Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Brahms – Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, “St. Anthony’s Variations,” Op. 56a

Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, “St. Anthony Variations” Op. 56a Theme – Chorale “St. Anthony” – Andante Variation 1 – Poco più animato (Andante con moto) Variation 2 – Più vivace (Vivace) Variation 3 – Con moto Variation 4 – Andante con moto (Andante) Variation 5 – Vivace (Poco presto) Variation 6 – […]

Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G-minor

Johannes Brahms (Born in Hamburg in 1833; died in Vienna in 1897) Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G-minor By the middle of the 19th Century, and increasingly up until World War I, scores of Hungarian immigrants and refugees from throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire flooded into Austria – mostly to Vienna, but everywhere in between, too, […]

Brahms – Academic Festival Overture

Johannes Brahms (Born in Hamburg, May 7, 1833; died in Vienna, April 3, 1897) Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 Brahms wrote this witty and robust Overture in 1881 as a thank-you for the honorary Ph.D. awarded to him by the University of Breslau (Germany).  It has become one of Brahms’s most beloved works, but its […]

Bloch – Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Solo Cello and Large Orchestra

Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Solo Cello and Large Orchestra Ernest Bloch (Born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1880; died in Portland, Oregon in 1959) Ernest Bloch’s was a two-fold career, that of teacher and composer. He cast a major influence upon the musical education scene in America, beginning with a post at New York Mannes School […]

Bizet – Toreador from Carmen (Suite No. 1)

Georges Bizet (October 25, 1838 – June 3, 1875) Toreador from Carmen (Suite No. 1) Despite its less than enthusiastic premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris, 1875, Bizet’s  Carmen has become what may be the most popular opera ever written.  In its time it seemed scandalous, what with its gypsies and prostitutes and murder […]

Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Symphonic Dances from West Side Story Prologue Somewhere Scherzo Mambo! Cha-cha (Maria) Meeting Scene Cool – Fugue Rumble Finale (Louis) Leonard Bernstein (Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 25, 1918; died in New York City on October 25, 1990) Like many composers before him – Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gounod, Berlioz and Bellini (to name some of […]

Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9

Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 Hector Berlioz (Born in La Côte-St.-André, Isère, France, in 1803; died in Paris, France, in 1869) Berlioz’s arrival in Rome, Italy in 1831 should have been a triumph.  As a recipient of the coveted Prix de Rome award in composition, it provided him with a 5-year stipend and two worry-free […]

The Four Freedoms – Paintings/Poster by Norman Rockwell

Beethoven – Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 Ludwig van Beethoven (Born in Bonn, December 16, 1770; died in Vienna, March 26, 1827)   The Roman Caius Marius Coriolanus is reported to have lived, by Plutarch’s reckoning in his Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, between 156 – 87 B.C.  “Being naturally valiant and warlike,” he was a […]