. By contrast, the piano sonatas of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian's much older half brother, tend to invoke certain elements of his father at times, especially with regard to the use of counterpoint. (C.P.E. was 36 at the time J.S. died.) Johann Christian's highly melodic style differentiates his works from those of his family. He composed in the Galante style incorporating balanced phrases, emphasis on melody and accompaniment, without too much contrapuntal complexity. The Galante movement opposed the intricate lines of Baroque music, and instead placed importance on fluid melodies in periodic phrases. It preceded the classical style, which fused the Galante aesthetics with a renewed interest in counterpoint. Although originally written for Violin and Harpsichord, I created this arrangement for Viola & Piano.

"Hallelujah Chorus" from "The Messiah" (HWV 56 No. 44) for Choir (SATB), Handbells & Orchestra

20 parts23 pages03:41a year ago1,041 views
Voice(4), Trumpet(2), Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Timpani, Percussion(3), Strings(4)
The "Messiah" (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1713, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s, in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of conventional opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah, moving from the prophetic phrases of Isaiah and others, through the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ to his ultimate glorification in heaven. Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards authenticity; most contemporary performances show a greater fidelity towards Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote the letters "SDG"—Soli Deo Gloria, "To God alone the glory". This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration in which, as he wrote the "Hallelujah" chorus, "he saw all heaven before him". Many of Handel's operas, of comparable length and structure to Messiah, were composed within similar timescales between theatrical seasons. Although originally written for Full Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Choir (SATB, English Handbells, Percussion (Tubular Bells & Timpini) & Orchestra (Piccolo Trumpet, Bb Trumpet, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violins, Violas & Cellos).

"He was Despised and Rejected of Men" (HWV 56 No. 23) for Viola & Strings

5 parts7 pages08:273 years ago1,022 views
Guitar, Strings(4)
Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and no direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only "scene" taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the "Hallelujah" chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven. Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards reproducing a greater fidelity to Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. A near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times. From the gentle falling melody assigned to the opening words ("Comfort ye") to the sheer ebullience of the "Hallelujah" chorus and the ornate celebratory counterpoint that supports the closing "Amen", hardly a line of text goes by that Handel does not amplify". Isaiah wrote in his Songs of the suffering servant in the fourth song about the Man of Sorrows: "He was despised, rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). Isaiah states in his songs that "the Messiah will play a substitutionary sacrificial role on behalf of his people". Handel gives the pitiful description to the alto solo in the longest movement of the oratorio in terms of duration. It is a da capo aria, showing two contrasting moods, set in E flat major in the first section, C minor in the middle section. The vocal line begins with an ascending fourth on "he was" and adds another one on "despi-sed", ending as a sigh. The signal of a fourth has been observed by musicologist Rudolf Steglich as a unifying motif of the oratorio. Handel breaks the beginning of the text up to a stammering "He was despised, – despised and rejected, – rejected of men, ... – despi-sed – rejected", the words interspersed with rests as long as the words, as if exhausted. Soft sighing motifs of the violins, an echo of the singing, drop into these rests. Hogwood interprets the unaccompanied passages as emphasizing "Christ's abandonment". The middle section is also full of dramatic rests, but now the voice is set on a ceaseless agitated pattern of fast dotted notes in the instruments, illustrating the hits of the smiters in text from the third song (Isaiah 50:6), where the words appear in the first person: "He gave his back – to the smiters – ... and His cheeks – to them – that plucked off the hair. – He hid – not his face – from shame – and spitting." Although originally written for Vocal soloists (2 sopranos, alto, tenor, bass), Chorus, Orchestra and Harpsichord, I created this arrangement for Solo Viola & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Peace by the River" for Viola & Piano

2 parts6 pages05:053 years ago1,075 views
Viola, Piano
I created the reflective and tranquil "Peace by the River" from the music I Quo Vis by Patrice Douriaux for Piano & Viola. The melody of the piece uses a deliberate, but mild, dissonance against the harmony. This interpretation is meant to invoke visions of reflective solace at the edge of a peaceful river. . The piece starts calm after a short introduction by the Harp to illustrate the calm tranquility that exists at the river’s edge. The listener is carried into this carefree environment and allowed to ponder the large expanse of the world as well as the transient gift of peace that exists in this place. Inspiration follows as the listener is moved by this gift and expresses joy and praise and the will to spread the peace of Christ to others. Reflection soon follows as the listener is drawn to quiet mediation within and realizes in proud epiphany that like the word of our Lord, one small stone cast into a peaceful river spreads the gift of its message in all directions; even back to the source. The piece concludes with a joyful exclaim that the peace we feel can truly only be appreciated by sharing this peace with others. The melody of the piece uses a deliberate, but mild, dissonance against the harmony, producing a piquant melancholy effect amplified by my performance instructions, which are to play the piece slow and "Tenderly". I tried to exploit the two distinct ranges of the Viola here (low and sorrowful vice high and exclamatory). I provided the lyrics in this version not to provide vocal accompaniment but as a narrative to the deeper meaning of the piece. It is arranged here specifically for Viola and Acoustic Piano.