Music by Daniel Dorff

MUSIC FOR ORCHESTRA
Allegro Volante for Solo Xylophone and Orchestra (4')

A dazzling showpiece in the style of a Russian galop, with jazzy American harmonies; Movement 3 from Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra.
- PREMIERE: Alan Gilbert conducting the Haddonfield Symphony; Dean Witten solo xylophone.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings 
- ALSO AVAILABLE for Xylophone with Piano or with Band.

- REVIEW: extended review in Percussive Notes magazine.
- AUDIO EXCERPT from premiere
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

 
Billy and the Carnival: A Children's Guide to Musical Instruments
for Narrator and Orchestra (14')

Narrated guide to instruments based on an original story - a boy goes to his local park and is surprised to meet musicians coming to a concert there. As he meets musicians they play their instruments, so demonstrations of each instrument fit the story.

- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by Sacramento Symphony for 26 performances. 
- PERFORMANCES INCLUDE the Pittsburgh Symphony.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based introduction to the characteristic sounds of each orchestral instrument.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; full score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-2210 Timp 2Perc Strings
- COLORING BOOK illustrating complete narrated script and showing instruments,  also published by Theodore Presser Company. A special printing with your orchestra's name on the cover is available for quantity orders. 
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ukee Washington as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD:
          1) The opening orchestral jam session (bars 1-20)
          2) "A trumpet can play strong and exciting music, and it sounds like this!" (bars 33-50) 
          3) From the lullaby featuring clarinet and then cello, over the strings (bars 116-123)

- PROGRAM NOTES
 
 

Blast Off! for Narrator and Orchestra (9')

Travelogue of a child's journey to outer space - episodes feature various sections of the orchestra to add music educational value.

- COMMISSIONED by Lockheed Martin and the Haddonfield Symphony for NASA Astronaut Kenneth Reightler, Jr. to narrate the PREMIERE, Daniel Hege conducting.
- PERFORMANCES also include Philadelphia Orchestra and many others.
- SCORE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE on the 100th Space Shuttle!!!
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based introduction to the characteristic sounds of each family of orchestra instruments. Also ties in with interdisciplinary learning. Story is approved by NASA Astronauts!
- FEATURED on League of American Orchestra's www.playmusic.org educational website.
- PUBLISHED SCORE from Theodore Presser Company (416-41327), parts on rental.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)2(EH)22(Cbn)-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ukee Washington as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD:
          1) "Have you ever looked up at a bright, shiny, full moon?" (bars 9-20)
          2) The brilliant and blazing sun, portrayed by the brass section with percussion (bars 89-96)

          3) The ride back home and landing (bars 193-end) 
- PROGRAM NOTES
 

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Concerto for Contrabassoon with Clarinet, Horn, and Strings (13') 
- COMMISSIONED by the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for contrabassoonist Norman Spielberg.
- PREMIERED November 3, 1991 by Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Norman Spielberg contrabassoon; James Freeman guest conductor.
- PERFORMANCES include 2010 IDRS Convention, Louisville Orchestra, and others with leading guest contrabassoon soloists.
- ALSO AVAILABLE for Contrabassoon with Clarinet, Horn, and Piano.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company.
- RE
VIEWS:
"Repertory for the contrabassoon has been significantly enhanced of late by the addition of concertos by Daniel Dorff..." 
                              - MLA Notes (Christopher Weait), December 1993.
"An excellent new concerto... in a very listenable and audience-appealing style. Dorff has written a number of fine compositions and has crafted here an excellent new work for the contrabassoonist." 
                             - The Double Reed (Ron Klimko), Spring 1993.
"(The concert) was jammed with people who were obviously pleased they were there. A local composer with a growing international reputation presented a world premiere that deserved the response the audience gave it." 
                            - Philadelphia Welcomat (Purdom), November 13, 1991.
"This is a work that could effectively introduce the rarely heard solo contrabassoon to audiences of any age or experience. It has the happy characteristic of being easily understood. Performers will appreciate its professionally clear notation and effective orchestration."

                            - MLA Notes (Christopher Weait), March 1995.
"I'm sure all contrabassoon players will treasure this addition to their ... repertoire."
                           
- Sol Schoenbach, former principal Bassoon, Philadelphia Orchestra
- AUDIO EXCERPTS: Roger Soren''s performance with the Haddonfield Symphony, conducted by Daniel Hege:
         
from Mvt. 1
          from Mvt. 2
          from Mvt. 3
- PROGRAM NOTES

 
  Daniel Hege, Daniel Dorff, Roger Soren
  following their Haddonfield Symphony performance.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (24')
- COMMISSIONED by the Etowah Youth Orchestras for pianist Jeffrey Biegel.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (full score and two-piano version for sale, orchestra parts on rental).

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Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra (20')
- COMMISSIONED by the Polish Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society for the International Music Workshops in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
- PREMIERED March 18, 1995 by Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, Dean Witten, solo percussion, Alan Gilbert, conductor.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company: Solo part alone (114-40751); Complete piano reduction alone (114-40751A); Full score (416-41193); orchestra parts on rental.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222-4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings  
- ALSO AVAILABLE: See Allegro Volante above - Movement III is a xylophone stand-alone showpiece.
- EXTENDED REVIEW: link to complete review in Percussive Notes magazine.
- REVIEWS:
"impressive... highlighted the concert... It exploits the full range of sonorities and technical possibilities of a whole arsenal of percussion instruments... most arresting... a joyous finale... bold and extroverted but also filled with sensitive details."
                              - Camden Courier-Post (Baxter), March 22, 1995.
"it is only a truly inventive and inspired composer like Mr. Dorff who is able to go one step further [than just using many percussion instruments] and create unusual sounds, textures, and combinations that work for the listener." 
                              - Maestro Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the NY Philharmonic

- PROGRAM NOTES

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Fanfare Overture for Orchestra (3')  
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the 1983 Spoleto Festival USA Youth Orchestra for its inaugural concerts, Claude White, conductor.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (parts on rental, score available for sale). 
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2222 4331 3Perc (no Timp) Strings
- AUDIO EXCERPT: Daniel Dorff conducting the Haddonfield Symphony
- PROGRAM NOTES

Fast Walk for Orchestra (2')
- PERFORMANCES INCLUDE the DC Youth Orchestra televised on over 300 PBS-TV stations to an audience over 8,000,000 on the MENC "World's Largest Concert."
- ALSO AVAILABLE for Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Quartet, and Bassoon Quartet.

- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (parts on rental, score available for sale).
- INSTRUMENTATION:  222(Bcl)2 4330 1or2Perc Strings
- AUDIO EXCERPT: Harmo Saxophone Quartet playing the sax version 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears for Narrator with Mixed Octet or Orchestra (8')

A traditional telling that highlights small-medium-large contrasts, and varying repetitions in the story; at the end Goldilocks apologizes for her actions and cooks the bears' first-ever pancake breakfast.

1) OCTET VERSION: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Trombone, Harp, 1 Percussion, Violin, Cello, and Bass
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 51 performances, 2000-2001 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2006-07 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Aspen Music Festival and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Serves as a story-based way to introduce variations on recurring patterns, and to show the correlation between small-medium-large and high-medium-low sounds.
- RECORDED (octet version) by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the CD (octet version):   
          1) "Once upon a time, there were three bears." (bars 1-16)
          2) The entrance of Goldilocks (bars 38-51)
         3) The happy ending (bars 244-end)

2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- PREMIERED December 2001, Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sheldon Bair (yes, Goldilocks was premiered by a conductor named Bair).
- PERFORMANCES include Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1111 111(Bass)0 1-2Perc Hp Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

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The Kiss (after the painting by Gustav Klimt) for Orchestra (13')
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by Haddonfield Symphony; February 16, 2002; Rossen Milanov conducting.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale. 
- INSTRUMENTATION: 3(Alto,Picc)3(EH)3(TSx)2 4331 Timp 3Perc Hp Strings
- REVIEW: "The performance encourages me to delve further into the music of the composer.... A world premiere from a relatively young yet established composer is always thrilling, especially when the music is as enjoyable as that of the orchestra's composer-in-residence, Daniel Dorff... The performance was stunning perhaps because the musicians seemed to be enthusiastic about the score.  This certainly reflects well on the composer.  The audience clearly felt and responded to the music.... I was delighted to hear such unabashed melodic writing."
                            - Classical New Jersey, 3/7/02

- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the premiere:
         
from the starry background (bars 8-16)
          from the scherzo of budding new love (bars 107-125)
          from the lust section (bars 239-257)
          from the kiss-climax (bars 339-348)

- PROGRAM NOTES

 

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Lamentations for String Orchestra (5')  

- COMPOSED for the Santa Monica Civic Orchestra, Frank Fetta, Music Director.
- PERFORMANCES include Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Marc Mostovoy conductor.
- REVIEW: "Worthy of the spotlight... the most interesting and sensitively performed on the concert... the composer should be heard from again."
                                  - Philadelphia Inquirer (Valdes), October 27, 1987.
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company, score available for sale.
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

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Pachelbel's Christmas for Orchestra (4')  
44 Christmas melodies in canon and quodlibet over the Pachelbel Canon. 
Perfect for Christmas Pops concerts!
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company, score available for sale 
- INSTRUMENTATION: 2(Picc)222 2(or 4)221 2Perc Timp Strings
- ALSO AVAILABLE for Brass Quintet.
- REVIEW: "This is a clever, original and amusing number which will add spice to the Christmas concert."             - Winds Magazine (UK), Summer 1990 

- AUDIO EXCERPT (bars 100-126)
- PROGRAM NOTES

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Philly Rhapsody for Orchestra (11')
Homage to The Sound of Philadelphia (Philly International Records' rhythm & blues style) and "The Philadelphia Sound" of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as a hybrid of these two traditions.
- COMMISSIONED by Network for New Music for Philadelphia's Creative and Performing Arts H.S.
- PUBLISHED on rental by Theodore Presser Company, score available for sale.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 3(Picc)23(Bcl)2 4331 Pno Hp DrumSet 3Perc (no Timp) Strings
                [Ob2, Bn2, Hn3&4 may be omitted].

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Summer Solstice   Concertofor Clarinet and String Orchestra (19')  
- PREMIERE by Orchestra 2001, Arne Running, solo clarinet; James Freeman, conductor; March 30, 1994, Philadelphia.
- PERFORMANCES have also included Chicago Symphony's John Yeh and Colorado Symphony's Bil Jackson. Jazz great Eddie Daniels is also available.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company; clarinet/piano version also available.
- REVIEWS:
"Summer Solstice is very pleasant music - light without being insubstantial, melodic without being obvious.  It has an invariably American sound."
           
- Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/2/94
"Summer Solstice opened with Arne Running's jazzy, dancing clarinet playing in front of the kind of American country fair music that makes you feel like someone should step out of the crowd and start dancing.  The slow movement was easy and full. The finale was sweet and driving."
           
- Tom Purdom, Philadelphia Welcomat, 4/20/94
"Daniel Dorff's Summer Solstice was the palatable dessert, while mid-century music of... Schnittke was the experimental main course."
           
- Monroe Levin, Je
wish Exponent, 4/30/94
"Notable events of 1994 included the impressive premiere of Daniel Dorff's Summer Solstice."
          
- Tom Purdom, Philadelphia Welcomat, 12/28/94
"Gave a distinctive contemporary accent to the Haddonfield Symphony's third program of the season... For those who brave the first storm of winter - and most did - there was much to enjoy...  Dorff's 18-minute piece cast a friendly glow with its jaunty rhythms and sunny musical themes.  Summer Solstice falls on the ears like the graceful caress of a warm day.  Superbly performed, the score radiated an old-fashioned charm.  The three-movement score is a gift for a superb soloist."
           
- Robert Baxter, Camden Courier-Post, 2/10/97
"a delightful three-movement work for which the description "rollicking" is most often the apt word. a celebration of summer filled with bright harmonies and happy spirit."
           
- Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey, 2/12/97
"Summer Solstice is lyrical and fresh as rainwater. [John] Yeh gave a bright turn to its tangled tunes and merry melodies and a subtly nuanced performance of the languid larghetto. His clarinet cut like a lean laser above the lush cohesive strings."
           
- Dorothy Andries, Pioneer Press, March 1998  
- AUDIO EXCERPTS: John Yeh's performance with the Haddonfield Symphony conducted by Alan Gilbert:  

         
from Mvt. 1 (mp3)
         
from Mvt. 2 (mp3)
          from Mvt. 3 (mp3)
 
- PROGRAM NOTES


 

 

 

 

John Yeh and Alan Gilbert applauding  the composer 
after their performance.

 

Sunburst for Solo Violin with String Orchestra (3')

- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Colorado Symphony's Up Close and Musical series for 20-30 performances (1998-2000 seasons), to demonstrate sounds and colors of the violin.
- PERFORMANCES include Nashville Symphony
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company, score available for sale.

 

 
Take the Orchestra Out to the Ballgame for Narrator with Quintet or Orchestra (5')
Through musical and mood variations on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," the narrator tells a story of your local orchestra's baseball team playing against the nearest professional team.

1) QUINTET VERSION: English Horn, Trumpet, Percussion, Bass, and Piano
- COMMISSIONED by the Philadelphia Orchestra for 5 performances on its Sound All Around series, March 2003.
- PREMIERE featured Philadelphia Orchestra principal players: Elizabeth Masoudnian (English Horn), David Bilger (Trumpet), Don Liuzzi (Percussion), Harold Robinson (Bass).
- QUINTET  PERFORMANCES include Aspen Music Festival.
- PUBLISHED by Theodore Presser Company (111-40191).
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Introduces "variations" by using a familiar theme transformed through various moods, and featuring characteristic instrumental solos on the melody.
2) ORCHESTRA VERSION  
- PUBLISHED on rental from Theodore Presser Company; score available for sale.
- PREMIERE of orchestra version by Brazos Valley Symphony, January 23, 2012, Marcelo Bussiki conducting.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1(Picc)111 1110 1Perc Strings.

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The Tortoise and the Hare for Narrator with Octet or Orchestra (5')
A comical telling of the Aesop fable, featuring Contrabassoon and Clarinet as the Tortoise and the Hare. Themes are exaggeratedly low/slow and high/fast to illustrate contrasts in music. This is a stand-alone movement taken from Three Fun Fables (see below).

1) OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 52 performances, 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: A very clear illustration of "opposites" in music, making clear contrasts between the low and slow tortoise (contrabassoon) and high, fast hare (clarinet). Frequently used for this purpose in educational concerts.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS provided below under Three Fun Fables
- PROGRAM NOTES

2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- PREMIERED by Haddonfield Symphony featuring Olympic track star Carl Lewis as narrator, conducted by Daniel Hege.
- PERFORMANCES include Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony (over 30 performances so far), Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: A very clear illustration of "opposites" in music, making clear contrasts between the low and slow tortoise (contrabassoon) and high, fast hare (clarinet). Frequently used for this purpose in educational concerts.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2Perc Strings.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.

- AUDIO EXCERPT
from Carl Lewis's premiere with the Haddonfield Symphony
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

 
  Daniel Dorff shaking hands with Olympic
  track star Carl Lewis, narrator for the
  world premiere of The Tortoise and the Hare

 
  CD includes:
     BILLY AND THE CARNIVAL
     BLAST OFF!
     GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS
     THREE FUN FABLES

  more information on this CD

Three Fun Fables for Narrator and Octet or Orchestra (11')  
1. The Fox and the Crow (features Trumpet and Bass)
2. The Dog and His Reflection (features Trombone and Violin/Harp/Percussion)
3. The Tortoise and the Hare (features Contrabassoon and Clarinet)
Each character is portrayed by an instrument, allowing for pre-concert illustrations to help instrument recognition, musical contrasts, and familiarity with the story and music.

1) OCTET VERSION: Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Bass, Percussion, Harp
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association for Kinder Konzerts. 52 performances, 1996-97 season; encored for 50 performances in the 2003-04 season, and another 48 in the 2010-11 season.
- OCTET PERFORMANCES also include Chicago Pro Musica, Aspen Music Festival, and Parlance Chamber Concerts (members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra).
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Three familiar stories use humor, irony, and contrast, to illustrate "opposites" in music, and introduce characteristic sounds and moods of the instruments.
- RECORDED by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Ann Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- Instrumentation makes this a perfect companion for L'Histoire du Soldat performances.
-
REVIEWS:
"
I was very pleased to have the opportunity to conduct this work in a Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concert in April of 2000.  Mr. Dorff's work is exciting, engaging, and funny for the children, as well as containing some very good learning experiences from the wonderful Aesop's fables.  It is very skillfully written for the orchestra, and uses the instruments in a most effective way.  I can recommend this work with great enthusiasm for a Family or Children's Concert."
                            - Wolfgang Sawallisch, Music Director, Philadelphia Orchestra
"delightful"
            - Ted Shen, Chicago Sun-Times, 4/12/01
"the hit of the show. more fun for adults than children"
          -
Donald Peck, principal flute Chicago Symphony, 4/19/01

-
AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE FOX AND THE CROW
         
1) The crow singing proudly (featuring Kurt Muroki on the amazing bass solo)
          2) The fox planning how to get the cheese from the crow
- AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE DOG AND HIS REFLECTION

         
1) The dog... 
          2) ... and his reflection 
- AUDIO EXCERPTS - THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE
         
1) Introducing the tortoise and the hare
         
2) The hare falls asleep...
- PROGRAM NOTES

2) ORCHESTRA VERSION
- COMMISSIONED and PREMIERED by the Philadelphia Orchestra April 29, 2000 with Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting, Susan Spafford narrating.
- PERFORMANCES include Louisville Orchestra and many others.
- PUBLISHED on rental from Lauren Keiser Music; score available for sale.
- TEACHING/CURRICULUM USE: Three familiar stories use humor, irony, and contrast, to illustrate "opposites" in music, and introduce characteristic sounds and moods of the instruments.
- INSTRUMENTATION: 1112(Cbn) 1110 Hp 1-2Perc Strings.
- RECORDED (octet version) by Symphony In C, conducted by Rossen Milanov, featuring Anne Crumb as narrator, on Bridge Records 9229.
- AUDIO EXCERPTS from the Philadelphia Orchestra premiere:
          
from Mvt 1
           from Mvt 2
           from Mvt 3
- PROGRAM NOTES

 

click here to view or download
the complete orchestra score

 


  Letter from Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director
Wolfgang Sawallisch following his premiere of
the orchestral version of
Three Fun Fables

 
last updated 10/29/16
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