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FRANCIS THORNE

FRANCIS THORNE

Works

Recordings

Reviews


Francis Thorne’s music was not performed professionally until he was 40 years old. He had been, respectively, Naval officer, banker, stockbroker, and jazz pianist. Although he had two years of study with Paul Hindemith at Yale, Hindemith discouraged a composing career. It wasn’t until he had private studies with David Diamond in Florence, Italy, that he developed the craftsmanship and confidence to pursue a professional composing career.

Thorne’s first orchestral work after completing his studies with Diamond was Elegy for Orchestra. When Eugene Ormandy premiered it with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1964, the Philadelphia Bulletin described it as “deeply felt and effective.” The success of Elegy brought Thorne back from Florence to New York, where he has been combining music administration and composing for over 35 years. His catalogue of 117 works includes seven symphonies, fifteen concerti, four string quartets, and the opera Mario and the Magician.

He has been Executive Director of the Walter M. Naumburg Foundation and the American Composers Alliance, and President and CEO of the American Composers Orchestra since 1976. He also spent two years as Executive Director of Lyn Austin’s Music Theater Group and, for seven years, he ran the Thorne Music Fund which awarded three-year fellowships to American composers of “mature years and recognized accomplishments.” Recipients of these fellowships included Stefan Wolpe, Ben Weber, Lou Harrison, David Diamond, Jacob Druckman, Lucia Dlugoszewski, and Henry Brant among others.

He has served on the Boards of the MacDowell Colony, The Manhattan School of Music, Composers Recordings, Inc., American Music Center, American Brass Quintet, the Group for Contemporary Music, the American Composers Alliance, and the Walter M. Naumburg Foundation. He has also served on the music panel of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Thorne’s awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Ford Foundation Recording Awards, a Fairleigh Dickinson University Award, the ACA Laurel Leaf Award, a BMI Certificate of Excellence for service to American music, and residencies with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival (three times), Harvard University, Connecticut College, and the New Hampshire Music Festival.

He has received commissions from, among others, the Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Albany Symphony (three times), Youngstown and Shreveport Symphonies, Valerie Bettis Dance Company, New Haven and Springfield Symphonies, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival as well as numerous chamber ensembles. Other important orchestral performances have been with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Denver Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Kansas City Philharmonic, the New York Pops Orchestra, the Guggenheim Concert Band, the Westchester Philharmonic, and American Composers Orchestra.

Thorne lives with his wife, Ann, in New York City. He has three daughters and four grandsons. His music is published by Merion Music (Theodore Presser Company), C.F. Peters, and General Music, and is recorded on New World Records, CRI, Louisville and Serenus.

He was elected in 1988 to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also belongs to the American Composers Alliance, American Music Center, and is currently a member of the Century Association and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

View scores here (roll over to view score title):



Works

Band and Wind Ensemble | Chamber Ensembles | Choral and Vocal | Instrumental Solos | Keyboard | Opera | Orchestra




Band and Wind Ensemble


Gems From Spoon River for Band
Available from the Presser Rental Library



Chamber Ensembles


Anniversary Fanfare for Brass and Percussion (1963) -- 4’
0-0-0-0; 4-3-3-1; 2Perc.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Antiphonies for Four Instrumental Groups (1970)
Available From Composer


Burlesk Pit Music for Oboe, Clarinet and Cello (1983) -- 3’
Published: #144-40351

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40351P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40351S)


Chamber Concerto for Solo Violoncello and Ten Instruments (1975) -- 20’
Solo Vcl.; 1-0-1-1; 0-1-1-0; 2Perc., Vln., Vla., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Chamber Deviations for Clarinet, Double Bass and Percussion (1968) -- 9'
Published: #144-40356

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40356P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40356S)


Divertimento No. 3 in Five Movements for Woodwind Quintet (1983) -- 16’
Published: #144-40320
Commission Information: Boehm Woodwind Quintet
Premiere Information: Boehm Woodwind Quintet; Miami, FL; October 30, 1984

Movements:
Fun and Games
Intro and Madcap Finale
Intro and Opening Number
Summer Nocturne
Trills Galore

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40320P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40320S)


Duo Sonatina for Two Solo Bassoons (1979)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Echoes from Spoon River Ballet for Piano and Percussion (1976)
Available From Composer


Eine Kleine Meyermusik for Clarinet and Cello (1980)
Available From Composer


Evensongs for Flute, Harp, Guitar, Celeste and Percussion (1972) -- 16’
Published: #144-40322

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40322P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40322S)


Five Set Pieces for Saxophone Quartet (1977) -- 13’
Published: #144-40328
Commission Information: New York Saxophone Quartet

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40328P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40328S)


Grand Duo for Oboe and Harpsichord (1977)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company).


Head Music for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (1975) -- 16’
Published: #144-40321
Commission Information: Written for members of the Da Capo Players

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40321P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40321S)


How Wild the Rows for Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello (1996)
Available From Composer


Lyric Variations No. 2 for Woodwind Quintet and Percussion (1972)
Available From Composer


Lyric Variations No. 3 for Violin, Cello and Piano (1972) -- 13’
Published: #144-40367
Commission Information: Leonard Sipe

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40367P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40367S)


Lyric Variations No. 8 for Celeste, Flute and Cello (1999) -- 6’
Published: #144-40402
Commission Information: Written in memory of Ben Weber


Music for a Circus for Seven Instruments (1963)
Available From Composer


Partita No. 2 for Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Viola and Contrabass (1991) -- 17’
Published: #144-40348
Commission Information: Written for the Partita Chamber Ensemble

Movements:
Fanfare
Night Song
Overture
Ride-out in 6/8
Scherzo Pizzicato

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40348P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40348S)


Prufrock Ballet Music for Seven Instruments (1974) -- 30’
1(Picc.)-0-1(B.Cl.)-1; 0-1-0-0; Perc., Elec.Gtr., Vcl.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Remembering Dizzy for Brass Quintet (1990) -- 10’
Published: #144-40349
Commission Information: American Brass Quintet

Movements:
Rural (origins)
Urban (fulfillment)

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40349P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40349S)


Rhapsodic Variations No. 2 for Clarinet, Violin and Cello (1985) -- 14’
Published: #144-40323
Commission Information: Group for Contemporary Music, with assistance from the New York State Council on the Arts

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40323P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40323S)


Seven Set Pieces for 13 Players (1967) -- 20’
0-0-2(B.Cl.)-2(Cbsn.); 0-2-1-0; 2Perc., Pno.(Cel.), 2Vla., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Movements:
Chorale Prelude
Finale
Grotesque I
Grotesque II
Jam Session I
Jam Session II
Romance

Recordings


Simultaneities for Brass Quintet, Electric Guitar and Percussion (1971)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Sonatina for Two Solo Violins (1959) -- 9’
Commission Information: Written for David Diamond


Songs and Dances for Cello, Keyboards and Percussion (1969)
Available From Composer


String Quartet No. 1 in Three Movements (1960)
Available From Composer


String Quartet No. 2 in Five Movements (1967)
Available From Composer


String Quartet No. 3 In Three Movements (1975) -- 22’
Published: #144-40357
Commission Information: Written for Letitia Baldridge
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40357P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40357S)


String Quartet No. 4 in One Movement (1983) -- 16’
Published: #144-40365
Commission Information: Written for the Group for Contemporary Music
Premiere Information: Group for Contemporary Music; Manhattan School of Music; March 20, 1984

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#144-40365P)
Full Score - Large (#144-40365S)


Two Environments for Brass Quintet (1990)
Available From Composer

Movements:
Rural (Pastorale)
Urban (Con Bebop)



Choral and Vocal


A Maad Wriggle for Madrigal Group (1970)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Angelica a Ballad (from the Operetta 'Fortuna')
Available From Composer


Chewing Gum Popular Song (1959)
Available From Composer


De Profundis for Soprano and Organ, with SATB (1959)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Echo for Soprano Solo and Mixed Chorus, a cappella (1995-6) -- 6’
Published: #342-40177
Commission Information: Written for Rosalind Rees and the Gregg Smith Singers
Additional Information: Text by Christina Rossetti


Evening Prayer for Mixed Chorus and Organ (1963) -- 4’
Published: #342-40160
Additional Information: Text by John Henry Newman


Four Seasons Songs for Mezzo-soprano, B-flat Clarinet and Bass Clarinet (2002)
Available From Composer


Kyrie Eleison for Female Voices (1964)
Available From E.B. Marks


La Luce Eterna for Soprano and Orchestra (1978) -- 21’
Solo Sop.; 2-2-2-2; 4-2-3(B.Tbn.)-1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Written on a fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
Premiere Information: Juilliard Orchestra, Jose Serebrier, conductor, Carole Farley, soprano; January 1980
Additional Information: Text from Dante’s 'Canto from 'Paradiso' (Canto XXXIII), in Italian (translation by Maria Elena Tobon)
Recordings
Reviews


Lighten Our Darkness for SATB (1994) -- 2'30"
Published: #342-40171
Commission Information: Written for St. James Episcopal Church
Additional Information: Text from the Book of Common Prayer


Love’s Variations for Soprano, Flute and Piano (1977)
Available From Composer


Luci Della Citta Popular Song (1959)
Available From Composer


Magnificat for Soprano and Organ (1962)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Money Matters for Tenor, Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Piano, Violin and Cello (1988) -- 19’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Paul Sperry and the Musical Elements ensemble
Premiere Information: March 22nd, 1989. Paul Sperry,Tenor, Musical Elements ensemble; New York, NY


Nature Studies Three Poems of Howard Moss for Mezzo-soprano, Flute and Harp (1981)
Available From Composer

Movements:
Going to Sleep in the Country
Looking Up
The Cricket


Nocturnes Poems of Robert Fitzgerald for Medium Voice and Piano (or String Quartet) (1962)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)

Movements:
Before Harvest
Horace I, 25
Night Song
Song After Campion


Nunc Dimittis for Soprano and Organ (1960)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Once Upon a Love Popular Song (1967)
Available From Composer


Power A song for Harold Meltzer (2001) -- 3'
Vx., Cl., Vn., Cb., Pno.
Published: #141-40067


Praise and Thanksgiving for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (1983) -- 18’
SATB Chorus; 1(Picc.)-1(E.H.)-0-0; 4-3-3-1; Timp., Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord for Baritone and Organ (1962)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Song for Mezzo-soprano, Violin, Viola and Cello (2002) -- 5’
Published: #141-40058
Additional Information: Text by Mark Strand


Songs of the Great South Bay Poems by Howard Moss for Soprano and Piano (1974)
Available From Composer


The Affirming Flame for Soprano and Five Players (1987)
Available From Composer


Three Lyrical Songs for Baritone, Clarinet and Piano (1994)
Available From Composer


Thy Children, Lord for Female Chorus (1964)
Available From E.B. Marks


Thy Word Resound for Mixed Chorus and Organ (1964)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)



Instrumental Solos


Electrified Elan for Solo Electric Guitar (1993) -- 13’
Published: #144-40350
Commission Information: Bang on a Can, for John Tamburello


Lyric Variations No. 4 for Solo Violin (1979) -- 9’
Published: #144-40319


Lyric Variations No. 6 for Solo Cello (1982) -- 9’
Published: #144-40358


Partita No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1960) -- 15’
Published: #144-40366
Commission Information: Written for Paul and Sarah Sheftel


Quiet Night Song for Cello and Piano (1998) -- 9’
Published: #144-40318
Premiere Information: Eugene Moye, cello, Francis Thorne, piano; Greenwich House, New York, NY; April 23, 1998


Rhapsodic Variations No. 4 for Solo Viola (1987) -- 9’
Published: #144-40352
Premiere Information: Janet Lyman Hill, viola; New Music Now! at the Kosciuszko Foundation, New York, NY; February 25, 1999


Rhapsodic Variations No. 5 for Violin and Piano (1988) -- 19’
Published: #144-40327
Commission Information: Koussevitzky Foundation, for Dennis Russell Davies and Romuald Tecco
Premiere Information: Dennis Russell Davies and Romuald Tecco; Cabrillo Festival; 1988


Sonatina for Solo Clarinet (1983)
Available From Composer


Sonatina for Solo Flute (1962)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Three Dance Movements for Clarinet and Piano (1964)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)



Keyboard


(S)he Does(n’t) Two Pieces for Solo Piano (1972)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


A Lovesong Waltz for Solo Piano (1977)
Available From C.F. Peters


Baby's Eyes for Piano


Broadway and 52nd for Two Pianos (1958)
Available From Forlivesi Editions (Italy)


Centennial Fanfare for Organ (1992) -- 3’
Published: #143-40008
Commission Information: Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, to honor its 100th year
Premiere Information: Bill Trafka, organ; Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, NYC; September 25, 1992


Eight Introspections for Solo Piano (1959)
Available From E.B. Marks


Meditation Tango for Solo Piano (1984)
Available From Quadrivium Music Press


Nine Playful Ploys for Solo Piano (1973)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Piano Sonata for the Virtuoso Pianist (1972)
Available From Composer


Pop Partita for Solo Piano (1976)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Rhapsodic Variations No. 7 for Solo Piano (1998) -- 16’
Published: #140-40082
Commission Information: Paul Underwood, for Michael Boriskin
Recordings


Ricercare and Coda for Solo Piano (1965)
Available From Joshua Corporation (c/o Boston Music Company)


Seven Simple Syncopations for Piano Solo (Easy) (1987) -- 7’
Published: #140-40058

Movements:
Dumb Ditty
Jumping Jive
Mini March
Raucous Rock
Riffing Rag
Sweet Song
Winsome Waltz


Two Pieces for Organ with Percussion (1973) -- 6’
Published: #143-40011



Opera


Fortuna an Operetta (1961)
Available From Composer


Mario and the Magician Opera in a Prologue and One Act (1991-3) -- 70’
Voices: Mezzo-soprano, 3 Tenors, Baritone, Bass-baritone, 2 Basses, 2 Children (soprani), Chorus of Adults and Children Instrumentation: 1(Picc.)-1-1-1; 1-1-1-1; 2Perc., Gtr.(Acc./Elec.), Kbd.(Pno./Hpschd.), Str.(16 Players)
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Brooklyn College Opera Theater, Richard Barrett, conductor; March 12, 1994
Additional Information: Libretto by J.D. McClatchy, after the story by Thomas Mann.
Recordings
Reviews


Opera Buffa for Opera Buffs after Mozart (1965)
Available From Composer



Orchestra


Burlesque Overture for Orchestra (1964) -- 9’
2-2-2-2; 4-3-3-1; Timp., 2Perc., Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings
Reviews


Cello Concerto No. 2 (1995-6) -- 21’
2-2-2-2; 2-2-2-0; Timp., 2Perc., Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: American Composers Orchestra, with support from Paul Underwood
Premiere Information: American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies, conductor, Eugene Moye, cello; Carnegie Hall, New York; November 24, 1996
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#446-41161)


Clarinet Concerto (1996) -- 24’
2-2-2-2; 2-2-0-0; Timp., Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Christopher Seregue, clarinet; June 3, 1999


Concerto Concertante for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Chamber Symphony (1985) -- 18’
Fl., Cl., Vln., Vcl. soli; 0-2-0-2; 2-2-3-0; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Concerto for Orchestra (2001) -- 23’
3(Picc.)-3(E.H.)-3(B.Cl.)-3(Cbsn.); 4-3-3(B.Tbn.)-1; Timp., 3Perc., Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: American Composers Orchestra; Carnegie Hall, New York; April 14, 2002


Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1975)
Available From Composer


Elegy for Orchestra In One Movement (1963) -- 14’
2-2-2-2; 4-2-3-1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: November 18, 1964, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor
Recordings
Reviews


Fanfare, Fugue and Funk for Three Trumpets and Orchestra (1972) -- 12’
3Tpt. soli; 2-2-2-2; 3-3-3-0; 3Perc., Elec.Gtr., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Aka: "Fanfare, Fugue and Fast Four"
Recordings
Reviews


Fantasia for String Orchestra or String Quintet (1962) -- 9’
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Flash Dances (1997) -- 10’
2(Picc.)-2(E.H.)-2-2; 4-2-3-1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Westchester Philharmonic, Paul Lustig Dunkel, conductor; Performing Arts Center, Purchase, NY; April 30, 2000

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#446-41162)


Oboe Concerto (2000) -- 21’
Solo Ob.; 1(Picc.)-0-1-1; 1-1-0-0; Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Piano Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Large Orchestra (1965)
Available From Composer


Piano Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra (1989) -- 25’
Solo Pno.; 2-2-2-2; 5-2-3-1; 3Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Albany Symphony Orchestra, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the American Music Center
Premiere Information: Albany Symphony Orchestra, Tsung Yeh, conductor, Ursula Oppens, piano; November 2, 1990
Recordings
Reviews


Pop Partita for Orchestra (1984)
Available From Composer


Quartessence for Modern Jazz Quartet and Orchestra (1971)
Available From Composer


Rhapsodic Variations No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (1964) -- 14’
2(Picc.)-2(E.H.)-2(B.Cl.)-2(Cbsn.); 2-2-2-0; Timp., Perc., Pno., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings
Reviews


Rhapsodic Variations No. 3 for Oboe and Strings (1986) -- 14’
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Second Symphony
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Sonar Plexus for Orchestra with Electric Guitar Obbligato (1968) -- 6’
2-0-2-0; 4-2-3-0; Timp., 2Perc., Elec.Gtr., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Symphony No. 3 for Percussion and String Orchestra (1969) -- 25’
Timp., 5Perc., Pno.(Cel.), Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Symphony No. 5 In Four Movements for Orchestra (1984) -- 23’
3-3(E.H.)-3(B.Cl.)-3(Cbsn.); 4-3-3-1; 4Perc., Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Albany Symphony Orchestra
Premiere Information: Albany Symphony Orchestra, Julius Hegyi, conductor; October 11, 1985
Recordings
Reviews


Symphony No. 6 for Stringed Instruments (1992) -- 17’
Banjo, Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor; Drinko Recital Hall, Cleveland State University; March 4, 1996
Recordings
Reviews


Symphony No. 7 "Along the Hudson" for Chorus and Orchestra (1994) -- 23’
2-2-2-2; 4-2-3-1; Timp., Perc., Pno., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Albany Symphony; May 4, 1996
Recordings


Triple Concerto for Viola, English Horn, Bass Clarinet and Orchestra (2003-2004) -- 23'
Vla. E.H. B.Cl. Soli; 3(Picc.) 0 0 3(Cbsn.) - 4 2 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 2Perc. Pno.(d.Cel.) Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned by, and Dedicated to Paul Underwood


Violin Concerto for Solo Violin and Chamber Orchestra (1976) -- 23’
Vln. Solo; 2-2-2-2; 2-2-2-0; Timp., 2Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Reviews


Recordings


Rhapsodic Variations No. 7 for Solo Piano


Albany Records TROY 451: La Luce Eterna
Michael Boriskin, piano.



String Quartet No. 3 In Three Movements


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD479:
Columbia String Quartet.



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 828: American Masters — Francis Thorne
The Group for Contemporary Music String Quartet



Burlesque Overture for Orchestra


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 586: Francis Thorne
Polish National Radio Orchestra, William Strickland, conductor, Francis Thorne, piano.



Elegy for Orchestra In One Movement


Louisville First Edition Recordings LS 768:
Louisville Orchestra, Jorge Mester, conductor.



Fanfare, Fugue and Funk for Three Trumpets and Orchestra


Opus One Recordings No. 19:
Springfield Symphony, Robert Gutter, conductor.



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 828: American Masters — Francis Thorne
Springfield Symphony, Robert Gutter, conductor.



La Luce Eterna for Soprano and Orchestra


Albany Records TROY 451: La Luce Eterna
Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia; Glen Cortese, conductor; Christina Arethas, soprano.



Piano Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra


New World Records No. 80443-2: Francis Thorne/Roger Sessions
Westchester Philharmonic, Paul Dunkel, conductor, Ursula Oppens, piano.



Rhapsodic Variations No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 586: Francis Thorne
Polish National Radio Orchestra, William Stricland, conductor, Francis Thorne, piano.



Seven Set Pieces for 13 Players


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 586: Francis Thorne
Contemporary Chamber Players, Ralph Shapey, conductor.



Symphony No. 3 for Percussion and String Orchestra


Serenus Corp. SRS 12035:
Prague Chamber Soloists, Jindrich Rohan, conductor.



Symphony No. 5 In Four Movements for Orchestra


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 552: American Composers Orchestra
American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies, conductor.



Symphony No. 6 for Stringed Instruments


Albany Records TROY 208: Cleveland Chamber Symphony: New American Music
Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor.



Symphony No. 7 "Along the Hudson" for Chorus and Orchestra


Albany Records TROY 244: Robert Starer/Francis Thorne
Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor.



Mario and the Magician Opera in a Prologue and One Act


Albany Records ALBANY/TROY832: Mario and the Magician
Center for Contemporary Opera, Richard Marshall, conductor, Justin Vickers, Larry Small, Jessica Grigg, Wendy Brown, Richard Cassell



Reviews


String Quartet No. 3 In Three Movements

"A quite extensive work in three movements, it possesses a fleeting return to Bartok in the scherzo, with a desolate closing passage that takes up where the late Beethoven left off."

-David Denton, Fanfare


Burlesque Overture for Orchestra

"The music of Burlesque Overture is appropriately racy and sardonic, a terrific example of this genre…"

-Fanfare

"A brisk and impudent work; clever, madcap and witty, with slapstick percussion and rowdy dissonance and voicing."

-Minneapolis Star


Cello Concerto No. 2

"The Concerto marvelously achieves the composer’s goal of insuring that the cello is very exposed, being ‘… one of the most beautiful instruments there is.’ The work’s gorgeous opening for cello and harps is developed into a more forceful section using the entire orchestra but never forgetting the lyrical quality of the work. The second movement is a scherzo which makes effective use of pizzicato strings alternating with a serene middle section again with emphasis on the strings. The closing movement has a mournful tinge to it with interesting intertwining of strings and winds."

-Peter Knoll, The Music Connoisseur


Elegy for Orchestra In One Movement

"The work is attractive for its grace, grandeur and lucidity."

-Fanfare


Fanfare, Fugue and Funk for Three Trumpets and Orchestra

"The piece is big in scope, powerful in effect and, unlike many works of its kind, very unified in character."

-Eric Salzman, Stereo Review

"…a piece of virtuoso orchestral writing commissioned by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Though generally tonal, it uses this format as a means to create the brazen orchestral color [Thorne] requires, the percussion given an especially major participation. The first two sections are to classical proportions before mayhem is let loose in the exciting and brilliant final Funk section…"

-David Denton, Fanfare


La Luce Eterna for Soprano and Orchestra

"La Luce Eterna is full of strong statements of alternatively tough ideas and soaring melody, demandingly yet gracefully written for the voice and glowingly, transparently orchestrated. It’s a model of what such works should be."

-New York Daily News


Piano Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra

"Thorne’s Third Concerto has a certain mystery about it, like Stephen Sondheim’s Follies has, a mysterious melding of classical style and a pop medium, each of the movements a small dramatic vignette."

-Ron Emery, Albany Times Union

"An unusual mixture of arching melodies and dissonant harmonies, combined with traditional musical gestures that sugarcoat the score’s complexities… the concept is a fascinating one."

-Tim Page, New York Newsday


Rhapsodic Variations No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra

"…knock-em-dead American orchestral style — plenty of brass and jazzy drumming keeping things going, but with a harmonic palette at the intersection of Schoenberg and bebop."

-Fanfare


Symphony No. 5 In Four Movements for Orchestra

"The long-lined slow movement is the exquisite heart of Thorne’s four-movement symphony — a noble score that reflects jazz influences in its fast movements and a fascination with Wagnerian chromatic harmonies in its slow movements."

-The New York Post

"It’s a showy piece, with much bustling, high-energy syncopation, dazzling motion, color and action, with jazz inspiration unmistakable in parts. The memorable aspect is the serious singing in the slow movement, broad lines that develop warm eloquence. Thorne’s sure harmonic ear is the key to the quality of… Symphony No. 5."

-Robert Cammanday, San Francisco Chronicle


Symphony No. 6 for Stringed Instruments

"This is a muscular work; its initial 5/4 motive, reminiscent of Bartok, is boldly presented… The second movement… is modeled on Mahler’s famous Adagietto from the Fifth Symphony, scored for the same ensemble of harp and strings… Thorne’s rising main theme, unhurried harp arpeggios and the use of solo violin passages also recall the work of the great Austrian master… altogether an extremely engaging work."

-Sean Hickey, New Music Connoisseur

"The work’s three movements contain varied materials, ranging from asymmetrical rhythms and elegant solo episodes to lyrical narratives and spiky flights. Thorne’s harmonic language is a cross between American openness and European richness, and he makes deft use of slapping pizzicatos and wide melodic leaps… the symphony is economical and alive…"

-Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer


Violin Concerto for Solo Violin and Chamber Orchestra

"The violin moves with undiverted continuity through its single movement. Its contrasting major sections are connected by skillfully wrought transitions — a handsome, expressive piece."

-San Francisco Chronicle


Mario and the Magician Opera in a Prologue and One Act

"Mr. Thorne and his librettist, J.D. McClatchy, have deftly transferred the dark and, yes, mesmerizing essence of this story to the operatic stage without losing its subletly and innuendo. Mr. Thorne's score is full of pungent harmony, fidgety rhythms and teeming counterpoint…the music provides an effective sense of restless motion, like unconscious forces swirling beneath a calm façade."

-Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times

"While watching a new opera based on Mario… I felt some inkling of the magician’s power. The music… and the libretto… were so intelligent and coherent that the steadily accumulating evidence of the magician’s abilities left me as uneasy as the members of his onstage audience… It is remarkable to come across a 70-minute opera that has such an immediate impact, particularly when based on a source as sly and ironic as Mann."

-Edward Rothstein, New York Times