Strings

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for viola alone
Viola
7-8'
This set of short pieces was written for my good friend and collaborator, Boston Symphony Orchestra violist Mark Ludwig. In them, I have tried to capture, in purely musical terms, some of the characteristics of the stream of thought; its bends, meanderings, twists and unexpected concatenations. Since all thought is necessarily an individual matter, I […]
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for viola and violoncello
Cello
Viola
14'
My Duo, a virtuoso piece for viola and ‘cello was composed in 2002 for my Boston Symphony Orchestra friends, Mark Ludwig and Sato Knutsen, to showcase their considerable skills. The work had it’s premiere on March 21, 2004 as part of the MusicWorks concert series in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The price includes two copies.
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for mixed septet
Cello
Clarinet
Double Bass
Flute
Percussion
Piano
Viola
13'30"
Chiaroscuro was composed in 1991 for the CONVERGENCE Ensemble, a group of dancers and musicians, who gave the first performance at The Painted Bride Gallery in Philadelphia. In the concept of the dance, lighting played a major role, sometimes silhouetting dancers posed like sculptures against a light background, sometimes presenting them brightly against the dark, […]
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two violins, cello, piano
Cello
Violin
4'40"
Dos Cabeceos explores the dynamic atmosphere of Argentine tango milongas, including the cortinas — brief periods between the three-song sets when available partners might invite and accept dance invitations by exchanging small, potent nods (cabeceos) of the head. Three slow, expressive passages of complex harmonic colors alternate with two active, intense musical episodes evocative of […]
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a crab canon for two cellos
Cello
7'
Alaskan King is a crab canon. In the second half of the piece, each cellist plays the other cellist’s part from the first half backwards. Another way to say this is that the piece is a palindrome with the parts switched halfway through. Alaskan King was written for Natasha and Evelyn Farny. (Order contains two […]
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for Mezzo Soprano, Viola, and Piano
Mezzo-Soprano
Viola
6'45"
The Over Journey gives voice to the über-Romantic yearnings of 19th Century German poet Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg). The poet’s fascination with death, art, and the loss of his young fiancee permeates this piece, as the poet dreams of one day reuniting with his lost love.
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for violin, viola and cello
Cello
Viola
Violin
10'30"
Five short movements reflecting a few of the paths taken, for good or for ill, in music in the 20th century. Or not.
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for flute, violin, clarinet and piano
Clarinet
Flute
Violin
10'
The satiric piece Grottesca (Grotesque) aims to explore a particular area of humor. It is not programme music, although it depicts with irony the various accidents that can happen during a music performance. A close analysis of the piece should reveal this. For the first performance a sort of pantomime was realized to emphasize better […]
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2 violins, viola, violoncello
String Quartet
18'
Composed in 2005 for the Martinů String Quartet, string quartet is laid out in a broad arch form of twelve short movements spanning three movements. It is dedicated to my former composition teacher William Bolcom and my father, William Thomas McKinley.
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two violins, viola, violoncello
String Quartet
40'
String Quartet No. 7 was composed in 2013 for the Martinů String Quartet. The work is in five expansive movements and dedicated to the Martinů Quartet’s founding violist, Jan Jisa, who passed away in 2012. It was premiered in Prague on May 28, 2014 and recorded for Navona Records (scheduled for 2016 Q1). Includes score […]
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