Martin Gaskell – Musical Compositions
(Updated 2011 May 12 – this web page is perpetually under construction – please let me know if a link doesn’t work)
Since I have spent my life in academia as an astronomer rather than as a professional composer, my list of musical compositions is small compared with the lists of works of well-known composers of the last few centuries. Here are some MP3 audio files of some of my musical compositions for anyone who wants to listen to my music, and some PDF files of the scores for people who are interested in performing pieces. I have grouped the compositions below under the headings of orchestral music (my favorite), chamber music, choral music, piano music, etc. If you are interested in performing music of any particular genre send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Putting PDF and audio files on this site for downloading is a long, slow, ongoing process, so if you are interested in something for which the music is not yet posted, just send me an e-mail. I am also gradually putting up YouTube videos of select works.
I’d like to express my appreciation to the many people who play or sing in the excerpts of live performances. Although I know myself what my music sounds like (or I think I know!), performers always play a role in adding something to it. It’s always nice that my music sounds better in performance than I imagine it will. There are too many performers to thank individually here, but many names can be found in some of the on-line program notes.
Music with and without a soloist, for full orchestra, or just strings. Includes music suitable for high-school ensembles, youth, and community orchestras.
 Clark Potter, viola solo. MP3 of complete work – Garritan Orchestra (some glitches). YouTube video: Austin Philharmonic Orchestra, Nov. 10, 2010 (conducted by David Oertel). Short performance recording excerpts from University of Nebraska Symphony Orchestra, April 2002, conducted by Prof. Tyler White. The Fantasia for Viola and Orchestra was given a recital premiere on March 5, 2000 in Kimball Recital Hall at the University of Nebraska Lincoln as part of a concert by Prof. Potter of the works of living Nebraska composers. Click here for details of the recital.
 Garritan Orchestra
 Written as an engagement present for Tom and Jo Anne Pennello. Recorded in concert in Mueller Planetarium. Chamber orchestra conducted by Ben Carlisle.
 Recorded in concert in Mueller Planetarium. Chamber orchestra conducted by Ben Carlisle
 Lincoln Homeschool Senior String Orchestra, July 2006. Conducted by composer. Click here for orchestra web site (with photos). Click here for photos and a short movie clip of an earlier rehearsal for the premiere in a house concert at Pi Acres in 2005.
 Lincoln Homeschool Senior String Orchestra, July 2006. Conducted by composer. Click here for orchestra web site (with photos).
 Written for the wedding of Esther and Robert Crookshank in the chapel at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. A shortened version was used for the bridal entry. (Esther Crookshank is the Ollie Hale Chiles Professor of Church Music and Director of the Academy of Sacred Music at SBTS.)
WOODWIND – see below under “Chamber Music”
Sacred music with and without accompaniment. Some audio help files for singers can be found under “more information”
 An intimate performance by the DWS Chorale. Listen to that exquisite alto singing! For more information about David Solomons, and more recordings by the DWS Chorale, click here.
 First performance at Grace Community Evangelical Church, Lincoln, Nebraska with Carlene Schrag, organist.
 Recorded at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, with Dr. John Friesen, organist. Click here for more details and photos.
Sonatas and other compositions for solo instrument with piano accompaniment, and chamber ensembles.
 First performance by David Solomons (violin) and the composer. Second performance, Jon Berger (violin) and the composer, 1976.
 Premiered by the “Quasar Quartet”, Tuesday November 28, 2000 in the Westbrook Concert Hall at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Click here for concert details and program notes.
 Variation on a variation by Sergei Rachmaninoff on a variation by Arcangelo Corelli on La Folia (~ Packington’s Pound). First performance by Helen Dowd (violin) and the composer (piano) in a private recital in 2007 (as an “addition” to the Corelli variations!)
 First performance by Helen Dowd (violin) and the composer (piano) in a private recital, summer 2008.
 First performance by Katja Lindner, Easter 2010, First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Austin TX.
 YouTube video of performance by Katja Lindner. The MP3 files have different registrations and tempi.
 Performance by composer at Stevenson College, University of California at Santa Cruz. Poor sound quality – from small portable tape recorder. Recording courtesy of Harriet Dinerstein.
 Dedicated to Kenneth C. Burgess.
What I am working on right now?
Because of my responsibilities as an astrophysicist, I only compose in my spare time and composing goes slowly. My current big project is a three-movement piano concerto for Texas pianist Charlotte Mueller. The current target date for performing it is the 2012-2013 season (this has already slipped by a few years!). Other large on-going compositional projects include a three-movement Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, completing Aurora, a fairly long symphonic poem for large orchestra that I began a long time ago (the score is currently about two-thirds complete), and revising my first symphony (you can hear two complete movements of the symphony and excerpts from the other two movements above – see under “Orchestral music”). Thanks to modern technology, you can hear previews of works in progress by clicking on the links below!
In my spare time I have also been gradually writing a full length text book called Composing and Interpreting Music. If you are curious about what is in it, here is a PDF files of the Preface and Table of Contents of a recent draft.
In the past composers sketched out drafts of their compositions on paper. Sometimes these drafts and sketches have survived along with occasional diary entries by the composer. When such information is available musicologists and music historians have great fun piecing together the genesis and evolution of a composition. We are now, however, in the age of computers and the internet, so records of the process of composing music do not need to be confined to archives of rare manuscripts where only a few scholars can access them. I’m not the “blogging” type of person, but it did occur to me that I could put a few sound recordings of bits of my unfinished compositions here for anyone who is curious to hear what they sound like.
National Association of Composers / USA (NACUSA) - Texas Chapter web site.