Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Dvořák – Serenade in D-minor, Op. 44, for Winds, Cello and Double Bass

Antonin Dvořák   (b Nelahozeves, near Kralupy, September 8, 1841; d Prague, May 1, 1904) Serenade in D-minor, Op. 44, for Winds, Cello and Double Bass 1. Moderato quasi marcia 2. Menuetto 3. Andante con moto 4. Allegro molto [. . .] We have Johannes Brahms to thank for essentially launching Dvorák’s career.  In 1878, Brahms was a judge in […]

Donizetti – Excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti   (b Bergamo, Italy, 1797; d Bergamo, 1848) Excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor By the time Donizetti was 38 years old in 1835, he had already composed 46 operas – a particularly amazing feat – but could only boast of four to have gained any real popularity: Anna Bolena, L’elisir d’amore, Lucrezia Borgia […]

Debussy – Petite Suite

Claude Debussy   (b in St.-Germain-en-Laye, France, August 22, 1862; d in Paris, March 24, 1918) Petite Suite 1. En bateau 2. Cortège 3. Menuet 4. Ballet   Like his contemporary, Maurice Ravel, Debussy was at the forefront of the Impressionist movement in music.  It’s not surprising that he would be, of course, given that select […]

Debussy – Nocturnes

Claude Debussy   (Born in St.-Germain-en-Laye, France, 1862; died in Paris, 1918) Nocturnes I. Nuages (Clouds) II. Fêtes (Festivals) III. Sirènes (Sirens) Quietly drifting, intoxicatingly amorphous strains of thirds and fifths flow from the woodwinds in the opening of Debussy’s Nocturnes. They’re beautiful and distant and meandering.  There soon emerges an English horn strain, a […]

Debussy – La Mer – Three Symphonic Sketches

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918) La Mer – Three Symphonic Sketches 1. De l’aube a midi sur la mer (Tres lent) (From dawn to noon on the sea) 2. Jeux de vagues (Allegro – dans un rythme tres souple) (Play of waves) 3. Dialogue du vent et de la mer (Anime et tumultueux)  (Dialogue of […]

Debussy – Prelude to An Afternoon of a Faun

Claude Debussy   (b St Germain-en-Laye, 22 Aug. 1862; d Paris, 25 March 1918) Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun)   French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, along with Paul Valéry and André Gide were the key writers at the heart of the Decadent, and then the Symbolist, movements in the last part […]

Copland – Symphony No. 3

Aaron Copland   (b Brooklyn, NY, November 14, 1900; d Westchester, NY, December 2, 1990) Symphony No. 3 1. Molto moderato 2. Allegro molto 3. Andantino quasi allegretto 4. Molto deliberato (Fanfare) – Allegro risoluto   We have come to consider Aaron Copland as the quintessence of American art music, but what, indeed, is American music? […]

Copland – Suite from Billy the Kid

Aaron Copland Suite from Billy the Kid I. Introduction: The Open Prairie II. Street in a Frontier Town III. Mexican Dance and Finale IV. Prairie Night (Card game at night) V. Gun Battle VI. Celebration (after Billy’s capture) VII. Billy’s Death VIII. The Open Prairie again During the 1930’s and 40’s, Copland brought a refined […]