Max Derrickson

Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Humperdinck – Prelude to Hansel und Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck Prelude to Hansel und Gretel German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s (1854-1921) opera Hansel and Gretel was premiered by another German composer, the 29 year old Richard Strauss, in 1893. The story goes that Humperdinck’s sister, Adelhied Wette, requested from him some incidental music for a children’s play. A precocious and lofty minded composer, the […]

Holst – St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 29, no. 2

(Theodore) Gustav Holst    (b September 21, 1874 in Cheltenham, England; d May 25, 1934 inLondon)   St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 29, no. 2 1. Jig 2. Ostinato 3. Intermezzo 4. Finale, (the Dargason)   Best known for his extraordinary orchestral suite The Planets, British composer Gustav Holst composed an impressive opus […]

Hindemith – Mathis der Maler

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) Mathis der Maler: Symphony 1. Engelkonzert (Angel Concert) 2. Grablegung (Entombment) 3. Versuchung des heiligen Antonius (Temptation of Saint Anthony)   Paul Hindemith towered above all other German composers in the years between the World Wars. Most notable are his many orchestral and chamber works, but he also composed 11 operas, five […]

Haydn – Symphony No. 104, D-Major (London)

Franz Josef Haydn   (Born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria; died May 31, 1809 in Vienna) Symphony No. 104, D major (London)   Haydn took two forays toLondonat the behest of the British musician and impresario, Johann Peter Salomon, who contracted with the composer to create, along with other compositions and duties, 12 symphonies.  […]

Haydn – Symphony No 44 in E-minor, “Trauer”

Franz Josef Haydn   (b March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria; d May 31, 1809 in Vienna)   Symphony No 44 in E-minor, “Trauer” Allegro con brio Menuetto, Allegretto Adagio Finale, Presto   Haydn wrote this magical Symphony in 1770 or 1771, during an era in Classical music called “Sturm und Drang” (Storm and Stress).  The […]

Haydn – Overture to The Creation

George Frederich Haydn Overture to The Creation “Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: At which the universal host up sent a shout that tore hell’s concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.” John Milton – Paradise Lost Book I – 1667 Haydn’s oratorio was written as a commission for private performance inVienna. […]

Handel – Selections from Water Music

George Frederich Handel   (b February 23, 1685, Halle; d April 14, 1759, London) Selections from Water Music   When Handel first arrived inLondonin 1712, he did so with permission of his employer, the Elector of Hanover, Georg Ludwig, with the stipulation that he return to his duties in a reasonable amount of time.    [. […]

Griffes – Poem for Flute and Orchestra

Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884 – 1920) Poem for Flute and Orchestra From the list of distinctive early 20th century American composers, today Charles Griffes’ music is infrequently programmed, though it was becoming increasingly popular with audiences and the critics during his life.  His early death at 36 of pneumonia, however, clipped a musical vibrancy and […]

Grieg – Two Elegiac Melodies

Edvard Hagerup Grieg   (b Bergen, June 15, 1843; d Bergen September 4, 1907) Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34 1. Heart’s Wounds (Allegretto espressivo) 2. The Last Spring (Andante)   Grieg was born in June of 1843 and died in September of 1903 inBergen,Norway. He spent almost his entire life in residence there. He is considered the […]

Grieg – Piano Concerto in A-minor, Op. 16

Edvard Hagerup Grieg   (b Bergen, June 15, 1843; dBergen September 4, 1907) Piano Concerto in A-minor, Op. 16 1. Allegro molto moderato 2. Adagio 3. Allegro vivace   On April 3, 1869, Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto was premiered by the Norwegian pianist Edmund Neupert in Copenhagen to immediate success.  Neupert wrote to his friend Grieg, […]