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Selected Works

Dream – words & music by Joel Phillip Friedman (featuring Alex Gallows/vocals, Scott Thureen/video)

On 28, Sep 2022 | In | By Joel Friedman

Dream – words & music by Joel Phillip Friedman (featuring Alex Gallows/vocals, Scott Thureen/video)

We are living in dangerous times — politically and socially — and part of what makes them so dangerous is so many Americans are still unaware…of context, of history. I wrote DREAM and co-created the video, because I believe that music and visuals can offer a novel and powerful way of underscoring what is happening in America, and world-wide in, a clear, concise, yet viscerally compelling way. At just 4 minutes in length, DREAM is not a podcast, not an editorial: we know how powerfully images and music have resonated in past movements. I created DREAM with this in mind. I offer DREAM in that spirit.

And I have a request: please watch DREAM (it’s just 4 minutes long) and share it WIDELY. I would like it to make a constructive difference for our upcoming midterm elections on November 8th. Democracy and freedom – and all that follows – are on the ballot. We need to “sing that out” loud and clear, and art can help. Thank you. — Joel Phillip Friedman (composer/lyricist). Special thanks for the talents of Alex Gallows (voice) and Scott Thureen (video).

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for TWO violins (2022)

On 29, May 2022 | In | By Joel Friedman

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for TWO violins (2022)

Uncle Hokum’ s Fiddle is a fun, virtuosic solo violin “fiddle” piece with a Blue Grass flavor – think Wieniawski meets Orange Blossom Special! – originally commissioned for the 2013 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and performed by all the semifinalists (and some finalists). The title comes from two main sources. The first is the word “hokum,” which basically means nonsense, bunk, or something silly. It was also used in theater to describe some sort of stage gimmickry designed to elicit a response from a jaded audience. Perhaps a crowd pleaser? The second source is a type of bowing typical of virtuosic country fiddling pieces: hokum bowing (also referred to as the “double shuffle”). Check out Orange Blossom Special as an example of this “trick bowing.” I wanted to graft the traditions of 19th Century virtuosic violin writing with country or bluegrass fiddling. In 2022 Karen Bentley Pollick asked for a 2 violin version for her Virtuosos De Camara’s Fiddlefest  (Karen Bentley Pollick and Philip Brezina, violins) which will be rescheduled in 2023. Video will be posted on Virtuosos De Camara’s YouTube page. Audio is HERE.

The score is available through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here.

Both the revised solo (V. 2.0) & duo (with parts) versions are now bundled together as one 10×13″ PDF download for purchase for a total of $8.00 USD. Please contact me directly due to the recent changes in PayPal’s coding that have disabled the creation of new payment buttons. Payment can be accepted via Venmo until this site is updated.


By Joel Friedman

On 29, Sep 2021 | In | By Joel Friedman

The Horizon Beyond

There is a long history behind the genesis of this brief work. “The Horizon Beyond” has its roots in works that I composed for the Klein International String Competition (“Triptych,” for solo cello), and a work commissioned by Maestro Angel Gil-Ordoñez for his Georgetown University Orchestra premiered in 2014 (“The First Step of the Journey”). With “The Horizon Beyond,” I revisited the earlier works and fashioned a new brief, concert opener. “The Horizon Beyond” is in an arch form – moving from a quiet restlessness to more joyful, buoyant, and declamatory music, and then back to a quiet, unsettled close. The piece captures a mixture of hope and unease, a sense of reaching for something that’s just out of reach – the horizon beyond. It is dedicated to my friend and colleague, Angel Gil-Ordoñez

“Right In Front Of Our Nose!”

On 20, Jan 2021 | In | By Joel Friedman

“Right In Front Of Our Nose!”

Performed by tenor Ben Gulley and composer/lyricist Joel Phillip Friedman & His Studio Samples Band 
Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

By Joel Friedman

On 03, Jan 2019 | In | By Joel Friedman

Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

Inferno

Double Concerto for Viola, Cello, and Chamber Orchestra

World Premiere: March 29, 2020 – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19

Hear about Inferno from the members of the team…


One Into One – for soprano & piano

On 04, Aug 2018 | In | By Joel Friedman

One Into One – for soprano & piano

One Into One (lyric: Seth Friedman)
Instrumentation: soprano & piano
Duration: Ca. 5 minutes
Read more…

Johansen

By Joel Friedman

On 26, Jul 2018 | In | By Joel Friedman

Johansen

Johansen is aptly named as it was commissioned by the Johansen International Competition for their 2018 competition. It was designed to be performed on solo violin, viola, or cello, thus it comes in “three flavors,” and is a compact, attractive work testing a younger string player’s ability to handle numerous technical and interpretative issues. There are fast passages for fingering and bowing; long melodic lines for color, control, and phrasing; string crossings, multiple stops, and harmonics; loud, aggressive, funky parts and contrasting soft ethereal passages. Official Premiere: October 7, 2018, 5 pm, Michal Balas, cello, on the Roth Concert Series, Church of the Annunciation, 3810 Massachuseetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. 

Watch Michal Balas perform the work HERE.

Violin version:

The score is available through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here: violin, viola, cello.

Instrumentation: solo violin, viola, or Cello
Duration: Ca. 4 minutes

You can purchase an 8.5×11″ PDF copy of the score below:

Violin:


Johansen – for solo violin PDF Download 8.5×11″



Viola:








Johansen – for solo viola PDF Download 8.5×11″





Cello:








Johansen – for solo cello PDF Download 8.5×11″





From: All Things Are Set Ablaze (2017)

On 25, Jan 2018 | In | By Joel Friedman

From: All Things Are Set Ablaze (2017)

 

 


All Things Are Set Ablaze (text by Hildegard von Bingen, compiled by Joel Phillip Friedman and based upon translations by Nathaniel Campbell and Barbara Newman)

Instrumentation: soprano, soprano, & mezzo-soprano, plus hand percussion

Duration: 8:00

From: All Things Are Set Ablaze (excerpt) ModernMedieval at the Virginia Arts Festival LISTEN HERE

Review in The Washington Post HERE.

All Things Are Set Ablaze (soprano, soprano, & mezzo-soprano, plus hand percussion) was commissioned by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek for her new ensemble ModernMedieval Trio of Voices (Martha Cluver & Eliza Bagg, sopranos; Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano) and is based on the writings of famed German abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath Hildegard von Bingen.

I am imagining my own made-up and modernized version of Hildegard von Bingen rising up and returning to warn us all: we have lost our way, are facing destruction, and we must listen to her now, or face the consequences as she warns … “all things are set ablaze… from me!” My invented Hildegard is a mixture of the real and prescient woman of many enormous talents and startling visions, Wagner’s Valkyrie warrior Brünnhilde, the Oracle of Delphi prophesying the future, and perhaps a bad-ass Wonder Woman. Most of the words I set are Hildegard’s own, in English translations by Medieval Latin scholars Nathaniel Campbell and Barbara Newman. Perhaps Hildegard’s writings initially had…a slightly different context, but it doesn’t take much to feel the potent currency of her words as we look at what is happening today. I have added some non-Hildegard text: short cautionary Latin fragments (“Monitum… Praedictum… Ignifer… Audi me”) as well as, fittingly, a single line from Wagner’s opera Die Walküre – the famous Valkyrie war cry (“Hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! Heiaha!”). If Hildegard were to return today I imagine she would like the spirit of these added words. Perhaps she’d join singing them as well!

I’d like to thank Nathaniel Campbell and Barbara Newman for allowing me to use and adapt their Hildegard translations, and for Nathaniel’s invaluable help wordsmithing the Latin portions.

World Premiere: ModernMedieval Trio of Voices on the Shenson Chamber Music Series, Gilan Tocco Corn, Artistic Director, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. on May 9, 2018.

Continuance

On 12, Feb 2017 | In | By Joel Friedman

Continuance

Continuance (Poem by Anonymous, taken from the Findern Manuscript)
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano and tenor viol
New! Edition for Mezzo-soprano and Cello!
Duration: 4:30

Read more…

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

On 21, Jun 2016 | In | By Joel Friedman

Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for solo violin (2013)

Uncle Hokum’ s Fiddle is a fun, virtuosic solo violin “fiddle” piece with a Blue Grass flavor – think Wieniawski meets Orange Blossom Special! – commissioned for the 2013 Irving M. Klein International String Competition and performed by all the semifinalists (and some finalists). The title comes from two main sources. The first is the word “hokum,” which basically means nonsense, bunk, or something silly. It was also used in theater to describe some sort of stage gimmickry designed to elicit a response from a jaded audience. Perhaps a crowd pleaser? The second source is a type of bowing typical of virtuosic country fiddling pieces: hokum bowing (also referred to as the “double shuffle”). Check out Orange Blossom Special as an example of this “trick bowing.” I wanted to graft the traditions of 19th Century virtuosic violin writing with country or bluegrass fiddling. This performance was by semifinalist Yanghe Yu. Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle works really well as a recital encore!

The score is available

through Grey Bird Music. To see a perusal score click here.

You can purchase a 10×13″ PDF copy of the score below:


Uncle Hokum’s Fiddle for violin 10×13″ PDF Download