From The Hudson Valley







works by
















RON LEVY, piano






Leo Kraft


Leo Kraft (b. 1922) is professor emeritus of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Mr. Kraft became the conductor of the New Repertory Ensemble in 1978. He has also held posts at the College Music Society, The American Society of University Composers, and the American section of the ISCM, and was elected president of the American Music Center. Mr. Kraft has written numerous music theory and ear training texts and composed a wide variety of works, including the Concerto for piano and 14 instruments, the Chamber Symphony, and Strata. He studied composition at Queens College and Princeton University, and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship.




From The Hudson Valley


From the Hudson Valley by Leo Kraft, was commissioned by a consortium of 20 flutists from the National Flute Association and received its premiere on August 15, 1998 at their annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona. “Certain places have a particular resonance for me, and when I began to write out-of-doors music early in the Eighties I naturally decided to locate pieces in places that I knew and deeply enjoy. One such locale is the Hudson Valley, which I've known for many years. When John Solum suggested that I write something other than yet one more piece for flute and piano, I thought of flute and strings (the harp soon joined in) and the location came quickly to mind. The majestic sweep of the river, the splendid Palisades on the West, the rolling hills to the East and the vast expanse of sky over water invited musical expression. My music is evocative rather than descriptive, with a few exceptions: the image of a hawk wheeling high above the river was in my mind's eye as I began to search for the music that would suggest the atmosphere and mood of the place.”


— L. Kraft


Godfrey Schroth


Godfrey Schroth (b. 1927) A pupil of the noted American composer, Paul Creston, Godfrey Schroth first came to attention in 1959, when his Piano Quintet won the LADO Foundation Prize for chamber music, premiered in New York by the Phoenix Quartet. Many published choral and organ pieces followed and A Solemn English Mass was the first vernacular setting sung at St. Patrick's Cathedral. In 1973, on a grant from the NJ Arts Council, he wrote Rocky Mountain Serenade for Strings, Percussion and Guitar for the Pueblo (Colorado) Arts Festival. In 1979 he completed Green Graves and Violets, a vocal chamber cycle, which celebrated the writings of a forgotten Civil War poetess, the tragic Ellen Howarth. “The Mystic Trumpeter,”a work for chorus and wind instruments on a Walt Whitman text, was commissioned by the Pro Arte Chorale and received its premiere performance in March 1999.


Spring in Bucks County


Spring in Bucks County by Godfrey Schroth, is a challenge to both the pianist and flutist, who must play three instruments. The Suite was premiered at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 1974. The opening section has three contrasting dance episodes titled Equinoctial Dances, with a reprise of the first and a coda. River Willows employs the alto flute and evokes youthful nocturnal rambles along the Delaware River. The last movement, the Fields of May, begins at dawn and has many changing moods, with a central, fantastic, syncopated march, which uses the piccolo. There are allusions to earlier themes, a restless surging theme leading to a climactic piccolo passage and subsiding to a nostalgic Epilogue, and a reluctant farewell to spring.


— G. Schroth


Arthur Foote


Arthur Foote (1853-1937) was a student of John Knowles Paine, and a vital force in the musical life of New England and Boston. He was one of the first generation of American composers to make important contributions to music in the states. In celebration of his 80th birthday his A Night Piece was performed by the Boston Symphony.


A Night Piece


A Night Piece by Arthur Foote was one of his last works, written in 1918 on commission from George Laurent who was then principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Originally composed for flute and string quartet, A Night Piece was re-set by the composer for flute and string orchestra at the request of Pierre Monteux. Its serene atmosphere evokes the sweet fantasy of dreams.


— MS


Eric Ewazen


Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) was born in Cleveland Ohio, studied under Samuel Adler, Milton Babbitt, Warren Benson, Gunther Schuller and Joseph Schwantner at the Eastman School of Music, Tanglewood and The Juilliard School where he has been a member of the faculty since 1980. A former vice-president of the League-ICSM, he is currently the Composer-in-Residence with the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and lecturer for the New York Philharmonic's Musical Encounter Series. A recipient of numerous composition awards and prizes, his works have been performed by many chamber ensembles and orchestras in the U.S. and overseas.


Ballade, Pastorale and Dance


Ballade, Pastorale and Dance by Eric Ewazen, was composed in the winter of 1992-93. David Wakefield and Barli Nugent, who premiered the work at Aspen in July 1993, commissioned it. The combination of horn, flute and piano produces a chamber music ensemble with wonderful possibilities in terms of contrasting colors and textures. A kaleidoscopic world of alternating moods and dynamics consequently appears. The first movement begins mysteriously, almost ominously, but quickly turns frenetic and wild with spinning flute flourishes, percussive horn gestures and dramatic piano chords. The second movement, composed during the Christmas holidays, has a gentle impressionistic feel to it with chorale-like melodies. The final movement, with its lively dance rhythms, brings the piece to an exhilarating conclusion.


— E. Ewazen




The Artists




Margaret Swinchoski


Margaret Swinchoski, flutist, began her musical studies at the age of nine in Vermont. She graduated with high honors and degrees both in Performing Arts and Music Education from Johnson State College, Johnson, Vermont. She subsequently received her Master of Arts degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Ms. Swinchoski has premiered many works; she was recently a featured soloist at the National Flute Association Convention in Arizona in the World Premiere of From the Hudson Valley. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Vermont Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of the Palisades, the Hunter and Bronx Symphonies and the Queens Philharmonic. Artists International presented her in her debut recital at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in January 1994. She is currently principal flutist with the Westchester Symphony Orchestra; she travels to Ohio each summer to play principal flute with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. Ms. Swinchoski can be heard on the Newport Classics label with the Quintet of the Americas. She performs solo recitals regularly throughout the East with pianist, Ron Levy. A founding member of the West End Chamber Players, she made her chamber music recital debut at Weill Recital Hall with the group in May 1991 as winners of the Artists International Award. Her teachers have included Thomas Nyfenger, Trudy Kane, Edward Powell, and Sophie Sollberger.




Ron Levy


Ron Levy, pianist, has been a soloist and collaborative artist in concerts throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States and abroad. Called “ardent and assured” and “a first-class pianist” by the New York Times, he has appeared in partnership with many of the world's leading singers and instrumentalists, including more than four dozen artists on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera; he recently performed with clarinetist Stanley Drucker. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where he was a scholarship student of Joseph Schwartz, Mr. Levy's teachers also included Diana Arlyck, and Leland Thompson of the Juilliard School. Passionately committed to the performance of chamber music, he is a founding member of the Hudson Trio, Kaleidoscope, the New World Trio and the Manchester Chamber Players. He has been pianist and harpsichordist of the Oberlin Orchestra, the New Jersey Philharmonic, the Adelphi Chamber Symphony, and currently the Westchester Symphony and the Vermont Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Levy is the composer of many works for voice and piano, including a song cycle based on poems of Yeats; several prominent composers have written vehicles for Mr. Levy, notably David Sampson, Richard Lane, James Grant and John Lampkin. Mr. Levy is Music Department Chairman of Felician College (Lodi, NJ), coaches chamber music at Manhattan School of Music, and has been Artist-in-Residence at Green Mountain College (VT). He is much in demand as an adjudicator, lecturer, and writer on musical subjects. Mr. Levy can be heard on the Koch International, Centaur, Mark, Eroica, and MMF labels.




Scott Brubaker


Scott Brubaker won his current position as French hornist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at the age of 21. He has also developed a notable career as a soloist and chamber musician. In addition to extensive recitals, including all of New York's major recital halls and live on the New York “classical” radio stations, he has performed at the Marlboro Festival, with the Emerson String Quartet, Speculum Musicae, and the Harmonie Ensemble. As solo horn of the New York Symphonic Ensemble for several years, Mr. Brubaker toured Japan with that group as a featured concerto soloist, performing all of the Mozart concertos. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Leningrad Philharmonic, I Musici de Montreal, Musica Sacra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. Also dedicated to increasing the solo horn repertoire, Mr. Brubaker has commissioned a number of works and has written transcriptions which have been published by International Music Company. His premier recording of the Eric Ewazen Sonata for Horn and Piano (with the composer at the piano) has garnered much critical acclaim. Other solo recordings include released by the Koch International, Well Tempered, Music and Arts, and Chandos labels. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Mr. Brubaker has taught at Princeton University and Brooklyn Conservatory (CUNY).


JoAnn Falletta


JoAnn Falletta is presently music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Virginia Symphony and the Long Beach Symphony. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the brightest stars of symphonic music in America,” she has been praised repeatedly for the sensitivity and energy she brings to the podium. She leads her orchestras “with clarity and precision, often producing performances that are remarkable for their combination of raw and rare sense of proportion.” (Washington Post) Her guest appearances have included engagements with National Symphony Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony, Mexico National Symphony Orchestra, China's Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Charleston, Columbus, Florida, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and many other national and international orchestras. Winner of the Stokowski, Toscanini, Bruno Walter conducting prizes, Ms. Falletta has been awarded eight ASCAP awards, the America Symphony Orchestra League's John S. Edwards award, and the Columbia University Ditson award for her championing of American music, which has included performances of the works of some 200 American composers. Ms Falletta has recorded with the London Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, Czech National Philharmonic, Women's Philharmonic and the Long Beach and Virginia Symphonies.






Violin I


Renée Jolles, concertmaster


Kurt Briggs


Elizabeth Lim-Dutton


Katherine Hannauer


Gregor Huebner


Karen Karlsrud


Anca Nicolau


Joel Pitchon, principal 2nd


Andrea Schultz


Cyrus Stevens




Lois Martin, principal


Ron Lawrence


Veronica Salas




Ted Mook, principal


Daniel Barrett


Gregory Hesselink




John Feeney




Susan Jolles






Produced and Engineered by Adam Abeshouse


Edited and Mastered by Adam Abeshouse


Recorded in the LeFrak Concert Hall at the Aaron Copland School


of Music, Queens College, Flushing, NY - June 1999


Photos copyrighted by Margaret Swinchoski.


Cover Design: Bates Miyamoto Design Service




Thanks to all the musicians involved in the project


— especially to Ron.


Special thanks to my parents, without whom this recording


would not have been possible.


Thanks to David Wechsler for the use of his Rudall-Carte alto flute.


Thanks to Jacquelyn Drechsler for going above


and beyond (and under) the call of duty.


Thanks to the Aaron Copland School of Music and its staff for the


use of the concert hall.




This CD is dedicated to my Mom.






From The Hudson Valley


Margaret Swinchoski, flute




Leo Kraft (b. 1922)


1 From The Hudson Valley [1997] [10:41]


(for flute, strings and harp)


Hudson Strings


JoAnn Falletta, conductor




Godfrey Schroth (b. 1927)


Spring in Bucks County [1974]


(suite for flutes and piano)


2 Equinoctial Dances [9:09]


3 River Willows [8:20]


4 The Fields of May [8:12]


Ron Levy, piano


Arthur Foote (1853-1937)


5 A Night Piece [1918] [8:38]


(for flute and strings)


Hudson Strings


JoAnn Falletta, conductor




Eric Ewazen (b. 1954)


Ballade, Pastorale and Dance [1993]


(for flute, horn and piano)


6 Ballade [8:04]


7 Pastorale [7:47]


8 Dance [5:54]


Scott Brubaker, French horn


Ron Levy, piano




Total Time = 66:49