Symphony and Chamber Music
 

I grew up in a house that did not have classical music playing.  I did not go to the opera as a child.  I didn't go to concerts.  So how did I end up a composer of Art Music?!

I did play instruments.  I was given the choice in the Hebrew Academy where I went to elementary school and the begining of junior high to take part in group lessons on an instrument.
There was clarinet, violin, trumpet -- and maybe more -- all taught by the same teacher.  I asked to study clarinet.  I remember sitting in a circle with some other kids and the teacher and physically suffering from the sounds.  
I quit.  But I did have a clarinet made from bakelite [if that is the term] and a book.  So I taught myself how to play the clarinet.  
Nobody told me that this was difficult.  I just put up a music stand and tried to do what the book explained.  When I went to a public school in the eighth grade I asked to join the orchestra.  
The conductor said that he had enough clarinet players but that I had big hands and should play the counter bass.  He gave me one lesson.  This is how you tune it --  mi   la  re  sol.  Here is how you hold the German bow.  
This is the bass clef and here is a book.  I taught myself how to play the bass.  [I know this sounds silly but honest. it is true.]  When I went to high school there was a room full of instruments and you could sign for whatever one you wanted.  
They needed someone to play fourth reed in the musical productions of the school so I played bass clarinet, baritone sax, and flute - which I never really played well at all.  The other instruments I could play rather well.

- But what was the connection to composing?

The connection was through the theater.  I had liked to do the theatrical bits of the youth movement activities.  And had even acted in Twelve Angry Men in tenth grade.  When I came to Israel at nineteen I enrolled  at the Hebrew University and wanted to study urban geography and city planning but those subjects did not exist at the university then.  I should have gone to Haifa to the Technion.  So I spent my time learning Hebrew and doing the usual things that young people did in the sixties.  I was leaving the library one morning and had opened the door for a teacher who was entering and probably said something like
- after you please. Madam...


and before I reached the grass on the Quad she had come running to catch up to me and said that there will be an audition for parts in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure to be performed by the drama group of the University in English.  

- Would you like to take part?
- Sure, but maybe I could also write some songs for the production.

Well, I got the part of the Duke and I was terrible.  Joyce Miller who was the lady that I opened the door for was just beginning her work as a director and to be honest she did not know how to get me to act that long and tedious part.  But I did learn all the words quickly enough and I did write some fun songs.  That was the second time that I had written songs.  The first time was for a project in junior high school for English.  I had composed many -  perhaps eight or ten -- lyrics and songs of pseudo folks songs.  The teacher didn't realize how exceptional this was and did not suggest learning music then but that is life things happen when they happen.

Anyway.  I had composed some songs and I was in Jerusalem and I didn't have anything that I wanted to study at the Hebrew U. so I thought that I would go and study composition at the local academy of music.  I walked in off the street and asked the secretary how I could enroll to study composition.
I was told that you had to be an accomplished musician before you could be accepted into  the theory and composition faculty but that tomorrow [yes this is true] there will be exams for places in the program.
I showed up and asked the guy next to me what they would ask in the exam and he said quadratic chords.  I had not a clue as to what he was talking about and went i went into the exam Haim Alexander played C Major on the piano and asked what is that.

- Is that a quadratic chord?  -  I answered.

- No.  

he then played various things and asked me to sing them.  Perhaps he asked me to drum some rhythms.  The long and the short of it was that I was obviously musical and that there weren't all that many qualified students so I was accepted on a provisory basis and given a tutor that I had to pay of course to teach me what I needed to catch up. I did well in just about everything but the piano playing.  I had started only then to play and found that it was too late for me to develop any serious piano skills.

But then composers don't have to play the stuff they compose.  They just have to compose it.
 


Seven Miniatures for Flute, Clarinet & Bassoon
performed by members of the Meitar Ensemble

Flute - Roi Emotz
Clarinet - Yonatan Hadas
Bassoon - Nadav Cohen

This piece was composed with the assistance of the Prime Minister's Prize for Composers 2007-8

     Seven Miniatures for Flute, Clarinet & Bassoon (Click here to listen to the file 10 mB)


♪♪ My friend and father in law Asher Frensdorff passed away on 29 October 2006.

 



Remembering Asher, a lament
Solo Violin Yael Barolsky
(Click here to listen to the file 4 mB, Click here to listen to the file 83 KB)
 

 


Dr. Asher Frensdorff 1931- 2006


I have finished two song cycles for Baritone and Piano, based on poems by Heinrich Heine. The first Angelique. The second, Seraphine.

Here is a pdf file with the notes of the first three songs from the Seraphine cycle. Please contact me if you would like to see the entire cycle.

Drag & drop support Seraphine 16 FIRST PART#BCEA2   (Click here to listen to the file 605 KB)  



I have composed one symphony to date - Dichotomy - A Symphony

Dichotomy - was premiered in a concert at the Bismarksalle of the WDR in Cologne on 30 April 2005. Michael Willens conducted the Cologne Academy Orchestra - Damals und Heute.

Dichotomy - a Symphony, the third movement 

Audio file of third movement    (Click here to listen to the file 35000 KB)

Click to zoomClick to zoom
For notes and performance rights please contact me.

Helsinki. - a trio for clarinet, viola and harp 

Audio file of Helsinki    (Click here to listen to the file 10900 KB)
Drag & drop support 2nd movt of Helsinki   (Click here to listen to the file 406 KB)  


I was asked by Dr. Robert Martin, who was the mentor of my son Guy in his psychiatric residency, if I composed for solo piano. I had to truthfully answer that I hadn't.
Yes, there were piano or keyboard instruments in the scores of some of my operas and yes, I had just composed two song cycles for piano and baritone to words by Heinrich Heine, but no, no selfstanding works for solo piano.
Well some part of me didn't accept that situation and I woke up a day or two after admitting to this lapsus with this little piece running in circles around my head.


Please have a go at it. For those of you who succeed in playing it I would love to hear what you have done.
 

Drag & drop support Piano sonata dialogues FINAL   (Click here to listen to the file 160 KB)


Dichotomy - was premiered in a concert at the Bismarksalle of the WDR in Cologne on 30 April 2005. Michael Willens conducted the Cologne Academy Orchestra - Damals und Heute.
 

Sonata III for Solo Flute - performed by Enula Yampel recorded by Yossi Yampel

Richard Farber Sonata III for Solo Flute  1st Movt    (Click here to listen to the file 1724 KB)
Richard Farber Sonata III for Solo Flute  2nd Movt    (Click here to listen to the file 3157 KB)
Richard Farber Sonata III for Solo Flute  3rd Movt     (Click here to listen to the file 2579 KB)

Drag & drop support Sonata III for Solo Flute v2.  (Click here to listen to the file 130 KB)

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With friends at a party thrown by the WDR after the duisburg premiere of the Conerto Grosso for Percussion and Orchestra
photo: Louis Houet

half hour before the Wuppertal
an half hour before the Wuppertal Nie zu Hause concert looking at the program

with Torben Jrgens
with Torben Jrgens the Wuppertal Nie zu Hause concert photo by peter weberf-schaeffer tie by shiri abramson

the old composer and the young
the old composer and the young baritone at the Wuppertal Nie zu Hause concert photo by Peter Weber-Schaeffer

Dirk Wedmann and Torben Jrgens
Dirk Wedmann and Torben Jrgens the Wuppertal Nie zu Hause concert photo by Peter Weber-Schaeffer

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