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#NewTuneThursday: Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune kicks off the Christmasy-slash-Holidays edition of these four Thursdays in December.

Sadly I have yet to hear this lovely little song for SATB and solo instrument performed with real musicians; I can only give you a tase of its beauty with the midi demo below… But, hopefully, one day, a choir will be willing to bring “Cradle Song” to life….

“Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)” is a 3-minute-long work for SATB choir with either brass or woodwind instrumental solo (the solo part is available for either the original Bb Trumpet or C Flute, Bb Clarinet, or F Horn).

The text, adapted from the 1901 poem of the same name by Patrick K. O’Horan, is a sweet lullaby sung by Mary, mother of Jesus, to her “beloved little One” of the “Holy, Immortal, Ineffable Name.”

The minute I stumbled on this sweet poem in 2015, I knew I had to set it to music!

As you listen to the demo, try keeping the lyrics in mind:

Sleep, O my little one, quietly sleep,
Angels shall guard thee slumbering deep.
White wings about thee
Enfolding that flame,
Holy, Immortal
Ineffable Name.

Sleep, O my little one, quietly sleep,
Heaven’s high hosts around thee shall creep.
All love and glory,
Beauty and grace —
With kiss of a mother–
rest on thy face.

Sleep, my beloved, my little one sleep;
No crying be heard: O stir not nor weep.
A bright Star is shining
Above thy dear head,
And to this poor shelter
The great Kings are led.

Sleep then, my Kingly one, gently and still.
See how thine angels watch on each hill.
Here is thy mother
Close, dearest heart:
I shall be with thee
When shepherds depart.

Sleep, O my little Lord, darling one, sleep.

“Cradle Song (of Mary’s Beloved)” can be performed by a choir with advanced ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our work of “Holiday Frivolity” next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Gypsy Wanderer

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

Today’s tune holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

“Gypsy Wanderer” is an original, 4-movement sonata for solo violin and piano.

[C]ompleted in April of 2013, the originating sketches for this four-movement work existed as early as 2008, and were a part of Wallin Huff’s first graduate lessons in composition, while studying under Dr. Mark Carlson. “Gypsy Wanderer” is a unique addition to Wallin Huff’s repertoire in that it is an early exploration of patterns, color, and formula.

The nature of the four movements can be described in affect as follows: I. Irreverently: dance-like and fluid; II. Grave: surreal and sublime; III. Con brio: diligent and determined; IV. Rapide: passionate yet controlled. The work is riveting and soulful in its earthy and irreverent, rhythmic and harmonic wanderings.

I have had the privilege of playing this sonata, in whole and in part, several times, and each time I play it I discover something new about it as a violinist. The unexpected dichotomy of approaching a piece (especially one of my later works) as a musician versus a composer continues to fascinate me. 🙂

I am immensely grateful to sisters Maria Wozniakiewicz and Karolina Rojahn for their excellent and pristine performance of this work on the Navona album, “Soul of the Machine.” And, of course, many thanks to Parma Recordings and all others who contributed to make this album possible!

Enjoy Maria’s and Karolina’s performance of “Gypsy Wanderer” below!

“Gypsy Wanderer” can be performed by anyone with advanced ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Face in the Moonlight

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

This little song for mezzo-soprano, string quartet, and piano was written back in 2002. I recall originally composing its melody and words by hand while on one of my music tours (“Pittsburgh Melody” was another such song, written while we were, quite literally, driving through Pittsburgh…).

In 2003 I took a chance and entered “Face in the Moonlight” into that year’s BMI John Lennon Song Writing Contest and surprised and thrilled to find that it was selected as a State Finalist Winner! It was certainly a boost of encouragement to me. 🙂 Likewise, some years later, a friend of mine who was acting as a missionary in Israel wrote me a note to let me know that she had introduced her congregation to this song, and that it had become a favorite.

I hope you also find enjoyment, listening to this charming tune. 🙂

“Face in the Moonlight” can be performed by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Falada

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

This week’s tune is a bit of a “blast from the past.” Back in 1998, one of the earliest “commissions” I did was a short string trio (violin, viola, and cello) for a colleague’s students. Back in those days, I composed everything I did by hand, with only staff paper and pencil. This little trio was called, “The Dove,” and it had been performed by a couple student groups over the years.

Later, in 2001, I wrote out (also by hand) a darling little piano tune I called, “The Old Music Box.” I was so in love with it that I’d play it any chance that I got to be near a piano — these were definitely the years of my Yanni and George Winston phase. XD

As time went on, I decided to couple the two works together, utilizing all of the instruments involved to reinforce and add color to the whole thing. Thus, “Falada” was born!

Together, this work for piano and string trio evokes the mood of a storyteller weaving ancient tales that remind the listener of humankind’s shared history.

Purchase this recording at http://cbttf.com/albums/parokeths-veil

 

 

This charming melody can be played by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Fair Katrinelje

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

I have a definite fondness for this week’s tune. “Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie” was originally composed in 2008, during my years of graduate study. It was part of a general, semester project, with the requirement that we each compose an original work for soprano, flute, cello, and piano. I’ve always had a thin for Stravinsky, and I had recently run across a darling little work of his for soprano and piano, called “The Owl and the Pussycat.” So, combining the idea of that song with my love for the Bros. Grimm and other such tales, “Fair Katrinelje” was born!

Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie is a comedic dialogue. Our hero, Pif-Paf-Poltrie, is out to seek the hand of his beloved, the Fair Katrinelje, in marriage. Being the gentleman that he is, he approaches in turn each member of his beloved’s family to ask their permission. Father Hollenthe, Mother Malcho, Brother High-and-Mighty, and Sister Käsetraut all respond in turn similarly –
essentially, “If it’s all right with everyone else, it’s all right with me.”

Later on, I had an opportunity to set another Bros. Grimm tale, “The Old Beggar-Woman,”  for soprano and violin. So, my ultimate goal (which I hope to accomplish very soon) is to include these two songs in a longer song cycle, featuring 5 more tales set to music that features the soprano and is accompanied by rotating accompaniment of piano, cello, flute, and violin (think, “Quartet for the End of Time“…)

This amazing work can be played by anyone with advanced ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…

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#NewTuneThursday: Forgotten Melody

Welcome to #NewTuneThursday!

How apropos is it that our first new tune to show up this Thursday is “Forgotten Melody“? 😆

“Forgotten Melody” is very memorable with a sweet movement that progresses throughout the piece. (source)

Purchase this recording at http://cbttf.com/albums/parokeths-veil

This unassuming, little 3-minute work for solo violin and piano was originally composed in 2006 for a graduate school assignment. I jotted it down in only a week and then forgot about it! But during my work putting together Paroketh’s Veil for CBTTF Records, I realized it was an opportune time to “dust off” the old file, clean it up (add an improvisatory intro), and give it a real life. 🙂

Spoiler: I have plans to re-record this work with two very dear and talented friends of mine this Fall. My long-term sneaky plot is to eventually release it as part of a very exciting, full album release, featuring the ultimate recording of the 2008 electric violin concerto, “Leviathan of the Ancient Deep”! (Pro Tip: Be sure to subscribe as a Backstage Member to be the FIRST to receive the epic Concerto recording!!)

This charming little duet can be played by anyone with intermediate ability. Get the sheet music here! And stay tuned for our featured work next week…