Composer, Concert, Recording

Pianist and composer Haskell Small furthers his fascination with music that is primarily quiet, spacious and of a mystical nature with a new CD of original works.  Released on MSR Classics, "Book of Hours" includes A Jouney in Silence: Reflections on the Book of Hours (premiere recording) and Lullaby of War, a setting of six war poems for piano and two narrators.  Mr. Small has concertized with great success in major European capitals, South America, Japan and China, and has been enthusiastically received by American audiences at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Spoleto Festival USA. 

Posted: Jun-7-2016
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Haskell Small

Pianist and composer Haskell Small brings his ‘Journey In Silence’ tour back to the West Coast, playing concerts this week in Santa Cruz and the Oakland. His most recent project, some of which he’ll be playing on tour, are pieces based on the traditional Book of Hours which contain prayers appropriate to different times of day.

Posted: Nov-13-2017
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"He is a crystal-clear highly gifted pianist. Even with the over-resonating church setting, one could hear each note, the few measures of cadenzas were played with transparent delicacy."

Posted: May-9-2016
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Inspired by a devotional book popular in the Middle Ages, Book of Hours is the third in Haskell Small's "Journeys in Silence" series. Small's composition features the sounds of chant and bells as it explores the various moods of the monastic day. Small envisioned this day and its psalms and silences as a context for a work that explores the indefinable intersection of how sound becomes music, how it rises from silence, how it subsides again.

Also included on this album is Small's 2007 Lullaby of War for narrator and piano, featuring noted actors Robin Weigert and Martin Rayner with the composer at the keyboard. Small created this cycle from six war poems -- two from the Civil War era, one from each World War, and two drawn from a contemporary anthology, "Poets Against the War". A prayer theme interconnects the poems as well as opens and closes the work. Stephen Crane's bitter War is Kind anchors the composition, surrounded by texts by Walt Whitman, Joy Harjo, Yvan Goll, Uri Zvi Greenberg and Paula Tatarunis.

Posted: May-25-2016
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Posted: Jul-18-2016