Music for Piano, Piano Four-Hands, Organ, and Harpsichord

Arsis Press scores may be ordered from individual composers.
Arsis Press Composers)

Piano Solo

Harriet Bolz (1909-1995)

Floret-A Mood Caprice for Piano
3'42" $ 6.00 #040063 AP-101

Marked Allegretto, this one-movement piece contains a repeated, one-measure LH pattern at the beginning that recurs near the end with a different melodic part in the RH along with some demanding octave passages in the central sections.


Two Profiles for Piano
3'30" $ 6.00 #040064 AP-102

Compositions of elegant simplicity, contemporary and lyrical. The first profile is marked Simple, graceful and the second is Gay, debonair.

Brill, Elissa Email:
of Holyoke, Massachusetts

Etude: floating and then not (piano solo)
3'30" $ 6.00 #040066 AP-104

The composer writes: "Etude grew out of a conversation I had with a colleague. We were contemplating what it is about some pieces of music that makes them feel like they are floating on air, and what it is about some other pieces that makes them seem to be so close to the earth. Although there are many other elements at work, one important element seemed to be the nature of the rhythmic resolution. It is the treatment of rhythm that I chose to explore in this piece. The form is ABA, where each A section is mostly floating and the B section is mostly not."

Story Closet-divertimento for piano
(intermediate) 6' $ 7.50 #040065 AP-103

The piece was written in 1986 in five movements: Opening Music, Tennis Racket/Unstrung, Wool Blazer/Circa 1978, Useless Gift, Costume Jewelry. The composer describes her piece as "short sketches of found memories, a light-hearted travelogue through fond childhood thoughts."

Brockman, Jane Website
of Santa Monica, California

Character Sketches for piano
16' $ 8.00 #040067 AP-105
Recording: Leonarda CD 334

"most accomplished...fascinating... an aural Rorschach, with side trips " (Los Angeles Times)

Stylistic 'characters' from the music of Debussy, Schoenberg, Wagner and Mussorgsky serve as a point of departure in these three movements. Sometimes the references appear in the form of quotations, other references are simply evocative. The strategy for this work was to uncover the similarities and relationships among these different characters--and to guide their evolution still further into materials which are mine alone. The listener can identify three bell-theme quotations from Wagner's Parsifal, Schoenberg's Sechs Kleine Klavierstucke, and Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov. These unify the three movements. The piece is recorded on a Leonarda compact disc by Nanette Kaplan Solomon. (Notes by the composer.)

Tell-Tale Fantasy for piano

4'43" $ 6.50 #040068 AP-106
Recording: Capstone CD (CPS-8714)

"Her Tell-Tale Fantasy is a piece with subtle musical quotations-paraphrased allusions to Scriabin, Schoenberg, Ives and Debussy--intended to invoke the impression of a pianist, performing a highly contemporary piece of music, who daydreams and drifts occasionally into wistful thoughts about masterworks of the early twentieth century. . . impressive." (Fanfare)

telltale-fantasy score sample (pdf)

Although the notation is precise, this short piece is designed to create an illusion of improvisation. At each digression, there are brief paraphrases of works by Scriabin (Prometheus Symphony), Schönberg (Opus 19 and Opus 16), Ives (Concord Sonata) and Debussy (Dr. Gradus Ad Parnassum).

Casella, Jane
of Rochester, New York

The Middle of Fortune for piano
4' $ 6.50 #040069 AP-107

Ms. Casella has experimented with a variety of styles among which The Middle of Fortune emerges as one of her most appealing compositions.

Diemer, Emma Lou Website
of Santa Barbara, California

Encore for Piano
7' $ 8.00 #040070 AP-108
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD 2002

"A strongly melodic piece, Encore is both accessible and enjoyable." (Indiana Gazette)

Encore was written in 1981 for Diemer's colleague at the University of California at Santa Barbara, pianist Betty Oberacker. The piece is virtuosic and technically demanding, concerned more with short motives than with extended melodic development. It has been widely performed and is available on a Vienna Modern Masters compact disc.

Toccata for Piano
Duration: 6 minutes
Recording: Capstone CD (CPS-8714), Sony Music CD23055

Score: Music Without Borders

Repertoire of the Seventeen National Piano Competition
"Emma Lou Diemer's Toccata is as unpredictable as it is fun and pleasing. . . a pianistic adventure" (Fanfare)

"There was a sense of tonality in Miss Diemer's Toccata and a sense of theater that was very striking indeed." (Charleston News & Courier)

Written in 1979 for one of her students at the University of California, the Toccata combines traditional piano writing with "neo-Cowell effects" (such as hand-dampening the strings and performing directly on the strings) that are used in fresh ways to create a "rambunctious pianistic adventure" (Fanfare). The piece is also described as having "driving rhythm" and as being "infused with a real musical personality" (Charleston News & Courier). A review in the Chico News and Review described the piece as follows. "Diemer's Toccata was filled with wonderful 'in-the-piano' effects--hand-dampened strings, string-stroked arpeggios, block-like, Messiaen-styled chord echoes."

Frasier, Jane Website
of Denver, Colorado

Festivous Sonata for Piano
14'30" $ 9.00 #040072 AP-110

"distinctive sound and logical structure that satisfied to the last chord" (Keyboard)

The Sonata has three movements entitled Waltz, Hymn, and Dance.

Lauer, Elizabeth
of Wilton, Connecticut

Six Haiku for Solo Piano
10'30" $ 9.00 #040073 AP-111

Poems by Erik Lauer. Sketches by Amy Lauer.
Recording: I Virtuosi CD 502

"captures both the spirit and the specific mood of each poem" (Pan Pipes)

The six short musical statements of the piece are inspired by six poems written by her son when he was twelve. The first takes into account the haiku pattern of 5 + 7 + 5 syllables. The second expores the extreme ranges of the piano. The fifth makes clear the connection to the clock. And the sixth explores the damper pedal, glissandi, overtones and shifting harmonies. (Notes by the composer.)


Two Rags à la française for solo piano
      le crépuscule & l'aurore (twilight & dawn)
4' $ 0.00 # AP-

The two rags were written in 2006 and dedicated to Sandro Russo. They were awarded First Prize in a competition sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women for its biennial in 2006. Lauer describes the origin of the music as follows:

"My favorite word in the French language is 'crépuscule.' I was repeating the word in my mind one day, when the sounds of a piano piece came into my head. That bit of what some might call inspiration is now the introduction to what has turned out to be a concert rag. A companion work, 'L'Aurore,' was a foregone conclusion. More than a soupçon of some aspects of French musical sounds is to be heard in these pieces."

Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017)
formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Esquisses for piano
10'40" $ 8.00 #040074 AP-112

"...stands in the grand continuity of writing for piano" (Boston Globe)

In three movements completed in 1992, Esquisses is dedicated to pianist Emily Corbato.

The first piece, Les Cloches, was written while the composer was living in Paris and draws on the complex overtones of European flared tower bells for its harmonic structure. The note pattern of the coda is based on the Grandshire change ringing pattern in which two bells change in each round. La Fete was composed after attending the Native American dances at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. The rhythmic and melodic character of the the Turtle Dance is the inspiration for this sketch. Memoires de... is the most introspective of the three pieces. The cantabile theme and reminiscences carry the music forward with the inevitability of a ballad.

Five Ceremonial Masks for piano
14'40" $ 9.00 #040075 AP-113
Recording: Capstone CD (CPS-8714)

"dazzling" (Lexington Minute Man)

"[a] portrait of the mystical power behind Indian ritual" (Albuquerque Journal)

Each movement of this piece is based on a character or mask from the Navajo Yeibichai Night Chants: Changing Woman, Dancer, Spirit, Clown, and Talking Power.

Monroe, Deborah Jean Website
of Dallas, Texas

Variations on a Theme by Johannes Brahms for Piano
8'35" $ 8.00 #040076 AP-114

Composed in 1995, the Variations won second prize in the annual competition of the International Alliance for Women in Music.

Polin, Claire (1926-1995)

Shirildang, Trans-Ural Suite for Piano
11'40" $ 11.00 #040077 AP-115

Inspired by Polin's visits to Soviet Georgia and Armenia and her reading of Beliaev's Central Asian Music, Shirildang was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as well as the Russian pianist, Viktor Friedman who has performed the piece throughout Europe. There are four short movements that incorporate an Uzbekian march and wedding song along with Khazak, Turkomenian, Tadjik and Khirghiz tunes.

Seeger, Ruth Crawford (1901-1953)
(edited by Rosemary Platt)

Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme,
Ending with a Fugue

8'15" $ 12.00 #040078 AP-116

"[In Kaleidoscopic Changes] Crawford had charted out a daring and advanced path." (Ruth Crawford Seeger, Judith Tick)

score sample (pdf)

Written in 1924, the same year as her first Preludes for piano, Kaleidoscopic Changes was premiered by the young composer shortly before her graduation from the American Conservatory in Chicago. In her recent critically acclaimed biography on Seeger, Judith Tick writes: "The harmonic language of her Kaleidoscopic Changes had its share of influences--Chopin, perhaps even Gershwin--and its moments of originality in its striking dissonance, harmonic boldness, and unpredictable shifts in mood and figure." Even her teacher, Adolf Weidig, was a little bewildered by the newness of the idiom in this piece by one who would become his most reknowned student.

Kaleidoscopic Changes is edited by pianist Rosemary Platt, who also edited Seeger's nine Preludes for piano, and made the first complete recording of these pieces.

Shatin, Judith Website
of Charlottesville, Virginia

Widdershins for piano
8'30" $ 8.00 #040079 AP-117

"'Widdershins is an almost obsolete word (now encountered most often in texts dealing with sorcery) that means 'counterclockwise.' It describes neatly some of the moods and structures in Judith Shatin's neatly contrived and richly textured atonal work, which drew a dazzling performance... and prolonged applause from the audience." (Washington Post)

Composed in 1983, this three-movement piece has an harmonic background of three seventh chords which use all twelve notes of the chromatic scale. The first movement, Energetic, is a distorted scherzo; the second movement, Tranquil, is more lush; the third movement, Savage, whirls to the close.

Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne (1927-2014)
formerly of Lubbock, Texas

Contrasts for piano
4'45" $9.00 #040080 AP-118
Recording: CRS CD 9664

Composed in 1946, this is an example of the composer's early style when she was a student at Eastman. It is in three movements, homages to Bartok, Bloch and William Schumann, and is part of a three-work retrospective, joyous and effervescent. It is inscribed to Howard Ingley.

Contasts was recorded by Kristian Rasmussen for CRS Master Recordings in 1966.

A Liszt Fantasie for Piano
5' $10.00 #040081 AP-119
Recording: North/South Consonance (Contemporary Romantics)

"...a piece with echoes of Lisztian rhetoric in an unabashedly contemporary context. This is intelligent, evocative music." (Fanfare)

"...a bravura, high-flying pastiche of long-breathed melody, tremolos, rolling basses, a gypsy theme, trills, celestial arpeggiating...the works. It is a terrific trip!" (IAWM Journal)

A Liszt Fantasie for piano was written in 1984 and dedicated to William F. Westney. The piece makes musical references to themes from fifteen compositions by Franz Liszt. A list of the themes and the sources appears at the end of the score.

Van de Vate, Nancy Website
of Vienna, Austria

Sonata for piano
13'48" $ 8.00 #040082 AP-120
Recording: Vienna Modern Masters CD 2003
"sweeps, swells, and a harmonic language associated with late Romanticism" (Fanfare)

Nancy Van de Vate's first extended work for solo piano, was composed in Honolulu in 1978.

A rather Romantic piece, its sonorities are rich and full, its melodies poignant, its technique bravura and its mood appassionato. The first movement is a free fantasy built on an underlying accelerando with the beat divided first into two parts, then three, four and finally six. A pensive opening gradually becomes a frenetic finale.

The second movement is a simple three-part form with an abbreviated return of the opening material. Its middle section is a long melody in Brahmsian sixths and thirds, accompanied in the left hand by an unremitting two-note ostinato. The third movement, also in three-part form, opens with a perpetuum mobile in the piano's lowest register. It gradually moves to the upper end of the keyboard, then drops down again. A lyric middle section interrupts the perpetuum mobile, which finally returns and concludes the Sonata.

Vercoe, Elizabeth Website
of Rockport, Massachusetts

Fantasy for piano
Duration: 10'
Recording: Navona Records

Score: American Composers Alliance

"A very free contemporary composition exploiting all the color and resources of a modern piano. An imaginative, intense fantasy." (Clavier)

score sample (pdf)

The Fantasy is a dramatic, free-flowing piece for piano in six contrasting sections, written in the fall of 1975. Pianist Evelyn Zuckerman premiered the Fantasy at New England Conservatory where she was a faculty member.    The piece has also been performed at the St. Petersburg Spring Music Festival in Russia, and broadcast on French Radio.  Rosemary Platt has recorded the music on a Capstone CD.

Three Studies for piano
Duration: 3' (intermediate)
Score: American Composers Alliance

"It is a pleasure to meet these three arresting pieces."
(The Piano Quarterly)

The Three Studies were written for the composer's most talented piano students in the early 1970's, and received a professional premiere at Boston University in 1975, the year they were published.  Teachers have sometimes used these imaginative pieces in piano classes with different students playing the three different movements. The titles are: Mirrors, Daydream, and Fugue.

score sample (pdf)

Piano Four-Hands

Harriet Bolz (1909-1995)

Capitol Pageant for Piano Duet
4' $ 7.00 #040128 AP-201

A favorite one-movement piece for two-piano teams.

Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017)
formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Soundings for piano duet
6'50" $ 8.00 #040085 AP-202
Recording: Capriccio, Vol. 2

" This piece is about sound and Lomon gets some lovely & unusual ones." (The American Music Teacher)
Soundings is dedicated to pianist Iris Graffman Wenglin. A review in Notes describes the piece as follows: "Most appropriately named, Soundings utilizes a wide range of effects special but natural to the piano. Lomon's resourcefulness in juxtaposing pitch patterns, textures, and instrumental effects sustains...the overall coloration of the work."

Polin, Claire (1926-1995)

Phantasmagoria for piano four hands
6' $ 8.00 #040086 AP-203

Phantasmagoria calls for the placement of three or four small metal bells on the central strings of the piano to produce a harpsichord-like twang. The composer indicates that this special effect may be omitted, but that a certain quality of mystery in the piece will be lost thereby.


Bolz, Harriet (1909-1995)

Episode for Organ-Autumn Joy
3' $ 6.00 #040087 AP-204

This piece is an arrangement of the first movement of the Sonata for Cello and Piano which was written by Harriet Bolz for her cellist son when he was in high school. She later arranged the first movement of the Sonata for organ to be played at his wedding, and it is in this version that the piece has been frequently performed.

Sonic Essay and Fugue for Organ
7' $ 6.50 #040088 AP-205

Contemplative and fresh, the piece is marked Andante con moto.

Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017)
formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Seven Portals of Vision for organ
30' $11.00 #040089 AP-206

"captures the spirit of the poems... audible imagery" (MLA Notes)

Composed for the four-manual organ in Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Seven Portals of Vision is dedicated to Joanne Vollendorf who premiered the work there in 1983.

The specified registrations indicate the color contrasts which are essential to the character of each movement. With these registrations as a guide, the work can be performed on a smaller instrument. An assistant is necessary in three movements for the key weights and register tremolo. The movement titles are: Kaleidoscope, Elysian Fields, Blake's Vision, Apocalypse, The Man with the Blue Guitar, Chiaroscuro, and Here as in a Painting.


Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne (1927-2014)
formerly of Lubbock, Texas

Parquet Musique pour Clavecin (harpsichord)
3' $ 7.50 #040090 AP-207
Recording: Gasparo Records CD 290

"a composer with a wide range of styles and forms to her credit." (The Music Connoisseur)
Van Appledorn dedicated Parquet Musique (1990) to organist and harpsichordist, Barbara Harbach. The piece is short but fast in nearly continuous sixteenth notes, sometimes single notes in each hand and sometimes clusters, that only occasionally break for a pause and a change in tempo.


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