Compositions

Bucolic Fantasy

Maxwell Kaye

Bucolic Fantasy attempts to convey the feelings of peace and wonder that come with an escape from modern civilization into nature. In this composition, I was inspired by stories of the Greek god Pan, who embodied nature and was said to carry pan pipes, which were named after him. Because of this association, I interpreted the flute as an embodiment of nature in itself.

Bucolic Fantasy was composed between May and June 2020 and recorded by flutist Mimi Stillman as part of the Young Artist Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music, which took place online in 2020. It was premiered in a five-hour livestreamed recital with works by 54 other composers.

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Earthrise, for chamber ensemble

I wrote this piece to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It is supposed to depict the scene as the three astronauts arrived, and convey the wonder and mystery of the alien landscape. It was recorded by faculty of the Danbury Music Centre's Chamber Music Intensive on August 9, 2019.

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Yearning to Breathe Free, for soprano and piano

This was my first foray into vocal composition, and I wrote it in July 2019 at Eastman School of Music while attending their Summer Classical Studies program. It is a setting of the classic American poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which calls for the welcoming and embrace of immigrants and refugees. I wrote it for soprano Erin Ennis and pianist Ethan Resnik, who performed it at Eastman, but this particular recording was made on January 19, 2020, with soprano Arianna Carlo and pianist David Baranowski.

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String Quartet in C Minor

This composition was a long-term project I started in 2016. I completed it in March 2018 after about two years, and it was premiered at the Eastman School of Music in July 2019. Musicians are Sooah Jung (first violin), Nash Ryder (second violin), Ryan Hardcastle (viola), and Henry Myers (cello).

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Movement for String Trio

I was commissioned to write this piece for the Chamber Music Intensive, a week-long seminar I participated in the summer of 2018. Throughout the week, I worked with musicians from my age group to prepare the piece, and it was performed in a concert at the end of the week.

The performance was held at the Danbury Music Centre in Danbury, CT, USA, on August 12, 2018. The piece was played by Molly Birdsall on violin, Jacob Shack on viola, and Ellery McFarland on cello.

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Septet for Winds and Strings

I wrote this piece in the middle of a huge creative burst I had in mid-2018. It took me about three weeks to complete. Hopefully I will soon get the chance to get it performed, but for now I have a rendering of it generated by NotePerformer 2.0.2.

The piece is scored for clarinet, horn, bassoon, and string quartet.

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Rondo for Clarinet and String Trio

I think I've hit a creative burst. As my string quartet was nearing completion — about a week ago — I decided to start something smaller. At first it was just going to be a smaller piece for string quartet, but then I decided to replace the first violin with a clarinet, so that I could play it. (The clarinet is my instrument of choice.)

This piece only took about a week to compose, compared with the two years it took for me to write the string quartet. Part of that was the fact that this piece was a short-term project, in contrast to the long-term project of the string quartet, which I wrote gradually as I had my mind mostly on other compositions.

I think this is the most prolific I've ever been as a composer. That's not saying much, since it's not very prolific, but considering I didn't write a single composition for the entire year of 2015, it's pretty good for me.

This is a MIDI recording (for now). I hope I can make a live performance happen, preferably at the same time as with the string quartet. For now, though, I don't think the MIDI is that bad. Enjoy! ;)

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Two Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 2

This is a small composition I wrote in November 2017.

For now, this is a MIDI recording, but I am arranging to have this performed by actual musicians.

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Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 1

I wrote this in November 2016 during the climax of the presidential election, as the votes were being counted. I named the slow movement "Prayers for America". These files are a computerized rendition of the piece. I hope to be able to put up a performance by a human pianist in the near future.

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