Jaren Hinckley

Composer / Clarinetist


I’m Listening to Everything Composed by Max d’Ollone

November 17, 2013



It’s going to be a short blog post this week because I’m really tired today (I was up most of last night composing…)


In any event, sticking with the theme of the month, I found this gem:


TITLE: Novembre


DESCRIPTION OF THE PIECE:  Short French art song for voice and piano.


HIGHLIGHT:  The beautiful simple lyricism of this piece and the French language (sadly, I cannot find a translation of the text…).  It’s only three minutes long, so sit back and even though you may not speak French, the emotion and mood certainly come through.

Any of my readers out there speak French who’d want to try to translate this piece?

WHAT’S LEFT TO LISTEN TO BY D’OLLONE?:  An amount that appears to be quite do-able, however, because he is a less-known composer, he is also less recorded than most, so that may prove a challenge.  But after hearing this, I’ll certainly try.




Bruch, Max: Violin Concerto No. 2

Dvorák, Antonin: Slavonic Dance Op 46/3

Grainger, Percy: Molly on the Shore (for piano)

Moscheles, Ignaz & Giuliani: Grand Duo Concertant pour Pianoforte et Guitare, Op.20

Ollone, Max d’: Fantaisie Orientale (for clarinet and piano)

Ollone, Max d’: Nocturne (for flute and piano)

among others…

I’m Listening to Everything Composed by Gregor Werner

November 10, 2013



Okay, today’s entry is a real find! Never heard of Werner before? Me neither. For a brief time he was the organist at Melk Abbey. Here’s a picture of my oldest daughter at Melk Abbey




Then he was the predecessor of Haydn as court composer for the Esterhazy family at their palace in Eisenstadt.  Here’s a photo of the palace (and me):




Now for the piece.  Look at the title and, especially, the movement titles:


TITLE: Neuer und sehr curios- Musicalischer Calender: Il Novembre, im Wintermonat (New and Very Curious Musical Calendar: November in the winter months)

I. The gloomy student

II. Menuett

III. Tempest on the sea: Tempo de bon guosto

IV. Menuett

V. The mill: Tempo passato


They’re so unexpected!  Here’s why!  In the Baroque Era (1600-1750), most titles were formal and, let’s face it, somewhat stodgy.  For example:  “Concerto in A minor, Op. 13, No. 7” or “Trio Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 44, No. 3”


But here, Werner has given it a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, almost silly title—“New and Very Curious Musical Calendar.”  So that’s one unexpected thing.  Then the movement titles are also unexpected, at least the 1st, 3rd and 5th movements, because they are programmatic titles (titles that are descriptive of an image or storyline).  Programmatic titles did not become de rigeur for instrumental music until the 19th century!



Here’s the first movement—“The gloomy student.”  As you listen to it, picture the image Werner had in mind when he composed it: a “student, gloomily starting the school year.”


Movement Two is a rather short minuet, but it still sounds programmatic.



Movement Three—“Tempest on the Sea.”  Again highly programmatic, and really quite similar to the music of Vivaldi.  Why do we not hear more of this composer?



Movement Four is another minuet.




Movement Five—“The Mill.”  According to the composer, he was using the mill as a symbol of the people of the village getting ready for winter.



HIGHLIGHT:  For me, movements three and five are the most exciting (programmatically speaking).  In any event, I’m excited by this unique program music of the past.


WHAT’S LEFT TO LISTEN TO BY WERNER?:  Unknown.  This is mainly due to the fact that he worked for the Esterhazy family and therefore didn’t print much of his music. It was to be performed in the palace and that’s pretty much it.  I’ll still be seeking out more from this composer…


I’m Listening to Everything Composed by Arnold Bax

November 3, 2013


I’m Listening to Everything Composed by Arnold Bax (1883-1953)


I decided to go with a theme this month.  The theme?  November.  So today I’ll look at a piece that has “November” in the title AND it just so happens that the composer, Arnold Bax, was born on November 8, 1883!  Happy birthweek, Bax!


TITLE: November Woods


DESCRIPTION OF THE PIECE: This is a highly programmatic tone poem; in other words, it is intended to evoke specific imagery in the minds of the listeners.  In this case, I can easily sit back and listen to this piece and see various images I associate with November—leaves covering the ground, scarves and gloves, increasingly inclement weather, etc.  Do yourself a favor and sit back in a comfortable chair, click on the link below, close your eyes and imagine your fondest memories of November as you listen.


HIGHLIGHT:  For me it’s the opening few notes, mainly because it is so instantly evocative, so immediately intriguing.  Also, as an FYI to those of you out there who are unfamiliar with tone poems, I think you’ll see almost instantly how much modern-day film composers owe to the late Romantic/early Modern-era composers of tone poems.


Enjoy!  Here’s the link:




WHAT’S LEFT TO LISTEN TO BY BAX?:  A ton. But, based on this piece, I’m certainly going to try!




“November” by Ib Nørholm (b. 1931) – a short choral work on the edge of dissonance

“November 1962” by Alfred Janson (b. 1937) – a piano composition with almost constant dissonance.  I’m assuming, because the composer is Norwegian, that the piece was inspired by a coal-mining disaster in which 21 people were killed, resulting in the Norwegian government stepping down.  I suppose it could have been inspired by the assassination of JFK, but that seems a tad less likely.