Don Freund’s music has remained distinct and original, yet still appealing to audiences that might not otherwise consider themselves “classical” aficionados. One possible reason for this might be that like few of his contemporaries, his works seem rooted firmly in the present, even while exploring contemporary techniques or paying homage to the great composers of history. This holds true with the composer’s recent efforts, including a suite for band titled Five Elizabethan Dances from Romeo and Juliet (audio excerpt). The work is drawn from the music that sets the scene and provides the accompaniment for the Ballroom Scene from Freund’s Romeo and Juliet: A Shakespearean Music Drama for singing actors and piano. The style of the dances is freely drawn from dances found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (music from ca. 1562 to 1612), spiced up with changing meters and chromatic twists of melody and harmony reflecting a more recent musical language. Online score here. The suite is available from Lauren Keiser Music Publishing.