header image to go list of works go to recordings email brent at mailto:Brent.Heisinger@sjsu.edu go to biography
 

  Works



Expect a download delay for audio/video recordings.

 

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band)

Piano | Orchestral | Choral | Solo Works (with accompaniment)

Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

*Indicates that a music sample is forthcoming.

 

Symphonic Band

 


Essay for Band
[B difficulty, c.4:30]
This dramatic work “is in modified sonata-form: an exposition comprised of fast and slow themes, a development based on materials of the exposition, and a recapitulation consisting of the fast and slow themes of the exposition super-imposed. The work is tonally oriented with sudden shifts of key centers.  Homophonic and polyphonic treatment is intermixed. Soloistic, sectional and tutti scoring of the concert band affords varied textures throughout the composition.” This work has received American and European performances. 

 


SJSU Symphonic Band (second band)
Dr. Diana Hollinger, director
Dr. Brent Heisinger, conductor

 

 

 

Fanfare and Prayer
[A difficulty, c.9:00]
“Work on the piece began the summer of 1980 with the initial idea being to compose an opening fanfare for the California Honor Concert Band’s portion of the program (conducted by Charles Yates of San Diego State University). However, within a short period of time the piece became a manifestation of my feelings about the imprisonment of Americans in Iran—about their strength and faith and about America’s renewed patriotism . . .”  The piece takes on new meaning during these more troubled times (2006). Fanfare and Prayer has been performed by the U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C., and has been programmed in Europe, Japan, and throughout the United States.

San Diego State University
Wind Ensemble
Dr. Charles Yates, Director
Dr. Brent Heisinger, conducting

Full set price: $125
Publisher:  HBH Publishing
Fantasia for Band
[B difficulty, c.4:10] 
“The general design of [this work] consists of a slow fanfare-like introduction followed by three major sections (fast-slow-fast). The first section, Allegro energico, is in A B A form. The second section, Andantino espressivo, provides contrast in style, tempo, and instrumentation. The third section, Tempo primo, utilizes materials of the first section thus providing symmetry to the work as a whole.” This active/energetic work serves well as either an opening or closing number on a program. 


Oahu 9th Grade
Honor Band, 1978
Dr. Brent Heisinger, conducting

Full set price: $70.00
Publisher:  HBH Publishing 

 

 

Hymn for Band
[C difficulty, c.4:00] 
A work that contrasts consonant lyricism with dissonant intensity. Hymn for Band is slow in a hymn-like tempo.
“ , , , the opening theme . . . is followed by a short contrapuntal phrase which immediately establishes the general mood of the work. By way of contrast, a melodic statement made by the chimes is followed by mounting dissonance, increased dynamics and rhythmic drive. The ringing of a gong signals the return of the more placid liturgical feeling which closes with a tutti statement of the first theme.”  This work has received American and European performances. 


Ohlone Wind Orchestra,
Tony Clements, Director
Tim Smith, conducting

 
Publisher: J. W. Pepper & Son, Inc.   

 

 

Reflections 
[C difficulty, c.5:30]   
A minimalist piece, Reflections was commissioned by the Bay Section of the California Music Educators Association for the Junior High School Honor Band. “Similar to Steve Reich’s Octet, [the work] is constructed in five sections—I, III, and V are linked as are II and IV. The texture of the complete work is comprised solely of three strands which appear in part or intact:  (1) repeated two-measure canons that are rhythmically active, (2) a repeated sustained forty-measure harmonic canon consisting only of six chords, and (3) melodic increments in the form of a drawn-out melody and/or a two-part bass ostinato.” 


Fullerton College
Symphonic Winds
Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro, Conductor

Full set price: $75.00
Publisher: HBH Publishing 

 

 

Soliloquy for Band 
[D difficulty, c.3:35] 
This slow piece “is based on a single modal melodic line which is stated in the beginning, briefly developed, then restated at the end in stretto fashion. The harmonic action centers around major and minor triads. Coloristic harmonic shifts are employed with polyphonic and homophonic textures interspersed throughout the work.” 


Ohlone Wind Orchestra
Tony Clements, Director

Full set price: $45.00
Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

Soulscape
[A difficulty, c.7’]
SOULSCAPE was commissioned by and is dedicated to conductor Tony Clements and the Ohlone Wind Orchestra. I borrowed an Indian 5-note scale (raga) Brindavani Sarang, and added to it a transposed version providing me with a 9-note scale that is the pitch source of the complete work. A favorite African-like bell rhythm is introduced as a canon using a triangle, wood block, and cow bell, and I couldn’t resist incorporating a fugato with the 4-measure subject dedicated to the wonderful tuba player Tony Clements. My approach to the composition was simply to produce sounds that I wanted without preplanning the structure--in other words to let it unfold as my spirit guided me, thus the title SOULSCAPE.


Ohlone Wind Orchestra,
Tony Clements, Director

Full set price: $100.00
Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

Statement 
[A difficulty, c.9:00] 
In 1969 and 1970, my office at San José State University faced the area which was the popular location for student rallies. At that time the country was in social turmoil over very serious issues—the Vietnam war, the problems of Chicano farm workers, women’s liberation, Black power, the population explosion, the destruction of our environment to name a few—and the gatherings served as a forum for angry individuals expressing their views and venting their indignation. All of us on campus were surrounded with rage, hatred, distrust and instability. Statement is a musical/dramatic discourse representing that scenario. Dissonance, shouting, and the singing of Gregorian chant are called for in an intense format representing humankind’s cycle of peace and war. The work was commissioned by the California Band Directors Association for the California Symphonic Honor Band. Following the premier, conductor Harold Arnoldi commented “Statement is one of the finest pieces of contemporary band literature written today. It reflects the turmoil of present day society.” 

California Honor
Symphonic Band, 1971
Dr. Harold Arnoldi, Conductor

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band)

 

Piano Concerto No.1*
[AA difficulty, c.20:00] 
This work follows the classical three movement concerto structure, and is based totally on a 5-note Indian raga. The first movement, Prelude, sets the quality of the raga through a mixture of contemplative and dramatic passages. The second movement, Toccata and Fugue, is almost completely canonic with the ensemble virtually divided in half. Scherzo, the final movement uncharacteristically begins exactly like the second and ends similarly to the first movement. This piece won two first place composition awards and honorary acknowledgement in two major international band composition competitions.

Publisher:  Carl Fischer, Inc., rental catalogue   

 


Piano Concerto No.2
 
[AA difficulty, c.21:00]
“For some time I have been interested in creating music that embraces world concepts, primarily and perhaps simply because I like many aspects of musics from other cultures in addition to the music of my Western European upbringing. Beyond that, however, I’m interested in producing a style that is somewhat universal in impression without copying or poorly imitating musical practices of other cultures. And being an American composer during these times [1990s] seems particularly relevant to the challenge. Thus, in this concerto, a pentatonic or 5-note scale (the scale type used more than any other by cultures throughout the world) is the pitch source; simultaneous variations (non-Western) and chordal progression (Western) are companion textures; passages using few pitches over an extended period of time (non-Western) are contrasted with passages using many pitches (Western); and so on. All of this is placed within traditional Western structures:  Variations and Hymn, Rondo, and Fugue. The concerto received second prize at the Coups de Vents international wind band music competition held in Le Havre, France, in 1994. 

 

 

 


San José State University Wind Ensemble
Dr. Edward C. Harris, conductor
Dr. Neil Rutman, piano

 

 

 

 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 


back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

Piano

 

Eklektikos (in five pieces)*
[Very difficult; c.11:30] 
Composed for Aiko Onishi of San José State University, this work is based on a 12-tone row set in five distinctly different movements. The first piece is a rather lyrical expression of the row interrupted on occasion with short, abrupt gestures. Muted strings are featured in the second piece which highlights sonorities produced by percussive repeated notes performed with the damper pedal on. Piece number three contains three basic ideas that alternate.  The first is a sweeping dissonant arpeggio, the second consonant improvisatory-like gestures in the upper register, and the third a dissonant, short, rapid harmonic motif that is extended with each return. Slowly sounding each pitch, the fourth piece is a static expression of the 12-tone row. In proportional notation, each note is sounded and allowed to ring with a few chordal interruptions. The final movement is based entirely on a triad from the first piece (P4 and TT) in a strongly jazz-like, highly rhythmic, scherzo setting. 

Publisher: HBH Publishing   

 

A Walk Within Winter*
[Very difficult; c.10:45] 
Composed for and dedicated to San José State University alumna Donna Stoering, this piece was premiered by her at my retirement concert. Inspiration came from a serigraph by Melanie Gendron reflecting her summer’s stay with her Native-American grandmother. Essentially there are three sections. The first is a quiet, ethereal passage using only five notes with three of them held by the sostenuto pedal allowing quick gestures to produce sustained sounds. It is indeed a reflective setting. The second part explores a three-strand texture: a high, fast repeated note drone, a slow chordal middle range texture, and a loud counter-gesture that enters sporadically.  This is followed by a very rapid repeated eighth-note section with asymmetrical accents providing the unexpected. A brief return to the second section followed by the first ends the work. Donna has performed it throughout the world (see biography). 

CD available online through: San José Chamber Orchestra and Amazon.   
Publisher:
 HBH Publishing   

 


Fantasy on a Bb Blues (theme and eight choruses)

[Very difficult; c.8:15] 
This piano piece was revised in 1996 and performed by a very talented colleague, Laurel Brettell, at my retirement concert. It is based on a shortened blues chord progression (for those familiar:  I-IV-I-V-IV-I, all ninth chords). These five-note chords appear throughout at different levels of clarity and are pitted against the remaining seven notes of the chromatic scale. A static, almost impressionistic quality is contrasted with driving, energetic passages in a series of conjoined sections. In short, a blues piece or jazz tune is not to be expected, only the occasional appearance of blues chords. 

 



Dr. Laurel Brettell, piano

Publisher: HBH Publishing


   

Minim
[Difficult; indeterminate]
Minim is an improvised piece on six notes for the right and left hands. The single measure of notes is repeated without pitch, tempo or rhythmic change for as long as desired by the performer.  Variation is created with the shift of patterns produced by accents, change of dynamics and style, right versus left hand, and use of pedals. Influences: African xylophone playing, Terry Riley’s piano improvisations on Indian ragas in just intonation, connection with Steve Reich and his music, and my desire to conceive a piano piece significantly different from existing solo piano literature. 

CD available online through: San José Chamber Orchestra and Amazon.   
Publisher: HBH Publishing   

 

Barcarole
[Grade 4; c.4:06]
This is a piano arrangement of a piece I composed for the great jazz guitarist Jim Hall and his trio. It is a slow lyrical ballad with a Latin flavor, and could well serve as a “touching” closer or encore. It is a favorite of mine.

Publisher: HBH Publishing   

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

Orchestral
     

EKTA (“Oneness”)
[for professional or college level chamber orchestra and soloists, c.25:00] 
EKTA
was composed for composer/pianist David Ward-Steinman, along with a jazz bassist and drum set player, a tabla drummer, string chamber orchestra and two percussionists. Essentially the work is a piano concerto. It was inspired by qualities of classical Indian music and jazz and is set in four conjoined movements: Alap and Improvisation, Interlude, Love Song, and Fugue and Cadenza. The music materials are derived from the Indian 5-note raga, Brindivani Sarang, and two rhythmic tals: Dadra, a 6-beat cycle, and Tintal, a 16 beat cycle. This setting morphs into a pandiatonic jazz style which is followed by an energetic fugue (derived from Piano Concerto No. 2) and dramatic return of opening ideas. During the work, the pianist is called on to improvise first on the Indian raga, then with a jazz trio, and finally as soloist in the cadenza. The composition can be heard on the CD EKTA produced by the San José Chamber Orchestra. 

CD available online through: San José Chamber Orchestra and Amazon.   
Publisher: HBH Publishing   

 

Suite for Timpani and Orchestra*
[For professional or college level orchestra] 
Composed for the Luxembourg Radio and Television Orchestra featuring timpanist Bonnie Lynn Adelson, this work was designed to introduce young people to sections of the orchestra. It can be performed in its entirety, or each movement separately or in combination with others. The first movement, Intrada, displays the brilliance and power of the brass family with solo timpani, chimes, vibraphone and bells. The second, Ballade,  features the strings, and is much softer and slower in keeping with the seriousness of the German literary ballade which flourished in the 18th and 19th century. The string section is divided in half allowing for a textural canon which accompanies a solo string quartet with solo xylophone and timpani—it honors California composer Henry Cowell. In the third movement, Dance, the woodwind section is highlighted with Indonesian Gamelan gestures in honor of Lou Harrison. The use of a pentatonic scale throughout is in keeping with the style. Movement IV, Finale, is for full orchestra with timpani solo and includes African bell and clapping rhythms performed by the percussion section. Most of the movement is in a fugue setting which is contrasted with the brief return of materials from the earlier movements.

Publisher: HBH Publishing   

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

Choral

 

Cantata in Memorial* 
[Moderately easy; varies according to occasion] 
Scored for SATB and speaker(s), Cantata in Memorial is a three-part “musical service” composed in memory of the deceased and intended for use at concerts, church services, school assemblies, memorial services, and the like.  Part 1, Reflections, is a musical setting for a spoken announcement of purpose and for related meditation and/or prayer.  Part 2, Tribute, is a musical setting for a selected short spoken eulogy, or a philosophical, religious or poetic statement on death.  Affirmation, Part 3, is a musical setting for a spoken declaration or celebration of life—first by chorus alone, second by speaker (preferably a spiritual leader) with chorus, and finally by chorus alone. 

Publisher: HBH Publishing   

  
Nubes Aztecas (Invocación y Canto)*
[Very difficult; c.9:00] 
Commissioned by Daniel Hughes, director of the Choral Project, Nubes is an a capella work based on ideas from Aztec poetry and musical practices sung in Spanish and English. Two texts are used:  an anonymous Aztec poem Ode to King Totoquihautzin, and Snake Wheel by contemporary poet Francisco X. Alarcon. Unique qualities of Aztec Clouds include the interplay of the two languages, the exchanges of the divided choir (three smaller groups) clapping and singing Aztec drumming syllables, and the otherwise musical effort to forge the marriage of the two disparate poems of Aztec lineage. 

CD available online through: San José Chamber Orchestra and Amazon.   
Publisher:
 HBH Publishing   

 

O Praise the Lord (w/brass)*
[Moderately difficult; c.4:30]
The music for choir and brass sextet (3 trumpets, 3 trombones) is in three sections following closely the text. “O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people” is declamatory in nature expressed through the use of fanfare-like vocal and brass gestures. The second part, “For His merciful kindness is great toward us:  and the truth of the Lord endureth forever” is presented with soft dynamics and slower tempo in a free atonal setting. “Praise ye the Lord” is treated as an affirmation through the use of a fughetta followed by a clear homophonic final statement of the four words. 

 

 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

  

 

Twenty Christmas Canons*
[Easy to moderately difficult]
Each year we send Christmas greetings to friends in the form of a canon. This publication is a collection of twenty years worth of melodies that can be sung by any vocal combinations (except for the double canons). Lengths (entrances and number of repeats) are decided by the conductor and several can be placed together to form a medley. A recording of all of the canons is available on line through the publisher’s web site.  

Publisher:  Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc.    

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

Solo Works (with accompaniment)

 


March for Timpani and Brass

[C difficulty, c.4:30]
March for Timpani and Brass was written for Bonnie Lynn Adelson when she was a timpanist at Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California.  She went on to study at Julliard and became the first woman percussionist in Europe where she played in the Luxembourg Radio and Television Orchestra. When I composed the work, I was an elementary school instrumental teacher and thought that it would be effective to introduce parents and children to traditional instruments through performances by high school students who had gone through this elementary instrumental program. The composition begins in a modal setting (Phrygian), and makes use of fourths and fifths along with parallel triads in a fanfare, march-like setting that includes a timpani cadenza.  The piece has been performed throughout the United States and Europe and was produced for European television with Bonnie as soloist.  That video is seen here. 

 

Luxembourg Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra
Trumpet and Trombone Sections
Bonnie-Lynn Adelson, timpani

Full set price: $15.00
Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

 

Sonata for Timpani and Brass*
[B difficulty, c.6:00-7:00]                                                      
The style of Sonata for Timpani and Brass is the result of my ongoing interest in world musics.  Similar to Japanese gagaku, Indonesian gamelan pieces, Korean court music, Indian classical music, African xylophone playing, etc., it is based entirely on one scale (and key).  No chromaticism occurs.   Because G is the pitch most pronounced, it is the primary "tone center;"  still, other tone centers can be heard.  The Japanese sho (mouth organ with thirteen pipes) has always been a favorite of mine and is alluded to in the French horns.  Throughout the work, sustained notes can be heard which is the typical role of the sho part in Japanese bagaku and gagaku.  The woodblock parts are a replica of the standard gankoqui (double bell) part found in Anlo (Ghana, Africa) dance music.  Here the pattern is introduced as a canon.  The instruments, the diatonic scale, notation practices, fugato and even the title, among other things, are of European origin.  The work is dedicated to timpanist Guy Gauthreaux, U.S. Navy Band, who commissioned, premiered, and published it.  He also composed the timpani cadenza.

Publisher: HBH Publishing
  

 

Sonata for Bassoonist
This work was written many years ago when the use of electronic technology—tape recorder and synthesizer—was entering the scene as a serious means of musical expression.  I thought for this piece I would require the soloist to record accompanying parts for selected movements.  My idea was not to produce exquisite new electronic sounds (I’m incapable), but rather to capture the nuance and, as close as possible, the unique timbre of the performer, in this case the wonderful musician, Michael Touchi.  The first movement is a solo cadenza, the second a reflective statement with three other (recorded) bassoon parts, and the third an extended canon—one long, pre-recorded melody followed by the soloist with the same melody.

Publisher: HBH Publishing


 

A Cycle of Thoughts for Soprano and Piano*

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

 

Chamber Music

 

Three Episodes for Bassoon Quartet* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

Slavic Dance*

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

Easy Piano

 

Elegance* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

Lullaby* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

Together* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

This Land Is Your Land (four hands)*

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

My Country 'Tis of Thee* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

 

 

Organ

 

As One* 

Publisher: HBH Publishing

 

 

back to top

Symphonic Band | Piano Concertos (for Symphonic Band) | Piano | Orchestral
Choral
|
Solo Works (with accompaniment) | Chamber Music | Easy Piano | Organ

Biography | List of Works | Recordings | Contact

 

All content on this site ©2010 Brent Heisinger. All rights reserved. Original design by Noelle Hughes.