Descriptions of Various Compositions
Op.4, Prelude (Intermed.)
An abstract character piece featuring seventh intervals melodically and harmonically
Op.4 Prelude (Early Intermed.)
A very short slow expressive piece with a wide range of dynamics.
Op.5 Three Preludes (Intermed.) 1980
#1 Right hand repeated chords accompany a cello-like melody in
the left hand.... Subconsciously inspired by Chopin Prelude Op.28,
#2 An abstract tone poem with a maze of intertwining melodic lines.
#3 Left handed octaves throughout, this is an exciting rhythmic dance with an Eastern flavor inspired by a combination of Alberto Ginastera and Chopin. Prelude Op28, No 22.
#1 Prelude “Flute Frolic” (Intermed.) This is a playful duet with
two flute-like lines.
#5 Prelude “Capriccio” (Intermed.) An energetic piece with jazz-like syncopation and exciting strong dissonances.
#7 Prelude “Dialogue” (Intermed.) A short conversation with undertones of disagreement.
Op.46 Prelude 1991 (Intermed.)
A playful joyride using fourths and clusters.
Op.54 Prelude " Intchu?"(Advanced) 1992
"Intchu" is the Armenian word for “why”. The piece is an emotional lament over the suffering of the Armenian people past and present.
Op.62 Prelude “Whim” 1994 ( Late Intermed.)
This extremely energetic and effective performance piece screams out in anger and rage !
Op.68, Three Preludes (Advanced) 1994
#1 A playful pianistic experience featuring fourths.
#2 A very slow and serious contemplative piece to be played with calm resignation.
#3 This piece expresses defiance and resolve to overcome all odds !
Op.68a (Advanced) 1996
Three Preludes arranged for two pianos
Op.69 Prelude “Twilight” 1996 (Late Intermed.)
This is a favorite piece of the composer's. It expresses the physical and emotional fragility of aging. It also has two distinctly different ways of being perceived. The piece features a pedal point figure of a single repeated note that depicts iron bars like in a jail cell. The performer may choose to be inside the cell looking out at life, or outside the cell looking in at the prisoner. This extremely sensitive piece requires pianissimo control.
Op.87 Three Preludes (Intermed.) 1998
#1 “August” ( Late Intermed.) The piece expresses the restless
eager anticipation of exciting fall activities after a restful
summer. It features the interval of a fourth both harmonically and
melodically. The composer denotes the specific m.v (sing out middle
voice); b.v. (sing out bottom voice).
#2 “Lullaby” (Intermed.) Written to celebrate the birth of the grandchild of a Hungarian pianist and friend of the composer, the piece may also be played at a faster tempo giving it a totally different character.
#3 “Celebration” (Inter.) This is a strong rhythmic expression of joyous exhilaration.
Op.88 Prelude “Melody” (Intermed.) 1998
This is an expressive melodic Armenian styled melody to celebrate the composer's father's 88th Birthday.
Op.89 Prelude “Autumn” (Intermed.) 1998
This is a highly emotional piece expressing the sadness felt with the brilliant colors of Autumn fading away and dying leaves falling to the ground and turning to dust. The naked trees are left to go through the cold winter ahead. It is a funeral march of sorts.
Op.90 Prelude “Chaotic Life in the 90's” (Intermed.) 1998
This is a wild mini-drama expressing the crazy pace of life as we approach the 21st century.
Op.115 Three “Holleck Preludes”
No.1 “Searching for Answers”
No.2 “Moving Along”
No.3 “ A Garden of Fragile Flowers with Deep Roots”
Op.116 “In Memoriam”
This piece is dedicated to a former student of the composer's who was on the first plane that hit the World Trade Tower on 9/11. It is also contained within a larger work, Ballade No.2, Op. 129 “Flashbacks of 9/11”
Op.120 Three “Andersen” Preludes
These Preludes were dedicated to the great Belgian pianist and dear
friend of the composer's, Diane Andersen on the occasion of one of
her concert tours to Boston.
No.1 “Dans l'excitation du retour”
No.3 “Au revoir”
This is a happy and playful, free spirited piece.
Op.123 “Hommage a Ligeti”
Inspired by the humorous spirit of great Hungarian composer, Gyorgy Ligeti
Op.125 Two “Raffaelli” Preludes
These preludes are dedicated to the fine American pianist, and dear
friend of the composer's, Rebecca Raffaelli.
No.2 “With Great Joy!”
Op.138 Two Preludes
Commissioned by Mildred Freiberg, fine American pianist and pupil
of Hindemith and dear friend of the composer's
No.1 “Escape to Inner Space”
No.2 “A Vibrant Spirit”
dedicated to Belgian pianist Diane Andersen
No.1 “Champagne petillant” “Champagne Bubbles”
Sonata No. 1 Op.25
Most of this Sonata is written in the 12-tone idiom using that system in a very personal way. Each movement varies in character. The first and second themes in the first movement use the same row but are treated completely differently . The playful and humorous 2nd mt. is followed by an intensely painful and emotional 3rd mt. that is completely in the hands (literally) of the performer for expressive content. The fourth movement, “Toccata”, is a release from the extreme tension of the third, and is wildly rhythmic and energetic. This movement is often performed alone as a solo. The arm clusters are often a special subject of conversation among pianists and audiences. This “Toccata: has been selected as a competition piece for the Texas State Competition for 2007-2008-2008.
*** Rebecca Raffaelli has performed this work countless times since it was written and has edited it for the FJH publication and recorded it on CD (Seda 333).
Sonata No.2, Op.31
This Sonata was written for Phyllis Alpert Lehrer who has performed the work numerous times internationally since it was written. She has edited it for the FJH publication and has recorded it on CD (Seda 333).
It consists of four contrasting movements dominated by the use of fourths. The first movement is rhapsodic in nature, the second is a playful scherzando, the third is warm and emotionally expressive, and the last is rhythmically driven.
Ms Lehrer performed this Sonata at Carnegie Hall in 2004.
Sonata No.3, Op.83 “Odyssey”
This one-movement work was written for Angel Ramon Rivera, commissioned by the Parent's Committee of the Rivers Music School in Weston, MA.USA as a tribute to Rivera for his work in maintaining the “Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young”. It is an “Indiana Jones” styled journey of musical adventure. With tongue-in-cheek humor, it explores curious and dangerous finger passages and entertains the imagination of the performer and the audience in a variety of contrasting experiences. Within the piece, there is a tender Song of Love with sentiments addressed to A. Ramon Rivera from the parents of his many devoted students.
This Sonata was performed at Carnegie Hall in 2004 by Judith Olson who has also edited the work for the FJH publication.
Sonata No.4 Op.128
This Sonata was written for Diane Andersen, President of EPTA Belgium- Wallonie / Bruxelles, who premiered it in the U.S. in 2003 and in Europe in 2004 . She has recorded it recently on CD along with several other works also written for her by Goolkasian Rahbee. The CD also includes Piano Concerto No.2 Op.134, Ballade Op.111, Selected Preludes Op.120, Op.122 Op.123, Op.140, Tango Op.126 written for Ms Andersen. She also performs the Ballade No.2 Op.129 “Flashbacks of 9/11” and the Rhapsodie “Urartu” for piano and orchestra Op.80 on this CD.
This four-movement work has a positive and optimistic character.
The first movement is Maestoso; the second, molto energico e presto; the third, molto espressivo e rubato. The fourth movement Ruvido is a Toccata with a wildly energetic rhythm.
Diane Andersen performed the Sonata No.4 at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and has edited it for the FJH publication.
36 Collected Preludes, Volume 1 and Volume 2
This collection includes Preludes of contrasting character (intermediate-advanced) Op.4 thru Op.140. They will soon be available from FJH and have been edited by Rebecca Raffaelli.
Phantasie Variations Op.12
This 12-Tone work was written for Phyllis Alpert Lehrer who premiered it in NYC at Merkin Hall in 1980 to great acclaim. New York Times (1982) Bernard Holland “The Phantasie Variations was post serial in its persuasion but its lovely feeling for piano-color and its often lazy, lyrical quality never sounded didactic or oppressive.”
Ms Lehrer has since performed the piece all over the world in countless concerts and has recorded it on CD (Seda 333). She has also edited it for the FJH publication.
Ballade No.1, Op.111
Written for Diane Andersen, she performed the U.S. premiere in 2002 and in Europe 2004. She also performed it at Carnegie Hall in 2004. This introspective composition is intensely emotional and expresses deep feelings in the awareness of life's wonderful experiences and adventures. Sometimes the greatest sorrows bring the greatest joys and vice versa. Life is a beautiful mystery altogether! It can bring great love, great joy and great sorrow ! Expressing these feelings can be sometimes painful and beautiful all at the same time!
Diane Andersen has recorded the piece on CD and has edited it for the FJH publication.
Ballade No.2, Op.129 “Flashbacks of 9/11”
This composition contains continuous short musical episodes expressing the various visual scenes that have been burned in all our memories of that horrific world changing day. It was performed at Carnegie Hall in 2004 by Austrian pianist, Elisabeth Eschwe.
Diane Andersen has recorded this work on CD.
Concertino No.1 Op.82
For Piano and Chamber Orchestra (also arranged for string
This one-movement work was written for and premiered by a six year old pianist, Rumay Wang in the US and premiered in Europe (Budapest) by Benedek Horvath who has also recorded the work with the MATAV Hungarian Symphony Orchestra with David Alexander Rahbee conducting.
It has received many performance in the US and in Europe since it was written. It has won several Concerto competitions in New York City by students of Judith Olsen who has edited the work for FJH which will soon be available.
Concertino No.2 Op.113
For Piano and String Orchestra
This 3 movement work was commissioned by Judith Olson who has edited it for FJH. It has won competitions and received several performances in the US and was recorded by Benedek Horvath in Budapest with the MATAV Hungarian Symphony with David Alexander Rahbee conducting.
Concertino No.3 Op.145
For Piano and String Orchestra (or string Quartet)
This one movement work was commissioned by Judith Olson and premiered by a 6 year old student of hers after winning a Concerto Competition in New York City. It has already been performed several times since it was written in 2005. It will eventually be available from FJH but is now available from the composer.
Concerto No.2 Op.134
This four movement work for Piano and full orchestra (total length approx.23 minutes) was written for Diane Andersen and recorded by her on CD with the MATAV Hungarian Symphony Orchestra with David Alexander Rahbee conducting.
1st movement Maestoso; 2nd movement Molto espressivo; 3rd movement Maestoso; 4th movement Toccata molto energico
This is an extensive work with extremely contrasting movements.
Sonata No. 5 "A Kiss of Peace"
Read these extensive Notes by the composer of the five movements of this Sonata.