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CAPRICE NO. 8 “Wayfaring Stranger” Op. 95

Opus number: op. 95

Title: Caprice No. 8, “Wayfaring Stranger”

Instrumentation: trumpet

Commissioned: Carson Cooman

Date written: 2007

Length: four minutes

Premiere performance:

Program Notes: Caprice No. 8 for solo trumpet, Op. 95, was commissioned by Carson Cooman for his brother the trumpeter Colby Cooman. It is based on the folk hymn tune “Wayfaring Stranger” and is a short scherzo that quotes the hymn in its central section.


DARK ORANGE PARTITA for solo viola (2005) Op. 76

Opus number: op. 76

Title: Dark Orange Partita

Instrumentation: viola

Written for: Carol Rodland

Date written: 20???????

Length: seventeen minutes

Premiere performance: not yet performed

Program Notes: This piece was also rewritten for cello and harpsichord figured bass, op. 110.


CAPRICE No. 7, Echo and Narcissus (2005) Op. 75

Opus number: op. 75

Title: Caprice No. 7, Echo and Narcissus

Instrumentation: vibraphone/narrator

Text: Ovid

Commission: Nick Tolle

Dedication: Nick Tolle

Date written: June 2005

Length: eight minutes

Premiere performance: January 20, 2008, Larry Bell, narrator, Nick Tolle, vibraphone. NEC’s Williams Hall. (Boston premiere)

Subsequent performances: Nick Tolle, Amsterdam

Program Notes: Caprice No. 7, Echo and Narcissus, Op. 75, is written for solo vibraphone and narrator. The narrator part was originally designed to be spoken by the vibraphonist, but could effectively be performed by a separate speaker. The work was written for Nick Tolle in 2006 and is a continuation of my series of pieces for solo instrument titled Caprice. Caprice No. 7 was premiered in Amsterdam in the spring of 2007 by Nick Tolle and later performed in January of 2008 with the composer as narrator. The text was taken from Ovid and is the familiar story from Greek mythology of the transformation of Narcissus into a constellation.





Opus number: 69

Title: Liturgical Suite

Commissioned: Carson Cooman and Richard Bunbury

Dedication: to Carson Cooman and Richard Bunbury

Instrumentation: solo organ

Date written: June 2004

Length: ca. 20 minutes

Premiere performance: March 6, 2005, St. Theresa of Avila Parish

Important subsequent performances:

Program notes: My “Liturgical Suite” for Organ, Op. 69 was completed in June of 2004 and was commissioned by and dedicated to two organists: Carson Cooman and Richard Bunbury. The work is in seven movements and is designed to be both a recital piece and a functional part of a church service.

The movements are: Processional, Fugue, Toccata, “Wayfaring Stranger,” Gigue, Pastorale, and Postlude. The whole work is a kind of arch form which frames the central variations on the religious folk song “I am a poor wayfaring stranger.” Some of these movements contain repeats that allow them to be extended as the occasion requires. In addition, each piece contains general registration recommendations that were graciously suggested by the commissioning organists.

Reviews: (performances) (recordings)

Excerpt: Litugical Suite (Coming soon!)


CAPRICE No. 6  (2005) Op.73

Opus number: 73

Title: Caprice No. 6

Instrumentation: clarinet

Date written: February 2005

Length: five minutes

Dedication: Megan Ankuda

Performances: Megan Ankuda, May 2, 2005, St. Cecilia’s Church, Boston, MA.

Program notes: Caprice No. 6, op. 73, was written in Febraury 2005 for my former student Megan Ankuka. This brief five-minute piece calls for the performer to interact with the audience by asking them to “Tap your feet,” “Snap your fingers,” and “Clap your hands.” (It will be useful for an addtional person to play a percussion instrument on these back beats to keep the pulse steady.) Although “Caprice” no. 6 is designed for a concert-music recital, the inspiration for it is drawn from the interactive world of rock and gospel music.


CAPRICE No.5 (2001) Op.57

Opus number: 57

Title:  Caprice No. 5

Instrumentation:  alto saxophone

Date written:  February 14, 2001

Length:  four minutes

Dedication: Russell Peterson

Performances: Russell Peterson, September 25, 2002, Moorehead, MN.

Program notes:  “Caprice no. 5” was completed on February 14, 2000, and was written especially for Russell Peterson. Peterson’s remarkable recording of my work “Mahler in Blue Light” inspired me to write a virtuosic solo piece that would further explore his command of the altissimo register.

As in the other works in this series of solo Cparices (for cello, flute, alto recorder, marimba) “Caprice No. 5” is non-programmatic and formallly experimental. This work not only explores the “whole” alto saxophone, it also in an improvisation on the twenty-nine possible four-note chords. Here the chords are linked by interval and played as a melodic cadenza. –Notes by the composer


CAPRICE No.4 (2001) Op.56

Opus number: 56

Title: Caprice No. 4

Instrumentation:  marimba

Date written: January 2001

Length: ca. five minutes

Dedication: Mike Williams

Performances: Mike Williams, the Boston Conservatory

Program notes: This work is a continuation of a series of short solo instrumental works that are experimental in nature. It was written for a large marimba whose contra “C” forms the lowest note of the last chord.


CAPRICE No.3 (2000) Op.54

Opus number: 54

Title: Caprice No. 3 for alto recorder

Instrumentation: solo recorder

Date written: June 2000

Length: three minutes

Dedication: Daphna Mor

Performances:  Daphna Mor, Trinity Church in New York City, December 10, 2001

Program notes:  The Caprice for alto recorder was written on request for my former student Daphna Mor. In this piece I tried to capture the brilliance and the expressiveness that I have often heard in  Daphna’s playing. The work is in two parts: the second part is much like the first part in inversion. The second part, however, brings the ironic playfulness of the work to a lyrical conclusion.



CAPRICE No.2 (1999) Op.51

Opus number: 51

Title: Caprice

Instrumentation: solo flute

Date written: summer 1999, Boston

Length: ca. four minutes

Commissioner and dedicatee: Liz Muir

Premiere performance: April 7 and 9, 2000, Andrea LaRose, flutist, Just in Time Composers and Players, The Boston Conservatory.

Program notes: “Caprice” for solo flute was written in May 1999 in exchange for an oil portrail by the composer’s friend Liz Muir. It can be heard as a very subtle two-part canon compressed into a single line. The title of the piece comes from the whimsical character of the piece–much like a flute being chased by its own shadow.

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