George Whitefield Chadwick, A Conductors Guide to Style and Resources

Presentation for the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference, January 28, 2023

Compiled by Robert Baldwin, Director of Orchestras, University of Utah

Sources for Scores (and often parts)


Rip Van Winkle – 1879 (10’) timp, str. (Two versions: the original, longer 1879 version- A/R Editions), and an “Americanized” version from 1929 (Fleisher, picc.2222/4231/timp. 3 perc.  It was produced by Eastman School of Music and distributed by Birchard in 1930 (A/R Editions – original edition, newly edited (preferred); Fleischer Collection – “Americanized” edition)

Thalia – 1882 (14’)

            (NEC Library)

The Miller’s Daughter – 1886 (Song and Overture for Baritone Voice and Orchestra) 2222/4200/timp. Str. (NEC Library)

Melpomene, Dramatic Overture – 1887 (12’)  2+1.1+1.2.2/,timp,perc,str (Lucks, Kalmus, Fleischer Collection)

A Pastoral Prelude for Orchestra – 1890 (13’) (NEC Library, Fleischer Collection)

Adonais Overture – 1899 (15’) 2+,timp,perc, hp, str (A-R Editions- a new edition, Fleischer Collection, ms. on IMSLP)

Euterpe – 1903 (10’) 2+,timp,hp,str (score and parts on IMSLP, Kalmus, Fleischer Collection)

Anniversary Overture (1922) 2.1+1.2.2/,timp,perc, cel, str (NEC Library, ms. score on IMSLP)

Symphonies and symphonic works

Symphony No. 1 in C, op. 5 – 1881 (30’) str. (NEC Library, ms. score on IMSLP). No live recording. Midi of 1st mvt:

Symphony No. 2 in B-flat, op. 21 – 1885 (35’),timp,str (Lucks, Kalmus, IMSLP, Fleischer Collection)

Symphony No. 3 in F – 1893 (35’),timp,str (Lucks, Kalmus, IMSLP, Fleisher Collection) First prize of the 1894 competition at the National Conservatory of Music, with a $300 cash prize, judged by Dvorak.

Symphonic Sketches – 1895-1904 (31’)  2+1.1+1.2+1.2/,timp,perc,hp,str (Lucks, Kalmus, IMSLP, Fleischer Collection) Movements are playable separately: Jubilee, Noel, Hobgoblin, Vagrom Ballad.

Sinfonietta in D – 1904 (27’) 2+,timp,perc,hp,str  (Lucks, Kalmus, Fleischer Collection)

Suite Symphonique in E-flat – 1909 (30’) 2+,timp,perc,hp,str (Lucks, Kalmus)

Symphonic Poems

Cleopatra, Symphonic Poem – 1904 (21’) 2+1.2+1.2+1.2/,timp,perc, hp, cel (ad lib), str. (Fleischer Collection, NEC Performance Library)

Aphrodite, Symphonic Fantasy – 1911 (30’) 3.2+1.2+1.2+1/,timp,perc, cel, str. Opt. offstage trumpets and drums. (Kalmus, IMSLP)

Tam O’Shanter, Symphonic Ballade – 1915 (20’) 2+1.2+1.3+1.2/,timp,perc,hp,str (Lucks, Kalmus, Fleischer Collection)

Angel of Death – 1918 (14’)  2+1.2+1.2+1.2/,timp,hp,str (ms. on IMSLP. Score and Parts in the NEC Library and the Fleischer Collection)

Other Orchestral Works

Andante for Strings (ed. Girsberger) (15’) – str (Kalmus)

Serenade in F for Strings – 1890 (27’) – str (Kalmus, Fleischer Collection)

Eastern Morn for cello and orch., arr. Goodrich/Girsberger (4’),hp,str,cello solo (Kalmus)

Tabasco March from the Opera, Tabasco – 1894 (3’) 2+ perc. str (IMSLP. A version also exists for Concert Band)

Elegy, In memoriam Horatio Parker – 1920 (NEC, Fleischer Collection)

3 Pezzi par Orchestra – 1923 (NEC, Fleischer Collection)

Works for Chorus and Orchestra (not studied for this presentation)

  • Dedication Ode (H.B. Carpenter), S, A, T, B, SATB, orchestra, 1883
  • Noël (Boston, 1888)
  • Lovely Rosabelle (W. Scott), S, T, SATB, orchestra, 1889
  • The Pilgrims (F.D. Hemans), SATB, orchestra, 1890
  • Phoenix expirans (cant., Lat. hymn), S, A, T, B, SATB, orchestra, 1891
  • Ode for the Opening of the Chicago World’s Fair (H. Monroe), S, T, SATB, wind ens, orchestra, 1892
  • The Lily Nymph (Bates), S, T, B, B, SATB, orchestra, 1894–5
  • Ecce jam noctis (J.G. Parker, after St Gregory), male vv, org, orchestra, 1897
  • Noël (various texts), pastoral, solo vv, SATB, orchestra, 1907–8

Selected Resources:

  • Baldwin, Robert. George Chadwick’s Tam ‘O Shanter: Culmination of a Descriptive Orchestral Style. DMA Dissertation Document, University of Arizona, 1996.
  • Faucett, Bill: George Whitefield Chadwick: His Symphonic Works. Lanham, MD.: Scarecrow Press, 1996
  • Faucett, Bill. George Whitefield Chadwick: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 1998.
  • Faucett, Bill. George Whitefield Chadwick: The Life and Music of the Pride of New England. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2012.
  • Hamm, Charles: Music in the New World. New York: W.W. Norton, 1983.
  • Hitchcock, H. Wiley. Music in These United States. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice Hall, 1988.
  • Yellin, Victor Fell. Chadwick: Yankee Composer. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.

Thoughts on the Eve of a Sabbatical

I am officially on sabbatical from the University of Utah. Some sabbaticals are the result of a process, others are enforced by circumstances. My on-again-off-again sabbatical is an odd combination of both, and it has indeed been a strange journey.

This “first sabbatical” of my university teaching career was originally granted in 2018, to be taken in the spring semester of 2020. Fall of 2019 had a surprise in store for me, however, one where I would find myself climbing onto an operating room table and voluntarily allowing someone to crack open my chest and stop my heart for several hours in order to add new plumbing…(That was fun. No need to rehash any more of those details…)

Recovery from that experience was one of those “enforced sabbaticals,” so the actual one got shifted ahead a year. The recovery and return to duties went swimmingly well, and by December of 2019, everything was back on track. But the Fates were to throw another curve at me (and you, and the entire planet) — COVID-19.

So, all of humanity got an enforced sabbatical in 2020. Not surprisingly, my planned sabbatical would not happen, once again. The pandemic canceled my plans to conduct that year in Finland and teach and conduct in China (in Wuhan, of all places). Instead, the situation required my attention at home for over two years, helping to navigate how orchestral ensembles could operate during such unprecedented times. All that resulted in amazing experiences, and yet another delay in sabbatical plans.

There were more than a few moments when I thought I’d throw in the towel, just forget it. It’s hard for an ensemble director to step away during the best of times, and I was already behind in the count—two strikes down. Yet now, here I am, on the cusp of swing number 3. Part of me is wary of another curveball, but so far so good. (I’m planning to tear the cover off the ball this spring with that final swing, BTW).

Tickets are booked for Spain. Tickets are being booked for Florida/South Carolina. Tickets are soon to be booked for Kansas. Those are the trips—2 conferences, a self-guided writing retreat, and a concert/residency at KU. In addition I’ll be writing a couple of articles; developing a new class for DMA conductors at the U (perhaps the first of its kind in the world), and also be developing a new-concept conducting masterclass that involves theatrical improv techniques, movement, and focusing exercises. Yes, I’ll be busy, but I also am counting on writing a poem or two, because there are also beaches to comb, trails to hike, and about 120 sunrises and sunsets in the semester ahead to experience as well.

Copyright 2022, Robert Baldwin, Before the Downbeat

Image credit:

The crack that lets in the light

Wall after earthquake

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

For some reason, I’ve been keenly aware lately of a sense of decay, seemingly everywhere. I’m not referring to the beautiful fall leaves, or anything related to a natural cycle, but rather the decrepit state of our roads, our sense of civic duty, our commitment to each other. It’s as if the entire infrastructure of life is crumbling from the edges. Perhaps the sorry state of our roads is but a metaphor for the current state of life. Or, maybe it is just me—the result of recovering from something (and aren’t we always doing so in one way or another?), or maybe it’s because I’m on the doorstep of 60. Maybe it’s because I’ve lost beloved family members and pets in recent years…I really don’t know…

But I do know what helps: Music. Tuesday it was conducting The Planets; yesterday and today it was listening to Bach’s B-minor Mass. Both are established monuments. And once established, MUSIC is one of the monuments that never decays. Holst is as fresh as it was a century ago. Bach’s music is as deeply moving as it was 300 years ago. So while the potholes will inevitably keep forming, the bedrock remains stable if we just open our ears, our minds, and our souls. Music is light.

Thanks for coming to my mini-Ted Talk/therapy session. It’s fall break. This is the danger of me having a moment to think.

Copyright, 2022. Robert Baldwin Before the Downbeat

Every creative act exposes, even as it expresses.

In order to make art, we need to push beyond our comfort zone. I have made a career of urging people towards that edge, and sometimes well beyond their comfy borders. Love it or hate it, it’s what conductors and music teachers do. This is how any art is made, be it music, visual, literary, dance, drama, etc. I am but one in a long line of teachers, conductors, composers, and authors who similarly pushed themselves, and all of us. It is only natural (and fair) that I require this of my students and myself.

I’ve been at it long enough to have figured it out in music…for the most part. The public side of my writing life is relatively new, however. I still find that my poetic and other creative writing activity challenges me more, not only in terms of creative vulnerability but also in the willingness to show my work to others and to “getting it out there.” Risking criticism is part of the process, as is dealing with rejection. But it is admittedly often uncomfortable.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” ~ Stephen King, On Writing

You may have followed the publication of my first poems in 2018, the competition that resulted in the emergence of the chapbook this past year, the 100+ Hike-oo (Haiku created on the trail and shared online during the pandemic), and the recent “Saga of the Cave.” While all of these were cool achievements, none were easy. They also exposed vulnerabilities even as they opened new possibilities. None were easy.

Today is no different. I am sending off a manuscript of 60 poems to a publisher, my second attempt at a real book of poems (the first attempt was rejected…remember, it’s part of “the game”). I’m also sending a few individual poems in to some rather big places. All are long shots, but you can’t hit anything unless you first notch an arrow, aim, and let fly. Translation: create, edit, and press submit.

A little luck also helps.

Stay tuned…and…

“Never tell me the odds.” (Han Solo, Empire Strikes Back)

Copyright, 2022. Robert Baldwin

Image: Sunflower from my backyard.

Bach…In a cave!

I greatly enjoyed performing at Timpanogos Cave National Monument on Saturday for their Centennial Event. I am continually grateful for these opportunities to create and share art, and to meet up with old students and friends (in this case Lara and Toru Tagawa and their son, who also played in the cave). Today’s activity inspired me to compose the short story below. Please enjoy if you have time to read. Excuse the third person narrative ­– it just seemed to work better.

Preludes, Caves, and Cosmos

The day was warm as he began his journey, bordering on hot. Few would understand the importance of this day – the mountain, the climb, the cave, the music. He began by strapping a viola onto his back. More than just an instrument, the viola had been with him for 5 decades. Not this same viola, of course, but he’d had played the instrument since joining a school orchestra in the 4th grade. He’d been hiking since before that, but like music, both had morphed from chore into life-sustaining practice.

The only sounds that would accompany his steps were the music and words of great sages: Bach, Whitman, Sappho, Shakespeare. He was bold enough to include one of his own poems. It seemed somehow appropriate. As he reached the cave entrance, a guide took him to his place, deep inside the mountain – a place of public performance, and private ceremony.

He unpacked his instrument and adjusted the tuning. His hands had swollen from the hike, yet were oddly clammy from the cool underground environment. The soft rosin on the bow had begun to harden with the 50-degree temperature change from outside to inside. Nonetheless, the sound came as he knew it must. He put bow to string, focused upon the friction that drew sound, and became the first chord, G-major, moving to the next, C-major. Relativity lost all meaning in the waves of arpeggios bouncing off mysterious acoustics of stalactites and flowstone, the tones, reflecting off walls formed millions of years before this “old music” was ever composed.

An occasional appreciative tour group filed past. To them, he read a poem and played a little gigue. But mostly he played to the cave. He gave his soul to the music, to the words, and to this life he was blessed with continuing. The ancient formations responded like a cathedral, one the masters never imagined. Unique harmonies appeared. This cave had always known overtones, yet never experienced them organized in this particular way.

When the music ended, a transformation had occurred, though no visible changes were apparent. The cave returned to silence. He packed up and left the way he’d come, back down the mountain, knowing every note, once played, never fully recedes. His passage had been recorded, somehow – the gift, now received.

Written after performing at Timpanogos Cave National Monument, 8/13/22

Copyright, 2022 by Robert Baldwin

Photo credit: Laura Tagawa