Dances in the Madhouse

for Orchestra

David Leisner

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Duration: 12:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Commissioned by and dedicated to the Californian guitarist, John Schneider, Dances in the Madhouse was written in 1982. Originally for violin and guitar, it was composed with the Flute in mind as an alternative. I also arranged it for orchestra in 1989.

The inspiration for this piece was a lithograph by the early-20th century American, George Bellows, called Dance in a Madhouse. In it, four groups of asylum inmates are highlighted, and I decided to write a dance for each of them. "Tango Solitaire" is for the women dancing a stylish dance, alone. "Waltz for the Old Folks" is for a happy couple who seem to be perfectly comfortable with their insanity. A forlorn, despairing couple of women, sitting on the sidelines, prompted "Ballad for the Lonely." And "Samba!" is for the middle-aged couple dancing a wild, dizzy dance.

Scores & Parts

Dances In The Madhouse - Set of Performance Scores

Additional Information

Composition Date 1982
Orchestration 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0; Perc. Str. (Originally for Vln. or DFl. and Gtr.)
Premiere November 30th, 1990. The Fairfield Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Crawford; Norwalk Concert Hall (CT).


I. Tango Solitaire
II. Waltz for the Old Folks
III. Ballad for the Lonely
IV. Samba!

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