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The whole idea about writing something like the Zodiac began many years ago, when I realized that fairly seldom composers were taking an innovative and imaginative approach to the wonderful and majestic medium such as piano and orchestra. Usually, when listening to a piano concerto, you are being given three large chunks of music – a fast movement, a slow movement…and an even faster one. I was always wondering how come we have pieces in the classical solo piano repertoire, like the Pictures at an Exhibition, or Schumann’s Carnival, or Tchaikovsky’s Seasons, for that matter, and when it comes to a piano plus orchestra, we still limit ourselves to the rendering of a standard Sonata cycle.
arr: piano & a3 symphony orchestra
alt. arr: piano, violin, clarinet & violoncello
dur: cir. 35 min.
Tangram, or Pinyin, as it is known in China where it originated, is an ancient puzzle game.
It consists of 7 tans or geometrical figures – 5 triangles, a square and a rhomboid. The primary challenge of the game is to imaginatively combine the elements in creating the image of an object – a house, a dog, a man with a hat, an angel. Over the centuries, a catalogue of over 7000 different Tangram shapes has been compiled and it is still growing. It is also considered to be one of the oldest psychological tests, as how one decides to combine the pieces is deeply connected to the subconscious.
arr: a3 symphony orchestra
alt. arr: piano, violin, clarinet & cello
dur: cir. 16 min.
The UN is probably the only institution that directly took up the challenge of harmonizing this dizzy kaleidoscope of nations, traditions, religions and cultures that make up the fabric of the world we live in. This is often a difficult task, since it is exactly those differences that represent a constant generator of crisis that shake our planet and seriously jeopardize our future. On the other hand the essence of UN mission is to stress the positive aspects of richness in diversity and to point out towards solutions in which all the subjects are given a chance to accomplish their goals and protect their rights and interests. Having all this in mind, I grabbed the biggest atlas I found on the shelf and started jotting down the countries that a composer may not overlook while “packing his bags” for the musical journey around the world.
arr: a2 symphony orchestra
alt. arr: piano, violin, clarinet, cello & percussion
dur: cir. 16 min.
Written in 2004. the Mass was commissioned to commemorate two important jubilees in the history of Christianity – 950 years of the Great Schism and 40 years of the official withdrawal of the anathemas that followed after the split, between Rome and Constantinople.
lyrics: Liturgical (Latin)
arr: SATB choir, soloists & a2 symphony orchestra
alt. arr: SATB choir, soloists & organ
SATB choir, soloists & piano (+concertino: violin, violoncello and double bass)
dur: cir. 30 min.
The Little Town Where Time Stood Still is a title I borrowed from Bohumil Hrabal, doubtlessly one of the warmest authors of all time. Just seeing the cover of Hrabal’s wonderful novel was enough, and I knew exactly of which ‘town’ he spoke. I deliberately set to writing the music before I ever glanced at the text. The music started pouring out, and it appeared before me so vivid and enticing…
arr: symphony orchestra a3
alt. arr: violin & piano
dur: cir. 17 min.
I can hear the question quivering in the air…Who is it for?
It is for you, my friend…and for me…it’s for the fallen, for the risen, for the forgotten, for the glorious and for the nameless…It is for us
arr: string orchestra
dur: cir. 5 min.
It is a cry for help.
It tells a story of the global fall and the final salvation of the few.
lyrics: Latin (parts of the Graduale Romanum and the Apocalypsis of St. John)
arr: SATB choir & organ
alt. arr: SATB choir & piano
dur: cir. 4 min.
I’m not sure if this is the best piece I ever wrote…but if had opened a bank account for all the sighs it brought out of the girls who heard it, I’d be a very, very rich guy…
arr: violin, bandoneon, piano & double bass
alt. arr: violin, clarinet, piano & double bass;
string quartet; violin & piano; violoncello & piano
dur: cir. 4,5 min.
I was commissioned to write something for the Belgrade Cello Fest – an annual festival that’s been drawing cellists from all over the world for more than a decade. I knew it had to be something that will immediately relate to those who have spent the better part of their lives with the violoncello and its repertoire.
After giving it some thought, I chose to create an homage to the most recognizable of all cello pieces – The Swan, from the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. As we get closer to the end of the piece, you’ll see there’s a bit of Tchaikovsky there as well, and for obvious reasons.
arr: violoncello & piano
dur: cir. 7 min.
I found a text of an anonymous author from the 19th century and I’ve set it to music for the a capella vocal ethno band. I came up with the instrumental version when I realized that I needed this funny mixture of hope, passion, despair and exaltation for the movie I was working on. It worked.
arr: a group of male or female ethno singers
alt. arr: voice & piano; violin & piano; violin, clarinet, violoncello & piano
dur: cir. 2,5 min.
I was on my way to a rehearsal at the Carl Maria Von Weber Academy, when the music started playing in my head. Before I reached Wettiner Platz, all the themes and musical materials were in place.
That’s why it’s called The Dresden Quartet
arr: string quartet
dur: cir. 7 min.