Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 30 Years

Kodaly – Dances of Galánta

“Folk music” as a genre of music seems to defy a specific definition.  Mainly, however, it’s the songs of a particular group/culture that arose organically amidst daily life, passed through the ages by oral communication, and without a known author.  Of course, dance and tales often accompanied these songs, and the whole business was coined […]

Klughardt – Quintet in C, Op. 79

August Friedrich Klughardt (Born in Köthen, Germany in 1847; died in Rosslau, Germany in 1902) Wind Quintet in C-Major, Op. 79 1. Allegro non troppo 2. Allegro vivace 3. Andante grazioso 4. Adagio – Allegro molto vivace Despite the riches that Cambini, Reicha and Danzi contributed to the repertoire of the wind quintet in the […]

Joplin – Three Rags (Arranged for String Quartet)

Scott Joplin (Born in Texarkana, Texas (uncertain) in 1867 or 1868; died in New York City in 1917) Three Rags by Scott Joplin (arranged for String Quartet) – The Entertainer – Solace – Maple Leaf Rag It seems almost impossible to imagine that anyone in the western world has never heard Joplin’s magnificent classic rag […]

Ibert – Trois Pièces Brèves for Wind Quintet

By the beginning of the 1800’s, wind ensemble music for eight winds in pairs, called harmoniemusik, was in great fashion.  Like Mozart’s serenades (such as his Eine Kleine Nachtmusik), these wind octets were meant to accompany social gatherings – almost like background music – but the octet added additional color and volume to what were […]

Humperdinck – Three Selections from the Opera Hänsel und Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck (Born in Siegburg (Rhine Province) on September 1, 1854; died in Neustrelitz, Germany on September 27, 1921) Three Selections from the Opera Hänsel und Gretel 1. Sandman’s Aria 2. Evening Prayer 3. Dream Pantomime The story goes that Humperdinck’s sister, Adelhied Wette, asked her brother Engelbert for some incidental music to accompany a […]

Haydn – Symphony No. 86, “Paris”

Franz Josef Haydn (Born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria; died May 31, 1809 in Vienna) Symphony No. 86 in D-Major, “Paris” 1. Adagio – Allegro spiritoso 2. Capriccio: Largo 3. Menuet: Allegretto 4. Finale: Allegro con spirito Lucky to have the long-lived and stable patronage of the Esterhazy Estate in Vienna, Haydn’s compositional brilliance […]

Handel – Harp Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 4, No. 6, HWV 294

George Frederich Handel (Born in Halle, Germany in 1685; died in London in 1759) Harp Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 4, No. 6, HWV 294 1. Andante – Allegro 2. Larghetto 3. Allegro moderato Handel’s greatest fame may come from his contribution to the English Oratorio genre, his Messiah (1741) being his best known.  Between […]

Grofé – Grand Canyon Suite

Ferdinand Rudolph von Grofé (b March 27, 1892 in New York City; d April 3, 1972 in Santa Monica, CA) Grand Canyon Suite 1. Sunrise 2. Painted Desert 3. On the Trail 4. Sunset 5. Cloudburst Around 1925, American composer/arranger Ferde Grofé and some of his pals drove from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon […]

Gottschalk – Symphonie Romantique: Noche en los Tropicos (Night in the Tropics)

Louis Moreau Gottschalk (Born in New Orleans in 1829; died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1869) Symphonie Romantique: Noche en los Tropicos (Night in the Tropics) 1. Night in the Tropics 2. Fiesta Criolla Louis Gottschalk was born in New Orleans to a Jewish father and Creole mother.  Soon, he moved in with his […]

Golijov – Last Round

Oswaldo Golijov (Born in La Plata, Argentina in 1960) Last Round 1. Movido, Urgente – Macho, Cool and Dangerous 2. Lentissimo – Death of Angels Oswaldo Golijov’s Last Round is as masterful as it is wonderfully quirky, a chamber work that honors the tango, Argentina’s beloved song and dance, while also serving as an elegy […]