Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 30 Years

Lutoslawski – Mala Suite (Little Suite)

Witlod Lutoslawski   (Born in Warsaw, Poland, 1913; died in Warsaw, 1994) Mala Suita (Little Suite) Fujarka (Fife) – Allegretto Hurra Polka (Hooray) – Vivace Piosenka (Song) – Andante molto Sostenuto Taniec (Dance) – Allegro molto   When Lutoslawski graduated from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937, a little more than 100 years after Chopin had […]

Liszt – Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125

Franz Liszt    (b Raiding, Hungary on October 22, 1811; d Bayreuth, Germany on July 31, 1886)   Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, S. 125 1. Adagio sostenuto assai – Allegro agitato assai 2. Allegro moderato 3. Allegro deciso – Marziale un poco meno Allegro – Allegro animato   The lush and poetic theme […]

Liszt – Totentanz (Dance of Death)

Franz Liszt    (1811-1886) Totentanz (Dance of Death) Performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody and Liszt’s Totentanz on the same program is no coincidence. Rachmaninoff based his Rhapsody on Liszt’s theme and variations, and the “Dies Irae” chant appears in both works. Composer and pianist Franz Liszt was born in the small village of Raiding, Hungary.   He became […]

Liadov – The Enchanted Lake, Op. 62 (Fairy Tale Picture)

Anatol Liadov   (1855-1914) The EnchantedLake, Op. 62 (Fairy Tale Picture)   There is not a great deal of Liadov’s music that is heard often, yet what stays in the repertoire is lovely.  Besides about nine orchestral pieces that find performances, there is also a host of art songs and piano pieces.  Theyremain played because of […]

Khachaturian – Valse from Masquerade

Aram Khachaturian   (June 6, 1903 – May 1, 1978) Valse from Masquerade   There are hints of terribly sinister things in this short masterpiece, and yet Khachaturian’s Valse (1941) is also exotically beautiful and sweeping.  The story behind Masquerade is about unchecked jealousy, egos and unfolding tragedy. This waltz scene at the masquerade ball […]

Khachaturian – Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayane

Aram Khachaturian   (June 6, 1903 – May 1, 1978) Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayane   There can be no more popular a work to one composer as Sabre Dance is to Aram Khachaturian.  It literally made him a household name around the world after its premiere in 1942.  Steeped in Armenian folk tune […]

Ives – Symphony No. 3 “The Camp Meeting”

Charles Ives   (b Danbury, CT, 20 October, 1874; dNew York, 19 May, 1954)   Symphony No. 3 “The Camp Meeting” Old Folks Gatherin’: Andante maestoso Children’s Day: Allegro Communion:Largo   On any given day or night, you can walk out into your backyard and listen.  You will hear something, in fact, many things, and your […]