Chamber Works
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Highly approachable music for the more serious listener.

Leo Kraft is active as a composer, educator, and author. After receiving degrees from Queens College and Princeton University, he joined the faculty of Queens College in 1947, and retired in 1989. While the bulk of his work consists of chamber music, he has written orchestral, piano and vocal music as well. The composer writes: "About the Six Pieces for Violin and Piano Obbligato, as the title implies, these pieces feature the violin, while the role of the piano is more than an accompaniment, but less than an equal partner, hence the term obbligato. Imagining the violin as a great actor capable of portraying many roles, I found a different kind of expression in each piece. Line Drawings was written for Paul Dunkel, who gave the first performance with Richard Fitz in 1972. The linear nature of the music suggested the title. Paul Maynard was an outstanding performer and scholar in Renaissance and Baroque music. He was a major presence on the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music, and it is to his memory that The Garden of Memory for harpsichord (on which he performed so marvelously) is dedicated. The poetry of e.e. cummings has delighted me since my student days, but only recently did I feel that I had the means to do justice to some of my favorite poems. I heard a tenor voice and a small group of instruments. My aim was to get beneath the surface of the elegant lines to the deeper meaning below. My second chamber symphony is indeed a symphony in the classical sense, which is to say that the work is highly developmental, spacious in gesture, and ambitious in scope."
Leo Kraft, composer
Six Pieces for Violin and Piano Obbligato
Renee Jolles, violin, Christopher Oldfather, piano

Leo Kraft, composer
Line Drawings
Paul Dunkel, flute, Michael Lipsey, percussion

Leo Kraft, composer
The Garden of Memory
Christopher Oldfather, harpsichord

Leo Kraft, composer
Mark Bleekey, tenor, Sue Ann Kahn, flute, Marcia Butler, oboe, Deborah Wong, violin, Lois Martin, viola, Greg Heffelink, cello, Paul Hostetter, conductor

Leo Kraft, composer
Chamber Symphony #2 for 16 Instruments
George Rothman, conductor

Review to come.
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