“Canticle: To Do No Harm” for Cello and Orchestra was composed to honor Dr. Anthony Fauci and the many doctors, nurses, scientists and healthcare workers who worked diligently for more than a year to create, develop and distribute the vaccine for Covid-19.
The twenty minute orchestra work was composed in 2020 and recorded in 2021. It begins with a quiet “Hymn of Praise” for Dr. Fauci. This is followed by a longer passage depicting the discovery of the virus and the ensuing battle to create the vaccine to combat it. Throughout the work the themes representing Dr. Fauci are interwoven in the counterpoint with fugues and counter themes depicting the mutations of the virus that spread throughout the United States and the world.
The Fauci theme that is first heard as a quiet hymn in the beginning of the composition transforms into a series of variations depicting the war against the insidious virus and concludes with the triumphant Fauci theme depicting the amazing victory over the virus and pandemic.
“2020: A Symphonic Poem in Five Movements” is scored for full orchestra. The First Movement, “The Golden Age of Pyrite” begins with a lively Americana landscape and ends with a quiet solo flute playing the 13th Century Chant, “Dies Irae” (Day of Wrath). The second movement, “Covid-19” depicts the horror of the pandemic virus as it violently mutates and spreads across the nation and the world. The movement ends with the full orchestra playing the chant first heard at the end of the first movement. The third movement, “Hail to the …?” paints a portrait of a confused leader as the virus continues to spread out of control. The music combines “Hail to the Chief” with short quotes from Liszt’s “Les Prelude” and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” The fourth movement, “Threnody”, is an elegy for the many victims of the virus. It features a solo cello accompanied by strings, harp and timpani. The last part of the movement includes a set of variations over the famous harmonic progression from Mozart’s “Lacrimosa”. The last movement, “Surviving the Pandemic”, returns to the thematic material of the first movement, plus a march and anthem celebrating the bravery of the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. The composition ends with a statement of hope and of liberation from the pain and suffering of the 2020 pandemic.
“A Moment of Calm in a Time of Anxiety” is a short composition scored for piano, harp, cello and strings. It is a quiet, meditative work composed to honor the doctors, nurses, medical workers, journalists, truck and delivery drivers, grocery store and government employees who continue to bravely and unselfishly work to serve people around the globe in this time of tragedy and anxiety.
I composed “Stonehenge” for Flute, Percussion and Synthesizers in 1982. It was first performed in Japan and later recorded on EMI Angel Records by Ransom Wilson and Tom Raney on the album “Glass Reich Becker”. The 2019 scores have updated electronic elements and exists in three versions – one for solo flute and recorded accompaniment; a second for flute, percussion and recorded accompaniment; and a third for a quintet (flute, violin, clarinet and piano [four hands] plus recorded accompaniment).