Music by Daniel Dorff
review of the Perennials CD and The Tortoise and the Hare CD, from Fanfare Magazine (review by David DeBoor Canfield)
for Flute and Piano
piece!! April Whirlwind has everything - lovely lyricism, a spontaneous
spirit, and jazzy brilliance. I will look forward to sharing it with legions
an exuberant and joyful paean to Spring."
|Concerto for Contrabassoon with Clarinet, Horn, and Strings|
concert] was jammed with people who were obviously pleased they were there.
A local composer with a growing international reputation presented a
world premiere that deserved the response the audience gave it."
sure all contrabassoon players will treasure this addition to their ...
excellent new concerto... in a very listenable and audience-appealing style.
Dorff has written a number of fine compositions and has crafted here an
excellent new work for the contrabassoonist."
for the contrabassoon has been significantly enhanced of late by the addition
of concertos by Daniel Dorff..."
is a work that could effectively introduce the rarely heard contrabassoon to
audiences of any age or experience. It
has the happy characteristic of being easily understood.
Performers will appreciate its professionally clear notation and
|Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra|
"Concerto for Solo Percussion and Orchestra is an excellent addition to the much-needed percussion concerto literature. Its contrasting movements, challenging solo part, creative orchestration, accessibility to many players and visual interest makes this a worthwhile solo for those percussionists looking for a new percussion concerto."
"Congratulations to Daniel Dorff for supplying a worthy extension of his concerto for those looking for a recital-quality xylophone piece."
"An entertaining piece, exceptionally well received by the audience."
|Dance Music for Mr. Mouse A Cartoon Ballet for Eb Clarinet and Piano|
"Daniel Dorff has written a most attractive work for the often-neglected E-flat clarinet – at least when it comes to solo repertoire. As someone who held an orchestral position on E-flat some years ago it was great to be provoked into taking the piccolo clarinet out again after years of neglect. It really was fun to play through this piece. It's not particularly difficult for a professional player and would certainly add variety and color to a recital program. It does go up to altissimo A towards the end, so for non-E-flat players it will take a little while to get your chops in shape to play it. However, it certainly is worth the effort. The publisher describes it thus: "... using rock-infused themes and the squealing glory of the E-flat clarinet... this dance suite, which is at once entertaining, and also a striking recital work... setting the tale of an exuberant mouse dancing himself to an early demise."
|Fantasy, Scherzo, and Nocturne for Saxophone Quartet|
hopes that many college ensembles will add this interesting selection to the
short list of American saxophone quartets."
-Steve Mauk, MLA Notes, 9/79
"The Fantasy is a lovely lyrical movement in medium tempo, followed by the fast, playful Scherzo. The slow Nocturne begins with a lovely duo for tenor and baritone saxophones. This is a dramatic and emotional movement... It's a good piece for both college students and professional players. The ensemble writing is excellent, with all four voices getting a chance to sing out. It is a remarkable work from such a young composer."
-Susan Fancher, Saxophone Journal, September/October 2007
for Saxophone Quartet
short, upbeat piece makes a terrific opener for a concert, or as the first
piece after intermission."
|Flash! for Piccolo and Piano (or Band)|
"Daniel Dorff's "Flash!" is a jazzy American-sounding piece with
shades of Gershwin to my ears. It's a lot of fun to listen to and I imagine
to play, and was at the time of the release of this CD being arranged for
piccolo and wind orchestra."
|Goldilocks and the Three Bears for Narrator and Mixed Octet or Orchestra|
|In A Deep Funk: Dance Set for Unaccompanied Contrabassoon|
Movement 2: "Twist Variations"
|It Takes Four to Tango for Saxophone Quartet|
is a wonderful little soprano saxophone feature. You could program this
anywhere on a concert, either on its own or right after Fast Walk, for
example. It can be played "straight" as written, or more inflected
in a jazz style."
|Lamentations for String Orchestra|
|"Worthy of the spotlight... the most interesting and
sensitively performed on the concert... the composer should be heard from
-Lesley Valdes, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/27/87
|9 Walks Down 7th Avenue for Flute and Piano|
Dorff's 9 Walks Down 7th Avenue has more than a clever title going for
it. While the title suggests New York and Gershwin or Bernstein, the music
sounds more like Paris and Poulenc. It is witty and sophisticated music.
|Nocturne Caprice for solo Flute|
Dorff wrote his Nocturne-Caprice expressly for this event, and an express
composition it was, with about three weeks separating the commission and the
premiere. It is an admirable addition to the repertoire, structured in a
circular manner, as inspired by Chopin Nocturnes. Dorff encompasses a number
of stylistic gestures, starting with a bluesy motif that morphs into
whole-tone rows and flashy arpeggios, before settling back into a sweet
repose. The elements are well integrated and are set out with calm pacing.
Stillman rendered the music with utter confidence and palpable expressiveness.
|Pachelbel's Christmas A Merry Melange for Brass Quintet|
is a clever, original and amusing number which will add spice to the Christmas
|Serenade to Eve, After Rodin for Flute and Guitar|
really charming miniature."
|Sonatine de Giverny for Piccolo and Piano|
This is a wonderful piece. The
impressionist mood is so lovely and the piccolo fits into this environment
beautifully. I am delighted with
this piece of music. Congratulations - your piece makes me wish I still played piccolo."
Dorff's Sonatine de Giverny is the first composition for piccolo and
piano that is in the great tradition of the French School. Giverny will
become the landmark composition for expressive French piccolo playing. We are grateful for Dorff's fine effort. Giverny now
becomes a musical standard which other composers must attain."
composer Daniel Dorff wrote Sonatine de Giverny in three movements.
Commissioned by a name familiar to the piccolo world, Jan Gippo, in 2000, it
is a beautiful French-flavoured piece inspired by a visit to Monet's home
and its famous gardens. The work contains much lovely writing for the piccolo
and, although very challenging when in the high register, Gudrun produces a
sweet and relaxed tone, making it easy to picture flowers, water, and birds in
the delightful French setting of Giverny.
|Summer Solstice for Clarinet and Strings|
Solstice is very pleasant music - light without being insubstantial,
melodic without being obvious. It
has an invariably American sound."
Solstice opened with Arne Running's jazzy, dancing clarinet playing in
front of the kind of American country fair music that makes you feel like
someone should step out of the crowd and start dancing.
The slow movement was easy and full. The finale was sweet and driving.
Dorff's Summer Solstice was the
palatable dessert, while mid-century music of... Schnittke was the experimental
events of 1994 included the impressive premiere of Daniel Dorff's Summer Solstice."
a distinctive contemporary accent to the Haddonfield Symphony's third program
of the season... For those who brave the first storm of winter - and most did
- there was much to enjoy... Dorff's 18-minute piece cast a friendly glow with its
jaunty rhythms and sunny musical themes. Summer
Solstice falls on the ears like the graceful caress of a warm day.
Superbly performed, the score radiated an old-fashioned charm.
The three-movement score is a gift for a superb soloist."
delightful three-movement work for which the description "rollicking" is
most often the apt word. a celebration of summer filled with bright harmonies
and happy spirit. "
Solstice is lyrical and fresh as rainwater. [John] Yeh gave a bright turn to its tangled
tunes and merry melodies and a subtly nuanced performance of the languid
larghetto. His clarinet cut like a lean laser above the lush cohesive
The Kiss (after the painting by Gustav Klimt) for Orchestra
performance encourages me to delve further into the music of the composer....
A world premiere from a relatively young yet established composer is always
thrilling, especially when the music is as enjoyable as that of the
orchestra's composer-in-residence, Daniel Dorff... The performance was
stunning perhaps because the musicians seemed to be enthusiastic about the
score. This certainly reflects well on the composer. The audience
clearly felt and responded to the music.... I was delighted to hear such
unabashed melodic writing."
-Classical New Jersey, 3/7/02
Year of the Rabbit
for Flute Quartet or Ensemble
Dorff always pleases and his The Year of the Rabbit... did not disappoint. Dorff
is deeply musical, eschews rhetoric, and this piece for eight flutes was
charming and unaffected."
|Three Dance Etudes for Marimba Duo or Ensemble|
vigorous... coloristic, lively dances exploited the instrument's best
The Tortoise and the Hare & Other Tales CD of collected works for young listeners
Daniel Dorff was asked to compose music for a series of shows that would cover
the joy of various children's fairy tales and stories. The Tortoise and The
Hare & Other Tales (Bridge) is a CD that honors his work and the stories
that have excited children for decades, and does so by utilizing a full
orchestra as well as smaller groups. "Blast Off!" and "Billy And
The Carnival" are the pieces with full orchestral arrangements, both
featuring narration from Ukee
Washington, a news anchor on Philadelphia's
CBS3. When he asks the listeners if they ever dreamed of being
able to fly into outer space, one can imagine a child feeling as excited about
the possibility as they are hearing Washington, perhaps believing he may have
been someone to take flight as well. Dorff's music steadily shows the
anticipation of that flight before eventually heading beyond the atmosphere, and
I'm sure Washington had a lot of fun doing this.
Actress Ann Crumb handles the narration for "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "Three Fun Fables," these accompanied by smaller orchestras. For those who may know her for her singing (she was the vocalist on a double CD which displayed her father's work, Complete Crumb Edition, Volume Ten (her father being composer George Crumb), you will no doubt be delighted by her spoken performances here, especially in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Again, the music in these pieces is enthusiastic, and hopefully the listener will be moved and remember these versions of the stories when they grow up. For the adult, I think it's nice to hear these stories done in a manner that isn't dated. It reveals the power of classical music, and of course the beauty and mystery of the human voice, all meant to prepare a child for the big world they will become a part of when it is their time."
Three Fun Fables for Narrator and Orchestra
was very pleased to have the opportunity to conduct this work in a Philadelphia
Orchestra Family Concert in April of 2000.
Mr. Dorff's work is exciting, engaging, and funny for the children, as
well as containing some very good learning experiences from the wonderful
Aesop's fables. It is very
skillfully written for the orchestra, and uses the instruments in a most
effective way. I can recommend this
work with great enthusiasm for a Family or Children's Concert."
hit of the show. more fun for adults than children"
|Variations on "America" (Charles Ives) arranged for Flute and Piano|
arrangement is quite faithful to the Ives score, and Dorff expertly altered the
articulations in Variations 1 and 3 to more closely resemble the sound that
would have been created by the organ. The addition of these slurs improves the
fluidity of the melodic line and assists the retention of smooth phrases that
are closer to the original intention of Ives when he composed the work in 1891.
|Woodland Reverie for Solo Flute|
"... this gentle work sounds like a summer daydream, with
its rising lines, legato passages, subtle embellishments of the main
theme, interesting but not jarring contrasts, and generally meandering
feel. It is not technically demanding but contains many delightful
opportunities for expression."
last updated 9/7/15