Anthony Philip Heinrich:

details of selected works


Avance et Retraite

The Mastodon

Schiller

Storia d'un Violino

The Columbiad~petite fantasie

Mym Slovanskym Bratrum v Europe

Songs vol. I

The Tower of Babel

Coro

Piano Music vol. I

Songs vol. II

The Treaty of William Penn with the Indians

Elegiac Quintetto Vocale

Piano Music vol. II

Songs vol. III

The War of the Elements

Funeral Anthems

Piano Music vol. III

Songs vol. IV

The Wildwood Spirit's Chant

The Harper of Kentucky

Piano Music vol. IV

Songs vol. V

The Yankee Doodleiad

Legiones columbarum americanarum sylvestrium

Piano Music vol. V


Heinrich: Avance et Retraite (1847)

Heinrich was very proud of this palindromic work, which he originally composed as a piano piece in 1820. In the original (and even in the earliest orchestral version), only half the piece was written out and the player was supposed to "Begin and play to the end, Return from the End and play to the Beginning which is the End." In 1831 he wrote out the orchestral palindrome "for the convenience of the band," and in 1847 expanded its already lavish orchestration through the addition of organ, gong, and an elaborate solo flute line. In about 1857 he added this piece, without any further alteration, to his symphony Schiller to form its finale.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Coro (ca. 1858)

This is one of three short pieces that Heinrich spun off from his massive oratorio, Legiones columbarum americanarum sylvestrium. This one, for mixed chorus and piano, describes (in German) the overwhelming effect of the arrival and departure of a vast flock of passenger pigeons, to the amazement of a huntsman and a passing traveller, who stops to pray. This is not an easy piece, as considerable agility and a wide range is required of the singers, and the piano is no mere accompaniment, but contains much independent material and some lengthy solos.


[about the composer]

 

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The Columbiad [petite fantasie] (1837)

Heinrich composed no fewer than 5 Columbiads. This one is a reworking for chamber orchestra (flute, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, contrabass) of a "Grand American National Chivalrous Symphony" he had composed earlier the same year. This "petite" Columbiad is no mere arrangement, however, but a new piece built out of materials taken from the symphony. As with many other of Heinrich's orchestral works, the piece is in essence a fantasy on "Yankee Doodle" (the unofficial American national anthem at the time)~~though this becomes clear only gradually. "Hail Columbia" is introduced (gloriously) at the climax, and is followed by a startling, minor-mode version of "Yankee Doodle" in the strings, a more perky version in the winds, and then the peroration. For another piece with this instrumentation, see The Tower of Babel capriccio.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Elegiac Quintetto Vocale (1846)

Forever lost! The golden strain is o'er,
The thrilling harmony no longer swells.
From Earth it fled to seek that charmed shore
Where discord dies and song enchanted dwells.

Heinrich composed this somber, complex, and moving elegy in memory of Leopold Herwig, concertmaster of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and a close personal friend. Scored for the unusual combination of SATBB soli and organ, it cannot be pigeonholed either as a purely occasional work (Heinrich had it published and clearly intended it to receive performances on a continuing basis), nor as an all-purpose funeral work, since its text so clearly applies to the death of a prominent musician.

Heinrich lived a very long life, in a time when early death was commonplace. He had occasion, therefore, to write more than 30 "obituary works," and this is one of his finest in that vein.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Funeral Anthems

Heinrich composed two Funeral Anthems, both so titled, in 1832 and 1847. They are beautiful, somber works set to attractive texts expressing conventional Protestant funeral sentiments: the deceased is deeply mourned, but a joyous resurrection is confidently anticipated. The 1832 anthem is a bit of a challenge for amateur choirs, as the writing for children's voices is ambitious, but the 1847 work, for mixed chorus, is altogether practical. For details of duration and forces, see the main catalog entry.

As part of our complete edition of Heinrich's works, we have made the two anthems available in a single volume containing a detailed preface and critical report by Glenn Burdette, who edited them for us. The anthems are also available individually in inexpensive octavo editions--without the preface--for practical performance purposes.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The Harper of Kentucky

An "ouverture dansante, containing sundry dances of the author, actually performed in the ball rooms of Kentucky." This cheerful, ten-minute medley of original dances does indeed include tunes that go back to Heinrich's Kentucky days


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Legiones columbarum americanarum sylvestrium [The Columbiad] (1858)

This hour-long oratorio orchestrally depicts the overwhelming effect of the arrival and departure of a vast flock of passenger pigeons, then describes the same event with four solo voices and piano. The prayer of an amazed "wanderer" is then offered by full chorus, who aptly concludewith the exhortation, "Let all that lives sing to the Lord!"

Part I: orchestral

Part II: vocal

I. Dies Nachtgewölk ist nur ein Tauben-Chor

II. Gebet des Wanderers

III. Coro [Alles was Leben hat, singet dem Herrn]

IV. Soli Deo Gloria

V. Finale [Secula secularum amen]


[about the composer]

 

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The Mastodon (ca. 1845)

A "Mammoth American Symphony," that is to say--for mastodons were uniquely American--and at 51 minutes this is a mammoth work indeed. The title is somewhat misleading, for the symphony's three programmatic movements are based on American Indian topics, and even these form something of a smokescreen, for all three are in fact covertly autobiographical.

Black Thunder, or the Patriarch of the Fox Tribe complained memorably in 1815 of being cheated by "my Great Father, the President of your nation," and Heinrich portrays him with music based entirely on a piano piece, "Tyler's Grand Veto," written in the wake of President Tyler's humiliating rejection of Heinrich's attempt to secure presidential patronage in 1843.

The Elkhorn Pyramid, or the Indian's Offering to The Spirit of the Prairies, depicts the heap of antlers piled up by Blackfoot hunting parties as "a medicine or charm by which they expect to be successful in hunting." In context, this suggests Heinrich's own "piles of folio scores... which he shows to everyone but has never even heard himself," and which embodied his own hopes of success as a composer. The movement begins with a lengthy slow introduction representing the prairie in which the pyramid was located, then depicts its construction with a theme of rushing turbulence, that in turn gives way to dense counterpoint, analagous to the tightly interlocking structure of the pile of antlers. "Tyler's Grand Veto" continues to be heard from time to time, but gradually dissolves away.

Shenandoah, an Oneida Chief, actually named Oskanondonha, was remembered in Heinrich's day mostly for having lived to a great age and comparing himself to "an ancient hemlock... dead at the top." Heinrich's portraits of Indians frequently depict wise tribal elders, for "Father Heinrich" spent most of his career as an emeritus figure in American musical life. By the time he wrote The Mastodon, he had already outlived all his musical contemporaries. Because this movement is intended to show the events of an adventurous lifetime remembered from the feebleness of extreme old age (wonderfully depicted in the "cadenzas" in which the movement is framed), it is more discursive than the others, with many changes of tempo and numerous themes. Among the most prominent of these is one foreshadowed in the Symphony's opening bars and fully revealed during the second movement, and which turns out to be another borrowing, this time from an early piano piece called "The Students' March." Here it serves to evoke the confidence of youth setting out on life's journey, and also looks appropriately back to the beginnings of Heinrich's career.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Mym Slovanskym Bratrum v Europe
(To my Sclavonian Brethren in Europe)

An excellent example of a genre unique to Heinrich, the piano-vocal cycle, in which one or more songs are followed by one or more piano pieces. Here there are two of each.

Home of my Youth. The composer waxes nostalgic for his childhood in Bohemia.

The Cypress. An expanded rewrite of his early "Ode to the Memory of Commodore O. H. Perry," with a new text suitable for the commemoration of any prominent public figure.

Zalost Cechu! ("Lament of the Czechs"). The prominent public figure turns out to be Josef Jungmann, whose dictionary and translations had played a major role in the revival of literary Czech. This extraordinary piece is a blow-by-blow account of his elaborate state funeral in 1847; the music is athematic, ends in a different key than it begins, and takes a full half hour to play.

The Moan of the Forest. Another piece of program music, this time imagining the emotions of the Cherokees upon their expulsion from their homeland in the 1830s. The title parallels that of the preceding piece, and the program brings the cycle back to the idea of exile with which it began.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Piano Music, vol. I

This first volume in an intended complete edition of Heinrich's piano works is built around three substantial, virtuosic rondos composed around 1832. The First Labour of Hercules is a waltz whose title alludes to its length, difficulty, and discursiveness. La Promenade du diable is Heinrich's contribution to the tarantella vogue then sweeping Europe and America. The Rübezahl Dance on the Schneekoppe imagines the traditional Austrian bogeyman atop Mt. Sniezka (the highest mountain on what is now the Czech/Polish border), and gives Heinrich an excuse for some of his wild chromatic writing. Also included in the volume are a two-movement (march/waltz) Divertimento di Londra in honor of Heinrich's London patron Thomas Welsh; the one-page Multum in Parvo which does indeed pack "a lot in a little;" an early work (The Fair Bohemian) that Heinrich later mined to create La Promenade du diable; and a Prague Waltz that goes with it.

Listen to "La Promenade du diable" (MIDI)


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Piano Music, Vol. II

Volume II of the ongoing Kallisti Edition of Heinrich's complete piano music is dominated by an immense rondo (nearly 800 measures!) that has for some reason been completely ignored by scholars, though it appears in all the standard works lists. La Colombiade, like Heinrich's other "Columbiad" pieces, culminates in rousing quotations of "Hail Columbia" and "Yankee Doodle," but is not derived from any previous Columbiad. Rather it is based on the theme of the composer's 1825 piece, "The Students' March," which he also used for another huge project, his symphony The Mastodon. The Texas and Oregon Grand March speaks for itself, but the satirical Tyler's Grand Veto is not really a political piece, but autobiographical: President Tyler had abruptly rejected Heinrich's attempt to secure White House patronage for his orchestral music. A similar story lies behind the Valentine to the New York Philharmonic Society: Heinrich had chaired the orchestra's founding meeting, but could not get them to play his music; he sent this valentine to every member of the orchestra in February, 1849, then followed it up a month later with the bizarre Divertimento Leggiadro (1: St. Valentine's Nota Bene, petit preludio to his musical adventures; 2: Capriccio Volante, St. Valentine's flight to the realm of Apollo; 3: Finale Triomphante,St. Valentine confidently approaches the Temple of Parnassus with the offer of his symphonies. The warder of the portal is astonished at the bulk of St. Valentine's treasures. He betrays signs of suspicion. He deems the offerings dishonestly gotten. St. Valentine apprehends danger. Poor Valentine is arrested! He despairs. Apollo hastens to the rescue and welcomes him as a votary of the art.) To this day, the New York Philharmonic has not played so much as a note of Heinrich's music.

Heinrich frequently cannibalized old pieces to make new ones, and here we find him taking the last part of an 1823 Divertimento di Ballo (a string of dances, like the German Dances of Schubert), extracting and rewriting it to form a separate piece, Vivat Britain's Fair! He used the same music yet again as the coda to the Valentine, mentioned above. The main body of the Valentine, meanwhile, is derived from another early work, the delightful Gypsey Dance that was recorded by Neely Bruce back in the '70s.

Listen to "A Valentine to the New York Philharmonic Society" (MIDI)


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Piano Music, vol. III

The centerpiece of this volume is one of Heinrich's finest works, A Sylvan Scene in Kentucky (better known by its subtitle as The Barbecue Divertimento). Its extraordinary second movement, "The Negro's Banjo Quickstep" was the first attempt by anyone to notate the sound of banjo music. Another extraordinary piece is Zalost Cechu! ("Lament of the Czechs"), which presents a blow-by-blow account of the elaborate state funeral of Josef Jungmann, whose dictionary and translations had played a major role in the revival of literary Czech. The music is athematic, ends in a different key than it begins, and takes a full half hour to play. The Moan of the Forest, another piece of program music, imagines the emotions of the Cherokees upon their expulsion from their homeland in the 1830s. The three, short Elssler Dances were composed in honor of ballerina Fanny Elssler's triumphant American tour of 1840, while The Nymph of the Danube is Heinrich's homage to the Viennese waltz, then reaching the peak of its popularity. Heinrich labeled The Virtuoso's March to Olympus as a toccata, because its actual form, a two-movement piano divertimento, had become terribly old-fashioned, but it is first-rate Heinrich, full of his trademark whiplash modulations and modal shifts.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Piano Music, vol. IV

This volume contains works from early in Heinrich's career, a period during which he underwent extraordinarily rapid stylistic evolution. The earliest pieces here are in the high-classic style, and include a Marcia di Ballo (actually a two-movement divertimento) and a straightforward Divertimento for the Piano Forte. Just three years later Heinrich was composing wildly experimental music such as the Toccatina capricciosa, which features extravagant chromaticism, an athematic, stream-of-consciousness form, and rhythms so complex they could barely be notated. Experimental harmonies are also found in the brief Valsetto Triangolo. More imposing (and disciplined) works from this period include The Students March--a lengthy concert rondo intended as a contest-piece--and The Minstrel's Vote for President, reflecting the immigrant composer's enthusiasm at having gained American citizenship and culminating in a quotation of "Yankee Doodle." For a projected trip to England, he composed an Embarkation March and a Debarkation March--the latter quoting "God Save the King."

Listen to "Toccatina capricciosa" (MIDI)


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Piano Music, vol. V

In 1835 Heinrich was in England, where he produced a set of nine piano works (out of proposed fifteen) under the group title The Musical Week. Each day of the week was assigned one or more pieces, which were sold by subscription--following the model of the composer's close friend John James Audubon, who was having tremendous success selling his Birds of America in that same way.

Only five of the Musical Week pieces survive, and are included in this volume: The Hickory (Monday), Rondeau Champêtre (Wednesday). The Princess Victoria's Waltz Rondo (Thursday), Impromptu (Friday), and The Czarina in the Kremlin (Saturday). Material from one of the lost pieces is probably preserved in Pocahontas the Pride of the Wilderness (1839), for Heinrich indicated that it was "found in one of the numbers of The Musical Week."

While still at work on The Musical Week, Heinrich announced his intent to leave for the continent in Le Départ d'Angleterre, billed as a sequel to "The Hickory" and like it laced with imaginative quotations of British and American patriotic songs.

Fully a third of this volume, however, is devoted to Der Triller, an immense (908 measures), one-movement piano sonata from 1848. It is Heinrich's longest piano work.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Schiller (1831 - ca.1857)

A 35-minute symphony, and one of Heinrich's most important orchestral works. Like the Fourth Symphony of Ives, this one is a compilation of movements originally conceived separately. It contains materials from every decade of the composer's career, including some of the very first and very last things he ever wrote.

The title "Schiller" originally designated an 1834 concert overture comprising just the first two movements (the first being merely the detached slow introduction to the second) of the eventual symphony. Evocative of the shifting moods and colorful language of poetry, this "Allegro patetico concertante" was probably written in honor of the poet's 75th birthday.

[Listen to these two movements]

To this core Heinrich gradually added additional movements until a full , five-movement symphony resulted. The third movement is one of Heinrich's famous "chromatic rambles," cast in the form of a minuet and trio--though its dimensions, structure, and style more closely resemble a scherzo. This is not the chromaticism of Wagner, but Heinrich's own variety, in which essentially diatonic material wanders all over the tonal map.

[Listen to this movement]

The slow movement is a lovely, brief Romanza for reduced forces, probably written at the last minute as a point of rest to highlight the succeeding finale, one of the most extraordinary items in Heinrich's output. Aptly headed "For the Curious," this last movement was thrown into the symphony after many years as an independent piece, and is a near-perfect palindrome. It was originally written as a piano piece in 1820 under the title "Avance et Retraite," and has the character of a huge fanfare. In its final orchestral version, Heinrich augments his already large orchestra with organ, gong, and contrabassoon to achieve a massive splendor that a midi rendition can only hint at.

[Listen to the last two movements]


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Songs, vol. I

Heinrich was a prolific writer of songs, and there will be many volumes in this series. We start off with one of his most famous pieces, the notorious A Chromatic Ramble, which begins in C-flat major, ends in E major, and has such a long piano coda that for years the vocal line was overlooked altogether. In between, this 1820 composition gets so chromatic in places that the composer dispensed with a key signature~~anticipating Schoenberg by 85 years! In The Dawning of Music in Kentucky, where it first appeared, the "Chromatic Ramble" is followed by a lovely, simple encore titled Coda, which Heinrich rewrote years later as The Minstrel's Friend. This in turn uses part of another early song, Where Are the Pleasures of Life, which is melodically connected to yet another song, Maid of the Valley. Heinrich frequently recycled both texts and melodies in this way. Indeed, when he found a text he liked, he would often set it several different ways and publish all the settings together. Thus The Calm Sequestered Cell, a love song, was published alongside I Love the Brilliant Courtly Scene, a strongly contrasted setting of the same text. Years later, Heinrich put a new text to the latter of these, creating the utopian The Glorious Day Shall Dawn at Last.

The Loved One's Grave is particularly notable because it sets a famous poem: Wordsworth's "She dwelt among th'untrodden ways." Our Hearts Were Bowed in Silent Woe, one of Heinrich's many autobiographical songs, celebrates his recovery from an uncharacteristic bout of depression in 1851. Finally we present two more songs of his maturity: Nay, Lady and Une Petite Fantaisie d'amour.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Songs, vol. II

Unbraid my hair, unbraid my hair
And let the ringlets flow
As wildly as the mountain air:
My Albert lov'd it so.

There are only two songs in this volume, but one of them is a doozy: at 18 minutes and 464 measures, La Toilette de la Cour may well be the longest through-composed song ever written. A romantic English housewife penned this vision of the young Queen Victoria pining after "my Albert...When he is far away," while being dressed for a formal court ball. Heinrich was so enamored of the poem that he set it no fewer than three times, including this spectacularly virtuosic "concerto for the voice and piano-forte," as well as a normal-length song based on the same melodies, and also included in this volume. The third setting is in our volume III.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Songs, vol. III

Exactly what constitutes a song cycle in 19th-century America is a vexed question, but a good candidate is presented here: four "love ditties" under the group title Cantilene d'Affetto delle Presentazioni Musicali, all composed in the late 1840s. They are La Toilette de la Reine (see vol. II for more details and other settings), The Maid of Honor Laughing at Love (complete with an encore), the tragic Eleanor, and the romantic Love's Confiding.

Also in this volume are the songs from one of Heinrich's unique piano-vocal cycles, which mix songs and piano pieces. Mym Slovanskym Bratrum v Europe! ("To my Slavonic Brethren in Europe") begins with a nostalgic glance back to the Home of My Youth, then continues with the eulogistic The Cypress. The songs were originally published separately and can be so performed; when sung as a cycle, the connection between them is made clear only when the succeeding piano pieces (to be found in vol. III of the piano music) are performed. "The Cypress" has roots early in Heinrich's career, for it is an elaborated rewrite of his 1820 Ode to the Memory of Commodore O. H. Perry~~a fascinating piece in itself. Also in this volume are three separate settings, all probably composed about the same time, of another nostalgic "you can't go home again" text (probably by Heinrich himself), titled The Lilac at the Door.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Songs, vol. IV

In 1852, Heinrich began planning for one last trip to Europe. He was 71 years old, and did not expect to return. Sunset Chimes, the 1853 song cycle to which this volume is entirely devoted, was written as a farewell both to America and to life, but in most of its songs this theme is not addressed overtly, but symbolically. In particular, the various love songs must be read between the lines, and are really addressed to his audience, to posterity, to Fame, and so on. Several of the songs are rewrites in Romantic idiom of very early songs, in one case dating back to 1817, and are thus intended to summarize his whole career. Among the songs in this cycle are some of the best he ever wrote, including one, "The Forsaken" that he himself considered "his finest vocal production." The titles of the songs in this cycle are:

I Have Something Sweet to Tell You

O! Say, My Leila, Is It So?

Loving Hearts

The Forsaken

Hope On!

Hope's Diadem

Remember Me, While the Heart Can Beat

Forget Me Not

Capriccio Vocale (with an Encore)

The Boston Bard to His Old Coat

Must I Resign So Fair a Prize?

That Awful Day Will Surely Come


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: Songs, vol. V

Included in this volume are Heinrich's three songs with obbligato flute: The Musical Bachelor, Sensibility, and 'Tis Echo's voice. An extracted flute part for these songs is included with the main volume. As so often with Heinrich, these songs are closely connected to other songs,So we have, for example, included two other settings (without flute) of "The Musical Bachelor." "Sensibility" constitutes the first half of a mini-cycle whose conclusion, Sensibility's Child, we also provide. And "'Tis Echo's Voice" is one of three songs published together as The Harp's Last Echoes. The other two of these include the extraordinarily dense and elaborate The Soul Released from Feeble Clay, for voice and organ, and the particularly fine, autobiographical Heaven and My Harp Are All That's Left. In the same year (1848) Heinrich published another pair of songs as An Offering of Song. These are the peculiar The Rose of the Sea, which almost to the end seems to be an encomium of the herb rosemary, and the much more straightforward (and musically striking) The Broken Heart. Finally in this volume we have included two of Heinrich's many songs about exile: Where's the Home (1825) and The Exile (1830).


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


 Heinrich: Storia d'un Violino (1831)

This extraordinary composition was written as a challenge to Niccolò Paganini upon his 1831 visit to London, where Heinrich was staying at the time. It is also a parting tribute to Heinrich's own Guarneri violin, which had met destruction at the hands (or rather feet) of an unwary chorister during the intermission of a concert in the preceding year: ("The last Shake of the last Fiddle of the last Fiddler of the last Oratorio of the last Season at the First Theatre Royal"). One of the most difficult works ever penned for solo violin, it features double trills, scordatura down to an octave below low G, and notes so high (13 ledger lines!) that only dogs could hear them. We thought people might want to hear them too, so we took them down a couple of octaves, but have left Heinrich's score otherwise untouched. We did add some fingerings, however, provided by Stephen Creswell, a specialist in the early-19th-century violin repertoire.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The Tower of Babel [capriccio] (1837)

There are three versions of this piece, of which this is the second. It is a chamber orchestra reworking (not just an arrangement) of the original, full orchestra version of 1834. It is scored for the same forces as Heinrich's other chamber-orchestra piece, The Columbiad, with which Heinrich grouped it as one of Two Scores for Eleven Performers~~though later revisions raised the forces to 13. In all its versions, The Tower of Babel (edited for Kallisti Music Press by music theorist Joe Brumbeloe) illustrates the Biblical breakdown in communication through the use of almost continuous counterpoint, especially a "canone infinitum" that can be performed with 40 or more consecutive entries~~though here, obviously, "infinity" has had to be severely pruned to fit the small forces.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The Treaty of William Penn with the Indians (1834/47)

It is bound to be observed by some that there seems to be, musically, much more of William Penn in this piece than of the Indians. Yet Heinrich never indulges in musical ethnography when depicting Indian life, and it is entirely characteristic of him to have portrayed this treaty as if it had been conducted between two minor European states, complete with official fanfares and celebratory waltzing. In designating the piece a "concerto grosso," Heinrich seems to have meant something like what we would call a "concerto for orchestra," implying that soloistic technical abilities are required of all the players. The opening of the work is indeed very colorful, with much exposed writing for the winds in the first 110 measures, but thereafter the orchestration is more conventionally blended. To us today, the piece is obviously a symphonic poem--but that term did not exist when Heinrich wrote, and this is but one of a number of programmatic orchestral works in which he anticipated Liszt by several decades.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


Heinrich: The War of the Elements

"In graceful lyricism contrasting with dramatic fervor, he did nothing better, perhaps. ...There are moments when the towering structure fairly reels, with its syncopated melody in upper strings and woodwinds set against the whole orchestra in steady rhythm, supported by the constant roll of the drums." --William Treat Upton (Heinrich's biographer)

"The closing torrent brought a great roar from the audience, and the seven-minute work and performance must be counted a huge success." --John Dwyer, Buffalo Evening News, 1/19/1976

As the above quotes suggest, the big deal in this piece is its lengthy, tumultuous coda, headed "The Thunders of Niagara"--and all the more effective in that the rest of the piece is so restrained. For most of its length, this "war" suggests nothing more violent than a blustery spring day--very coloristic, but more charming than anything else. Until all hell breaks loose, that is.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


 Heinrich: The Wildwood Spirit's Chant (1842)

"...The Author has himself heard the Genii of Music, (if any credence be given to his imagination) in an American Forest.~~And although, strange vicissitudes have chased him since,~~and the storms of more than 60 winters have left their chill upon him, yet, the impressions of that ethereal Music were so deep, and his recollections are so vivid, that by the help of sketchings scored, upon that mystic ground in the State of Kentucky then the abode of Sylphs and Naiads, he has been able to note down that music on these pages, as he heard it from an invisible band."

Heinrich was an orchestrator of Berliozian exuberance, and this is the most extravagantly orchestrated of all his compositions. In fact, he once described it as "a grand heroic fantasia for all the known orchestral instruments"~~though he did leave out the harp and English horn. It is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, sopranino clarinet in F, 2 clarinets in C, basset horn, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 2 cornets, 3 trombones, serpent, bass horn, ophicleide, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, cymbals, triangle, gong, strings, and organ. Everybody gets independent and exposed material to play, and almost everybody gets a solo.

Heinrich originally intended the piece to be one movement of a monster oratorio called The Pilgrim Fathers, but later separated it out as an independent work. As one would expect from Heinrich's program note, there are numerous passages (leading up to grand climaxes capped by sudden harmonic shifts) evocative of the sounds made by the wind in a vast, old-growth forest~~but mostly the piece is a set of fantasy-variations on Heinrich's old friend "Yankee Doodle." The vast orchestra, therefore, stands not only for the trees of the wilderness, but as contributors to "e pluribus unum."


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]


 Heinrich: The Yankee Doodleiad (1820)

This was Heinrich's earliest ensemble composition, originally published in his pathbreaking collection, The Dawning of Music in Kentucky, of which it forms the capstone. It is scored for 3 violins, cello, and piano; the Kallisti edition provides a viola version of the third violin part, so that the piece can be played by an ordinary piano quintet. The work consists of an introductory fanfare, a piano cadenza, an elaborately decorated statement of "Hail Columbia," another fanfare, and then down to business: 15 highly virtuosic variations on "Yankee Doodle" for the first violin, with the rest of the ensemble accompanying. After the 9th variation there is a slow "Interludio" (just as virtuosic) for the first violin and cello alone.


[about the composer]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[another work]

 

[main catalog]

[instruments and ensembles]



Page created by: kallisti@ix.netcom.com
Changes last made on: Thu Oct 26 18:05 2006