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Russian Waltz 1863

Waltz For Our Time


 for Orchestra

composed for violin and piano, August 6—August 23, 2014
orchestrated October 11—November 7, 2014
Duration: about 7 minutes 20 seconds
Cover image; Russian ball, 1863

for Eric Pritchard

See the version for violin and piano, performed by Eric Pritchard and Greg McCallum at Duke University in January, 2015. This is the first of the Three Pieces for Violin and Piano, listed on the Music Page under Music for Strings.


Score, PDF     Score, Finale      Cover     Parts, PDF (print front & back)


          In the spring of 2014, I had a powerful dream of Neem Karoli Baba, my guru, asking me to write a piece for “violin and…” However my hearing isn’t very good, and I didn’t quite hear or remember the rest of the instrumentation! I hadn’t been able to compose since mid-January and needed something to get out of the funk. When Eric Pritchard asked me for some violin and piano music  to be performed at Duke University in January 2015, I figured that would do the trick. The third of the three short pieces I wrote was this waltz. I then orchestrated all three pieces, as my catalog is deficient in short orchestral works—and I have found great difficulty getting longer compositions performed, and composition prizes usually specify short durations.

          I’ve always been partial to waltzes and waltz-like music, which can be found throughout my works from the earliest years. At this point the major challenge is to try and remember enough of what I’ve already done so as to not repeat too much.

          The instrumentation is standard for a full orchestra (2-2-2-2, 4-2-1-1, timpani and strings), except that instead of two tenor and one bass trombone, I have just the bass trombone. The first flute doubles on piccolo.

          Accidentals hold through the measure and not beyond, and do not refer to other octaves.