Chamber Music for audiences of any age by Bruce Adolphe

Bruce AdolpheBruce Adolphe is not only a celebrated composer, but also an author, innovative educator, and a versatile performer. His profound creativity is apparent from the many positions he has held, from resident lecturer and director of family concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to founding creative director of The Learning Maestros, and comic keyboard quiz-master of the weekly radio program Piano Puzzlers. As a composer, Adolphe has written works for many of the world’s most renowned artists. Among his best works are numerous compositions that are favorites with kids and family concerts, many of them written specifically for these audiences. We’ve compiled this list of selections from his instrumental and chamber works we think you’ll both enjoy and hopefully find helpful in planning your next concert for kids of any age!

Bird Songs (13′)
Soprano, Flute, Violin, Piano
Includes four songs set to anonymous poems. Movements: Introduction, A Merry Bird, Poor Thing, Magpie, and “Cuckoo, What Do You Do?”. Composed for the Itzhak Perlman Family Quartet.
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Bitter, Sour, Salt Suite (24′)
Violin Solo, Optional Narrator
The project to pay musical and poetic tribute to food was hatched by Itzhak Perlman and the composer during discussions and while eating and sometimes drinking. The result was this delectable piece about food for violin with narrator (can be the same performer). Poems by Louise Gikow.
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City Sounds (4′)
A short piano piece with audience participation composed especially for a children’s concert with Orli Shaham. Premiered March 20, 2011 at Le Poisson Rouge.
Video
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119312Coyote Scatters the Stars (7′)

Violin, Piano (optional speaker)
Commissioned by the Museum of Mathematics in New York for its grand opening gala benefit, the music is based on a Native American story. The violin portrays Coyote and the piano represents everything else, especially the stars themselves. It is recommended that the story which is included with the music be told to the audience before the work is performed to enhance the enjoyment and comprehension of the piece.
Video
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Drumming a Dream (40′)
Narrator, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Percussion (1 player)
This Indian folk tale is about a girl named Kalpana’s adventures as she searches for the talking drum that has spoken to her in dreams. The script by Bruce Adolphe and Preeti Vasudevan captures the wonder of the story, weaving in sounds of the drum with audience participation. Indian folk dance is featured throughout with Choreography by Preeti Vasudevan.
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Farmony (5′)
String Quartet with kids’ audience participation
A short interactive string quartet especially for youth concerts where kids in the audience pretend to be farm animals. Written for Sharon Roffman and the Stone Barns Quartet.
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears (18′)
Narrator, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano Commissioned/ recorded by An die Musik with Dr. Ruth Westheimer narrating the composer’s witty and modern take on a classic fairy tale.
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BW web coverInto a Cloud (5′)
Oboe, Piano, Optional Narrator
A brief fable with optional narration from The Learning Maestros catalog about a teenage boy named Lan Tsai Ho whose character is portrayed by the oboist.
Video
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Little Red Riding Hood (15′)
Narrator, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano
Commissioned/ recorded by An die Musik with Dr. Ruth Westheimer narrating the composer’s witty and modern take on a classic fairy tale.
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Marita and Her Heart’s Desire: A Chamber Music Fairy Tale (22′)
Actress (Narrator with multiple Voices), Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trombone, Perc(1), Harp, 2 Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
A charming story of a young girl who goes searching for her heart’s desire, which only the moon atop Harper’s department store can unveil to her. With enchanting music and a story by a writer for the Muppets and Sesame Street, Marita’s a pure delight.
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OceanophonyFrontcoverwebOceanophony for Chamber Ensemble (35′)
Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Cello, Bass, Piano, Percussion. Slideshow available.
Plunge into an ocean of music and meet the sarcastic fringehead fish, stoplight parrotfish, a love-struck seahorse, and more. Also available for chamber orchestra.
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The Amazing Adventure of Alvin Allegretto (50′)
Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass-Baritone, Boy Soprano Soli: Clarinet, Perc(1), Cello, Piano.
In the town of Harmony, everybody sings…everybody, that is, except Alvin Allegretto. His parents take him to see one expert after another to find a cure for his strange condition but only Alvin, with the help of the audience, can find the answer. Music and story by Bruce Adolphe; libretto by Sarah Schlesinger. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
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The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (25′)
Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, Percussion, Children’s Voices, Narrator. Slideshow in development.
Pulsating drums, evocative melodies, and the haunting sounds of a children’s chorus bring to life this beautiful Native American story with text by Paul Goble. Commissioned by Boston Musica Viva, Richard Pittman, Conductor.
Video
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Time Flies (19′)
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, 1 Percussion, Harp, Violin 1 solo, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Double Bass
Artist Eric Rohmann’s Caldecott Honor-winning picture book comes to life through a magical musical score that portrays a little bird caught in a dinosaur exhibit of a natural history museum. Commissioned by the 15th annual Chicago Humanities Festival and premiered by Fulcrum Point New Music Project.
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ToughTurkeyCdPicTough Turkey in the Big City (30′)
Clarinet, Trumpet, Bass Trombone, Piano, Violin, Percussion, Narrator
A charming and funny Thanksgiving tale featuring the bass trombone as the protagonist, Tom the Turkey.
Video
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Urban Scenes (12′)
String Quartet
An interactive work. Kids play toy bird calls, car horns, and an alarm clock.
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Witches, Wizards, Spells and Elves: The Magic of Shakespeare (36′)
4 Actors (3 Female, 1 Male), 1.1.1.1: 1.1.1.0: Perc(1): Str (1.1.1.1.1)
Experience the magic and sorcery in Shakespeare’s plays as solo instruments portray the main characters in this enchanting work. May be enhanced by actors introducing the movements with scenes from the corresponding plays.
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Zephyronia (30′)
Narrator, Woodwind Quintet
On the distant planet Zephyronia, wind power is the solution when Flora and Flutter teach the emperor that there is more than one way to run a planet. Story by Louise Gikow. Commissioned by EverPower with additional funding from the La Jolla Music Society.
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A Celebration of David Baker’s Life in Music

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David N. Baker, Jr. (1931-2016)

David N. Baker, Jr.
(1931-2016)

We mourn the passing of David Nathaniel Baker, Jr who died at his home in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the age of 84. David was an extraordinarily accomplished composer, author, conductor, and teacher; and among the most influential voices in contemporary American music over the past five decades. The Keiser-Southern Music family offers our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. We submit this humble memorial as a tribute to and celebration of his life and music.

Born on December 21, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Baker grew up in the rich musical tradition of the black community, in the world of church and gospel music, blues and rhythm & blues, and jazz. He trained as a classical musician and composer at Indiana University, where he later became Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department. Baker also had served as conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. A virtuoso performer on multiple instruments and top in his field in several disciplines, Mr. Baker taught and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Though thoroughly educated in classical music, Baker’s early career began in an era when the professional options for a black man in that field were extremely limited. As for composing, he once said, “there was no reason for me to aspire to write classical music. At that time the handful of black composers who were actually writing classical music were constantly struggling to have their works performed. There were virtually no role models for me to follow, and very limited opportunities to hear the music these composers were creating.” However in 1969, Baker was approached by his friend and colleague, the legendary violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold, with a request to write a concerto for violin and jazz band. Baker accepted, and following the masterful premiere with the IU Jazz Ensemble, myriad commissions from colleagues and other world-class artists and ensembles would follow thereafter.

David Baker’s style is often described as “thirdstream,” a term commonly used since the late 1950s to describe the synthesis of elements of classical music not only with jazz but also with other folk and popular traditions. At his 2006 acceptance address of Indiana University’s Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, Baker stated, ” It was the philosophical rubric of thirdstream–not only in the narrower view of combining classical music and jazz, but also in the broader interpretation which combined classical music with various ethnic or vernacular musics–that provided me with the means to seek out my own identity as a composer.”

Over the course of his multifaceted career, David received numerous awards, including the National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award, the Indiana Historical Society’s Living Legend Award, the James Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the American Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Emmy Award for his musical score documentary For Gold and Glory. In 2007 he was honored by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with their Living Jazz Legend Award. As a composer Mr. Baker was commissioned by more than 500 individuals and ensembles, including many world-class performers. He served a number of times on the Pulitzer Prize Music Jury and was Chair of the Jazz Faculty of the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL. His compositions total more than 2,000 in number, including jazz and symphonic works, chamber music, and ballet and film scores.

CATALOG OF WORKS – VIDEO EXCERPTS

Alto Saxophone Concerto: “Lee Konitz” (1989) 21′
Asax Solo: 3.3.3.3: 4.3.3.1: Timp.Perc(2): Str

David Baker’s concerto for alto saxophone and large orchestra is named after legendary jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz, who commissioned the work. Recorded by Czech National Symphony, Paul Freeman, conductor; Thomas Walsh, alto saxophone (Albany Records).

Listen/ watch:
Movement I
Movement II
Movement III

 

Clarinet Sonata (1990) 14′
This transcription of Baker’s Flute Sonata (1989) was performed at UBC Distinguished Artist Series, Canada. Recorded by Jaren Hinckley, clarinet and Vince Humphries, piano.

Listen/ watch:
Blues
Lonliness
Dance

 

Life Cycles for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1988) 20′
Recorded by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor; William Brown, tenor; Zdenek Tylsar, horn. Can be performed as a standalone cycle of 5 songs, or as a companion piece to Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. Composed for William Brown; texts by Terence Diggory. A reduction for tenor, horn and piano is also available.

Listen/ watch:
Night Song
Surface
Autumn Moral
What It Means When Spring Comes
Saints and Hermits

 

Roots II (1992) 25′
Violin, Cello, Piano
Each of the five movements is a stylized portrait of a musical form from the African-American tradition. Roots II was commissioned and recorded by the Beaux Arts Trio, Philips CD 438-866-2.

Listen/ watch:
Incantation
Dance in Congo Square
Sorrow Song
Boogie Woogie
Jubilee

 

Singers of Songs, Weavers of Dreams for Cello and Percussion (1981) 25′
Commissioned by Janos Starker; recorded and edited by Janos Starker, cello and George Gaber, percussion (Laurel Record LR 117). Each movement of this suite pays tribute to a different jazz icon, including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Yancey, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Listen/ watch

 

Through this Vale of Tears: In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr.(1986) 22′
Tenor or Soprano Solo: 2 Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano

Commissioned and recorded twice by tenor William Brown, Through This Vale of Tears is a kind of social commentary on the death of Dr. King. As described by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Mr. Baker’s piece set a variety of texts in a cornucopia of styles, including scat, spiritual, and chorale. Miraculously, this diversity cohered, producing a multi-dimensional work filled with grief, humor and hope.”

Listen/ watch:
Thou Dost Lay Me in The Dust of Death
If There Be Sorrow
My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
Parades to Hell
Deliver My Soul
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Explore David Baker’s catalog of Keiser Classical publications on Hal Leonard’s website.

For additional information on David Baker or his works, write to Keiser Classical.

Press links:
ABC/ Associated Press
New York Times.
Indianapolis Star

Donald Crockett’s Dance Sonata and Oberlin Performance

2016 CrockettUSCKeiser Classical will publish Donald Crockett’s Dance Sonata for clarinet/ bass clarinet and piano this spring. The work was originally conceived as his “Dance Concerto” which was scored for mixed accompaniment of eight instruments for the 21st Century Consort, premiered in April 2013. Following that, a wind ensemble accompaniment was commissioned and premiered by a consortium of CBDNA member band directors. The sonata is a fully independent piece, but it can also be used by a soloist preparing a performance with any version of the work as all share the same musical material. For more information, write to Keiser Classical.

Crockett’s work Tracking Inland for flute, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), harp and string quartet will be performed at Oberlin Conservatory on May 5 by the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble conducted by Tim Weiss.

Stephen Hartke’s “Blue Studio” NYC Premiere, Spring Updates

Hartke and Cinny

The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble will give Stephen Hartke’s The Blue Studio its New York premiere on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  The world premiere was given by the Network for New Music in February 2015, performance video here. The work for violin, cello and piano is inspired by Matisse’s depiction of his own studio, called “Studio with goldfish”.  The music gives the sense to the listener that they are visiting the composer’s studio, leafing through each of the five movements as if they were a portfolio of drawings.  Available this Spring from Keiser Classical.

Keiser Classical is issuing new editions of the “Stephen Hartke Piano Album” in two volumes.  Vol. 1: Collected Works covers more than thirty years of the composer’s considerable output of shorter works for solo piano.  The second volume brings together two very distinctive sonatas: Sonata for Solo Piano (1998) composed for and recorded by Vicki Ray on CRI records, and Sonata for Piano Four-Hands (2014), which was written for the piano duet team of Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss.  Both volumes will be available from Keiser Classical in late March.

Stephen Harkte’s A Brandenburg Autumn (video of 2nd movement) was performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) on 1/22/2016 at Jordan Hall in Boston.  Contact our rental department to inquire after performance materials.

Additionally in January, Stephen Hartke completed a residency as Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at University of Miami.  Concerts on 1/30/2016 featured three works: Gradus, The Horse with the Lavender Eye and Wulfstan at the Millennium.  Please contact any preferred dealer or Hal Leonard to order Gradus and The Horse with the Lavender Eye.  Please contact our rental department for materials or more information about Wulfstan at the Millennium.

February 16- 18, Stephen Hartke served as Guest Composer with the Contemporary Music Festival taking place at James Madison University.  This festival included performances of Gradus, Sonata for Piano, Iglesia abandonada, Audistis quia dictum est, and Wulfstan at the Millennium.

On February 27th, conductor Raphael Jimenez conducted Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 at Oberlin Conservatory with soprano Amber Monroe and organist Jonathan Moyer as soloists.  This performance was also available on live webcast.  Contact our rental department for materials or more information.

Stephen will be the Visiting Composer at the University of Southern California March 23-25.  Then he will travel to the University of Utah to act as the Maurice Abravanel Visiting Composer in Residence from March 28-29.  The visit will include a performance of The King of the Sun, available from a preferred dealer or Hal Leonard.

Stephen Hartke is guest composer at the RED NOTE New Music Festival (link to festival website) in Illinois in the first weekend of April, 2016.  Aside from his work with the composition students, four of his works will be performed that weekend: Percolative Processes (link to video) for percussion ensemble, Wir küssen Ihnen tausendmal die Hände: Homage to Mozart for mixed sextet, Grammy award winning Meanwhile: Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays for mixed sextet, and Pacific Rim (link to video) for full orchestra.  Contact our rental department for more information or materials.

On April 14-15, Stephen will visit Cornell University as Guest Composer.  The event will include performances of “The Blue Studio and Sonata for Piano Four-Hands, both titles that will soon be available from Keiser Classical.

Over the summer, Stephen Hartke will serve as Composer/Mentor for American Composer Orchestra’s (ACO) Whitaker Readings from June 12-15.  He will also join the faculty at Aspen Music School in July/ August, dates to be announced.

On November 21, the Brentano String Quartet will give the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s From the Fifth Book at the Frankfurter Holzhausenschlosschen in Frankfurt, Germany.

Joe Derhake named VP of Keiser-Southern Music

Joe office picIn January of 2016, Joe Derhake assumed the role of Vice President of Keiser-Southern Music. Derhake’s over 30 years’ musical experience have led him to a successful career in music publishing since 2004. Beginning as an assistant at MMB Music in St. Louis, he was given charge of the management of the company’s concert music division within two years, and in that role contributed significantly to the publisher’s ultimate revitalization.

With the 2008 purchase of MMB’s catalog by veteran music publisher Lauren Keiser, Derhake was brought on board as General Manager, establishing the fledgling operation of the new firm out of a modest basement office. Keiser Music’s incremental early successes helped pave the way for the acquisition of Southern Music in 2012. Since that time, the continued growth of the Keiser-Southern publishing house has led to the addition of Editorial and Corporate offices in San Antonio and the New York area, with an expanded professional Headquarters in St. Louis.

Keiser-Southern Music’s CEO Lauren Keiser said, “Joe has been with me from Day One in 2008. He has demonstrated excellent skills and is praised by his industry colleagues and peers. He has been running the daily operations of our company. Now that our staff has increased and our size is over four times our original turnover, we are delighted to have Joe as our Vice President.”

Joe comes from a musical family with sing-alongs and informal jam sessions forming his early sensibilities. He began playing keyboard by ear around age 5 and later learned to read music starting on euphonium in the school band. From these roots blossomed a career that has included teaching privately, performing, arranging, and songwriting. His musical influences and experiences span many diverse instrumental and vocal traditions including classical, blues, sacred, pop, folk, jazz and rock. He received a BA in Music from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri where he lives with his darling wife and two children.

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David Stock – A Thanksgiving Memorial

David Stock

Composer David Stock (1939-2015)

In this season of Thanksgiving, we honor the life and music of David Stock, who was a leading composer and champion of contemporary music for more than five decades. Stock passed away much too soon from complications arising from a stroke on November 2, 2015 at the age of 76. With his family, friends, and colleagues, we mourn the loss of his formidable voice with sorrow. We offer this humble remembrance, rejoicing that his bright spirit remains among us, embodied in his music.

David Stock (b. June 3, 1939, Pittsburgh) was  Professor Emeritus, Duquesne University, where he conducted the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. He was a graduate of the Carnegie Institue (now Carnegie-Mellon University) were he met fellow composer and lifelong colleague Tom McKinley. Stock has been Composer‑in‑Residence of the Pittsburgh Symphony,  the Seattle Symphony and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and is Conductor Laureate of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME), which he founded in 1976. His catalog of works containing over 170 titles includes six symphonies, 13 string quartets, a dozen concerti for various instruments, much chamber  solo, and orchestral music, and work for  dance, theater, TV and film. Stock served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and as a host of Da Capo, a weekly series on WQED‑FM in Pittsburgh. In 1992 he was honored with the Creative Achievement Award for Outstanding Artist by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

David Stock was well known as a mentor to young composers through his roles at PNME and Duquesne in addition to his work as a composer. Always generous with his time giving support and advice to up and coming talent, he remained humble and charmed all who knew him with an intelligence and self-deprecating sense of humor despite his many accomplishments. “His willingness to commission the works of young composers made an indelible mark on the new music world,” said his former student Reza Vali, who received his first commission from Mr. Stock in 1984.

David Stock remained prolific throughout his career including this year, when he completed his Thirteenth String Quartet; Wind Power for Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Bassoon; Four of a Kind for Saxophone Quartet; and his Second Chamber Concerto for Trumpet, Two Pianos and Two Percussion.

This December, Louisiana State University will premiere his work Double Take for Alto Saxophone, Percussion and Wind Ensemble featuring saxophonist Griffin Campbell and percussionist Brett Dietz, one of Stock’s former students and longtime friends. The concert will be conducted by Damon Talley and will include a memorial given by Mr. Dietz. David Stock had made plans to attend  this important event before his health began to decline.

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) will be releasing an album consisting of three of Stock’s concerti in January 2016. The recording will feature performances by each respective work’s dedicatee, including Concierto Cubano for Violin and String Orchestra (performed by Andres Cardenes), Percussion Concerto (performed by Lisa Pegher), and Oborama (performed by Alex Klein). The recordings are conducted by BMOP’s Music Director, Gil Rose. Further details to be announced.

David Stock’s considerable body of compositions are infused with influences from the ancient past to the most vital present, including Sephardic and Jewish traditions, modern jazz, minimalism, and the full gamut of tonal palettes found in the music of the last century.

Selected Discography
click to listen

Stock American Classics Little MiracleA Little Miracle (2006)
Berlin Radio Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Elizabeth Shammash, Richard Stoltzman, Staphen Burns
Naxos Milken Archive, 8.559422
A Little Miracle, Tekiah, Yerusha, Yizkor

 

Stock American AccentsAmerican Accents (2004)
Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz
Innova, 586
American Accents
Symphony No. 2
Viola Concerto

 

Schiff Stock Echoes NaxosEchoes (2011)
Seattle Symphony/ Gerard Schwarz
Naxos, 8.559679
Plenty of Horn

 

 

Stock EncoresEncores (2010)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Dorian Sono Luminus, DSL-92108
Suenos de Sefarad

 

 

Stock Perc LSUIn Motion: The Percussion Music of David Stock (2011)
LSU Percussion Ensemble/ Brett Dietz, et al
Cat Crisis Records (884501642170)
Breathless, Double Bars, Four Corners, Rosewood Reflections, Shadow Music, Starlight, Strike Swinging, Three Vignettes, U-Turn

 

Stock Mountain RoadsMountain Roads (2001)
Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet
Albany, Troy412
Sax Appeal

 

 

Stock Speaking ExtravagantlySpeaking Extravagantly (2002)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Innova 563
Speaking Extravagantly (String Quartet No. 2), String Quartet No. 3, String Quartet No. 4

 

Stock String Quartets 5-6-7String Quartets (2010)
Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Albany, Alb 1188
String Quartets, Nos. 5-7

 

 

Stock Violin Concerto AlbanyViolin Concertos (2009)
Andres Cardenes, Violin; Sinfonia Varsovia/ Ian Hobson
Albany, Troy 1148
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

 

 

Elizabeth Bloom at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette composed this stirring obituary, showing how beloved Mr. Stock and his music remain in the hearts of so many. David Stock’s works are proudly published by Keiser Classical.

 

Allen Vizzuti Performs Peter Lieuwen’s “Concerto Alfresco”, Album Review: “Overland Dream”

Peter Lieuwen

Composer Peter Lieuwen

Moores Symphony Orchestra at the University of Houston will perform “Concerto Alfresco” on Dec. 3rd 2015, conducted by Franz Krager with trumpet soloist Allen Vizzutti. This work was awarded First Prize in the Doc Severinsen International Composition Contest and premiered by the University of Tennessee Symphony, Allen Vizzutti trumpet soloist.

Peter Lieuwen’s CD “Overland Dream” (MSR #1581) received a glowing review from David DeBoor Canfield at Fanfare Magazine in the July/August 2015 Issue.  The American Record Guide’s review by Sullivan in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue praised Lieuwen’s work on this recording for its “clear melodic lines, dreamy lyricism, and jazzy syncopation.” The album includes two works published by Keiser Classical–Guitar Sonata and the title track Overland Dream for clarinet and piano trio.