Mother Earth Program Notes
Seule dans la forêt by Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983)
Vöglein by Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Forest Bird by Katherine Hoover (1937-2018)
A Hermit Thrush at Morn by Amy Beach (1867-1944)
Visions of Dunbar by Robert Schultz (b. 1948)
Children of Light, No. 5 by Karen Tanaka (b. 1961)
Galapagos Land Iguana
Tides of Manaunaun by Henry Cowell (1897-1965)
Water Dance III by Karen Tanaka (b. 1961)
Meditation Prelude No. 4: Cumulus Humilus by Patrick Burke (b. 1974)
Sounds of a Fjord for piano and electronics by Kaja Bjørntvedt (b. 1981)
Pole Mountain Suite by Bonnie McLarty (b. 1983)
I. First Light
II. Old Happy Jack Trail
III. Mountain Stream
IV. Autumn Sky: Fog, Sunbreak, Last Light
Mirage by Elisenda Fábregas (b. 1955)
Rhythms of the North Country by Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947)
Completed in 1992, Visions of Dunbar is unusual among many of Schultz’s other compositions, in that its origin was extra-musical. Dunbar is the name of a Pennsylvania trout stream where Schultz and his family spent many hours fishing while he was growing up. As Schultz describes it: "The water is crystal clear and cold. The pines, mountain laurel, and ferns that overflow the banks are wonderfully green and lush. The sounds of the stream and the woods are quite amazing--so peaceful and tranquil that one can get lost in it, just watching and listening. The water in the springtime is fast in most places, swollen by the melting snow. From May to September the water slows and becomes quieter but is no less beautiful."
From the time Schultz moved to Miami in 1978, he did not return to fish in the Dunbar until 1992. He began to work on Visions of Dunbar soon after that. While the piece unfolds in a single movement, it is made up of distinct, contrasting sections that flow directly from one into the next. Schultz engages in tone-painting in some of the episodes, using rapid, swirling figurations to evoke the motion of the water; some of the episodes are more lyrical and meditative. While a brief bit of a theme from the beginning of the piece returns at the end, there otherwise are no overt musical connections among the sections. "This is the way the stream moves--nothing returns, it just continues. You pause to fish in each section, drinking in the scene and sounds that are within your immediate fishing boundaries. You become immersed in the theme, rhythm, tempo and harmony of the section until the fly has drifted over every square foot of water that might hold a trout, or until the fish has been landed or lost. Very quietly, you move a little way up or downstream and begin again."
Robert Schultz, American composer, arranger and editor, has achieved international fame during his career in the music publishing industry. The Robert Schultz Piano Library, established in 1980, has included more than 500 publications of classical works, popular arrangements, and Schultz’s original compositions in editions for pianists at every level from beginner to concert artist. In addition to this extensive library of published piano works, Schultz’s output includes original orchestral works, choral and vocal works, chamber music and works for solo instruments.
The premiere of Visions of Dunbar and the definitive recording of the work were produced by American pianist Tina Faigen on her 2006 album of Schultz’s original compositions and transcriptions entitled Visions of Dunbar.
Find more works by Robert Schultz at Schultz Music Publications