Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for compositions

Compositions Now Available on Sheet Music Plus!

My music is now being digitally published by Sheet Music Plus. By September 1, 18 pieces will be “live” with scores and parts available for digital download. In addition, a recording of each piece can be heard free-of-charge on the website. For those pieces that have also been recorded in video, links are provided to those videos. Works currently “live” (and on sale!): Suite Revelation for cello and piano (2014) 180 Shift for piano trio (2013) Invasive Species for piano quintet (2012) Lemurs are Afraid of Fossas for cello and piano (2011) South Bay Angle for violin and piano (2011) So Let Us Live – Really Live! For baritone and piano (2009) Tempus Fugit for piano (2008) Anything you Can Do . . . for violin and vibraphone (2006) String Quartet No. 4: Snappy Rejoinder (2005) Funny Like a Monkey for piano quartet (2001) Rarefied Air for B-flat clarinet, violin and piano (1999) Behavioral Science for trombone solo (1998) Pluck for guitar solo (1996) String Quartet No. 3: Among Friends (1995) Iron Balconies and Lilies for soprano, piano and chamber ensemble (1992) String Quartet No. 2: Child’s Play (1988) Quasi un Madrigale for soprano and piano (1985) Prayer for the […]

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Composers, Inc. News

I’m about to become even more tiresome than usual in my promotion of the new music performance group “Composers, Inc.” Founded in 1984, Composers, Inc. is dedicated to the creation and performance of new American music. There are no Euro-composers, alive or dead, on its programs; goodness knows, the Euros have enough venues already. Neither will you find metabolically challenged (i.e., deceased) American composers on the programs of Composers, Inc. (although the organization will, on rare occasion, mark the passing of an American composer with a performance). No, the mission of Composers, Inc. is to perform (and commission) works by living Americans, particularly emerging composers. My interest in the group is both personal and professional. For 29 years I have been one of the “composers” who directs the group (I was asked to join when the organization was just a year old), and on May 1 of this year I was elected president of its Board of Directors. Check out our beautiful website! My election means that you, my friends, will have to endure my ongoing efforts to enlist Board members, raise moolah/dinero/buckaroonies, build audience, etc. etc. The Board and money can wait; the remainder of this post is about […]

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The Premiere of “180 Shift”

I had a premiere in Stockton, California on November 2 and now, with video in hand, I would take the opportunity of sharing it with you. The name of the piece is “180 Shift”; it is scored for violin, ‘cello, and piano. The piece was composed for and dedicated to a wonderful group called Trio 180 on a commission from the Pacific Arts and Lectures Committee of the University of the Pacific. The premiere performance was outstanding. The rehearsals were excellent as well, though I have learned over the decades that great rehearsals do not guarantee a great first performance. It is, I think, one of life’s truisms that we never really “know” anything (which includes playing a piece of music) until we have done it in front of other people (or, on the same lines, until we have taught it to other people). There was a time when premieres made me downright nauseous. I was worried that the players were going to botch the piece; I was worried that the audience was going to hate the piece (and me and my entire genome by extension); I was worried that I was going to vomit, etc. As it turns out, […]

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Robert Greenberg Composition — Lemurs are Afraid of Fossas

With all my recent “talk” about composers and such, I thought it would be appropriate to “walk the walk” and post some more of my music, if only to verify that I am not completely full of cow chips when I presume to assert what composers “are” and “aren’t”. So I am taking the opportunity to repost a premiere performance of a work for ‘cello and piano entitled “Lemurs are Afraid of Fossas” that took place in San Francisco on April 24, 2012. I originally posted the performance in early May of 2012 when I had about 4 (maybe 5) people following this blog. Thus, I feel okay about doing a repost given my rather larger current readership. It was a dream premiere, featuring musicians – ‘cellist Monica Scott and pianist Hadley McCarroll – who were talented enough to play everything I wrote and smart enough to figure out what I was trying to say. Enjoy. (Try to hang on ‘til end. I was very happy with the third movement.) Movements 1 and 2: Movement 3: For your reading pleasure, here is a program note: I. Predating Game II. Things That Go Bump in the Night III. The Shadow Knows […]

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Rarefied Air

On November 13, 2012, a piece of mine entitled Rarefied Air was performed at Old First Church in San Francisco under the auspices of Composers, Inc. That performance – which featured Rob Bailis on clarinet, Michael Nicholas on violin, and Hadley McCarroll on piano – is now up on YouTube and thus available for your listening/viewing pleasure. Rarefied Air For B-flat Clarinet, Violin and Piano (1999) I. Liftoff II. Creatures of the Night III. Fresh Aria IV. Crystal Set Rarefied Air was originally written for the ensemble Strata. “Strata”, according to my Webster’s Collegiate, means “layers lain atop one another. . . regions of the atmosphere that are analogous to the strata of the earth.” “Rarefied” air is that thin, clear, high layer of air lying at the top of the lower atmosphere, also known as the “stratosphere”. This bit of atmospheric esoterica is meant to explain the inspiration for “Rarefied Air”. Movement I, “Liftoff” displays immediately the three basic registral strata of the piece: an explosive and densely chromatic low level (the “ground”), an intervening and rather more lyric middle level (up in the “air”), and a brittle and brilliant upper level (the “Strata-sphere”, as it were). The music […]

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