David Chaitkin, Composer

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Comment and Reviews
Summersong for 23 wind instruments
"beautiful music and beautifully crafted, with many ravishing moments"
--Gunther Schuller
Serenade for seven players
"an attractive essay in deliberately paced, floating sonorities... lyrical and elegiac, full of grateful writing
for various instrumental combinations"
-- John Rockwell, The New York Times
Scattering dark and bright -- duo for piano and percussion
"a lushly attractive and vital work, with long lines of melody that sweep through rippling textures"
-- Andrew Porter, The New Yorker
Quintet for violin, cello, flute, clarinet and piano
"David Chaitkin's Quintet is quite simply a revelation. Here at last is a composer who has succeeded in synthesizing a contemporary musical language which is more than vital, pleasing, and exciting. I must invoke the word beautiful. He owes something to the minimalists, but the Quintet has harmonic adventure which is absent from so much of the minimalist music we hear today. Contrapuntal and rhythmic interest are also present, but the overall effect is far beyond the sum of these well-crafted components. If Chaitkin is able to continue writing music of this quality, he will be able to guide us into the musical future."
-- Strings Magazine
Etudes for Piano
"une imagination superbe"
-- Ostinato, Paris
Seasons Such as These for six-part chorus, a cappella
“went beyond mere musical virtuosity and into the realms of clarity of seeing and compassion of feeling that are in Shakespeare's language...many-layered luminous sheets of sound...one could peer through the veils, illuminating, obscuring, and protecting, and discern the truth."
-- Richard Dyer, Boston Globe
CRI CD 749:
...first impressions of Chaitkin’s music dwell on abundance of allure...further hearings reveal it to reside within remarkably sturdy yet self-effacing architecture... The disc’s most recent work, Summersong... is in a sense the most impressive, in that Chaitkin writes in so seamlessly sylvan a manner for so large a force. As a personal thing, I am predisposed to avoid music for winds, and here I cannot: Summersong’s charms are too much in evidence. Not, of course, to minimize strengths, among which I include by inference an eloquent argument for art music’s freedom to look where it will for sustenance...
--M. Silverton, FANFARE, Sept./Oct. 1997
CRI CD 749:
Chaitkin’s Serenade (is) a quiet, lovely work of almost pre-Raphaelite beauty....
Summersong...seamless, dreamy, voluptuous...long melodic lines intermingle in tranquil polyphony and exquisite, ever-varied timbral permutations...there’s some very beautiful music here. David Chaitkin has a sensitivity and depth of feeling that -- in his Serenade and Summersong, in particular--will bring great pleasure to willing ears.
--M. L. Lehman, American Record Guide, Sept./Oct. 1997
Impromptu; Prelude and Dance (from Three Dances) for piano solo:
Chaitkin makes brilliant use of a diverse musical palette in his compositions. A lyric style infuses much of his impromptu. Dedicated to the memory of Frederic Ewen, this beautiful tribute falls into three sections, each imbued with a subtle improvisatory spirit...The technical demands of Chaitkin’s impromptu include a poetically gentle virtuosity...The character of the dance arises from its rhythmic vitality, the crispness of articulations, and the clever distribution of material across the keyboard.
--W.T. Spiller, NOTES, December 1998

Mr. Oldfather was excellent again when he had the chance to shine alone, in beautiful and wistful pieces
by David Chaitkin.
--Paul Griffiths, New York Times, Sept. 17, 2001

Note:
Impromptu, published by C.F. Peters, is subject of an article by Brian Robison in the
French music journal Ostinato-Rigore, Number 23