Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Prokofiev – Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131

Sergei Prokofiev     (b Sontskova, Ukraine, April 27, 1891; d Moscow,Russia, March 5, 1953) Symphony No. 7 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131 1. Moderato 2. Allegretto 3. Andante espressivo 4. Vivace Prokofiev’s musical talents were obvious from his earliest years until his all-but final piece, his Symphony No. 7.   In his biography (Prokofiev) he recounts writing a March […]

Prokofiev – Sinfonia Concertante

Sergei Prokofiev     (Born in Ukraine, April 27, 1891; died in Moscow, March 5, 1953) Sinfonia Concertante I. Andante II. Allegro giusto III. Andante con moto [. . .] The Sinfonia Concertante, however, the last orchestral work Prokofiev would compose, seems to be one of those pieces, like Romeo and Juliet and his Symphony […]

Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 2 in G-minor, Op. 63

Sergei Prokofiev     (b Sontskova, Ukraine, April 27, 1891; d Moscow,Russia, March 5, 1953) Violin Concerto No. 2 in G-minor, Op. 63 1. Allegro moderato 2. Andante assai 3. Allegro ben marcato Prokofiev’s marvelous, somewhat quixotic, Violin Concerto No. 2 bears the tell-tale signs of a composer in transition, both ideologically and physically.  It was commissioned for the […]

Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Opus 19 Sergei Prokofiev’s childhood was idyllic and somewhat privileged. As his musical talents grew, he ventured forth into aRussiathat was forging wildly new artistic paths. His career, however, took him away fromRussiaduring the 1920’s, toParis,Japan, and theUnited States. Though during this period his works […]

Prokofiev – Suites 1 & 2 of the Ballet: Romeo and Juliet (Excerpts)

Sergei Prokofiev     (b Sontskova, Ukraine, April 27, 1891; d Moscow,Russia, March 5, 1953) Excerpts from Suites 1 & 2 of the Ballet: Romeo and Juliet 1.  Tableau (Scene) –Suite1, #2 2.  Romeo and Juliet (Balcony Scene) –Suite1, #6 3.  Juliet, the Young Girl –Suite2, #2 4.  Death of Tybalt –Suite1, #7 5.  Montagues and […]

Prokofiev – Symphony No. 1, D-Major, “Classical”, Op. 25

Sergei Prokofiev     (b Sontskova, Ukraine, April 27, 1891; d Moscow,Russia, March 5, 1953) Symphony No. 1, D-Major, “Classical”, Op. 25 1. Allegro 2. Larghetto 3. Gavotte 4. Finale Prokofiev had been composing all of his works at the piano when, between 1916-1917, he decided to try writing without it.  In order to tackle such a […]

Prokofiev – A Summer Day, Op. 65

Sergei Prokofiev      (b Sontskova, Ukraine, April 27, 1891; d Moscow,Russia, March 5, 1953) A Summer Day Op. 65 I.      Morning II.    Tip and Run III.   Waltz IV.   Repentance (also translated as “Regrets”) V.    March VI.   Evening VII. Moon Over the Meadow [. . .] The orchestral suite, Summer […]

Poulenc – Gloria for Soprano Solo, Mixed Chorus, and Orchestra

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) Gloria for Soprano Solo, Mixed Chorus, and Orchestra Early in the 20th Century, a group of young composers in Paris reacted to the state of French music—really to all of Western music. They objected most strongly to the influence of Impressionism. But because Paris was such a musical center, they were rebelling […]

Piazzola – Bandoneón Concerto, “Aconcagua”

Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla     (b in Mar del Plata, Argentina, March 11, 1921; d Buenos Aires, July 4, 1992) Bandoneón Concerto, “Aconcagua” 1. Allegretto marcato 2. Moderato 3. Presto They used to say in Argentina that “nobody messes with the tango,” so beloved is that dance-form there.  But Piazzolla did just that beginning around 1955.  It wasn’t easy […]

Panufnik – Harmony: A Poem for Chamber Orchestra

Andrzej Panufnik  (1914-1991) Harmony: A Poem for Chamber Orchestra Harmony: A Poem for Chamber Orchestra by Andrzej Panufnik was commissioned by the 92nd Street Y Performing Arts Division in New York in celebration of Panufnik’s 75th birthday. It was premiered in 1989 under the composer’s baton. Born in Warsaw to a respected violin maker and theorist […]