This concert features works by seven Musicians Club of New York Member-Composers. All seven composers will be present and some are performing their own pieces. This has become one of the most popular evenings of the Musicians Club of New York's concert series - and we are increasingly proud of this annual event.



The Dorothy Indenbaum Composers Concert

Works by Member-Composers:

(click on names or photos to link to bio)

Alla Borzova            Alexander Dmitriev              Brian Hunter

Paul H. Kirby               Bonnie McAlvin       Nataliya Medvedovskaya      Mira J. Spektor

With Performances by:

Barbara Ames, piano; Yue Chu, piano; Zoya Gramagin, soprano; Olga Gurevich, piano; Bert Hill, French hornLily Holgate, violin; Brian Hunter, tenor
Karen Jolicoeur, soprano; Paul Kirby, pianoBonnie McAlvin, Flute; Nataliya Medvedovskaya, pianoLeslie Middlebrook, mezzo-soprano

Sunday, March 18, 2018, 3:30 PM

Scandinavia House
Victor Borge Hall
58 Park Avenue (at 38th Street)
New York City


with Composers' Notes/Words

Fairy Tale Pictures................................................................... Alla Borzova

1. Bogatyrs’ Watch
2. Chimes
3. Dream-grass
4. Baba Yaga
5. The Gate to the Fairy Tale Pictures

Fairy Tale Pictures (1986), five pieces for piano solo, were inspired by the fascinating world of Slavic fairy tales. The opening movement, “Bogatyrs on Guard”, is the brief variations to a short theme. This movement was inspired by the famous painting Bogatyrs by Viktor Vasnetsov, the Russian artist of the turn of the 20th century, who specialized in Russian mythological and historical subjects. In the picture, three mighty bogatyrs (epic heroic warriors of Kievan Rus’) on horseback overlook the unbounded expanses of Russia. “Chimes” is written in a ternary form. The beginning of each section is marked by the entry of two chimes, followed by the imitative development of their motive. “Dream-grass”, also written in a ternary form, is based on the theme of the Belarusian folk lullaby. In the Slavic fairy tales, dream-grass has the power to make a live creature fall asleep for eternity. The very important part of this piece is its Coda: the unconcerned Time counts indifferently the instants of our life. The title “Baba Yaga” inevitably reminds a listener about the pieces of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky of the same name. Baba Yaga is a vicious witch who flies around in a giant mortar navigated by the broom. She also kidnaps and eats little children who don’t listen to their parents. This piece is a virtuoso fugue, the music of which gradually becomes wilder and eventually goes out of control. “The Gate to the Fairy Tale Kingdom” is based on just six intervals, which build the entire texture of the piece. It is written in binary form; in the second part, the right and left hands exchange their parts (in musical terms it is called double counterpoint). After a climax, the music of the third movement’s Coda returns with the image of Time.

Fairy Tale Pictures were premiered by Irina Shumilina at the international festival Belarusian Musical Autumn in 1986 and immediately included into the repertoire of many pianists. A year later they were published by the publishing house "Muzyka" in Moscow. Currently, the piece is published by Euterpe Press (ASCAP) and available via Bill Holab Music. Among other performances of the piece in the U.S. are those by Eileen Buck, Max Lifchitz, and Cristina Valdes.


Suite: Jesus............................................................................. Brian Hunter
1. Rest
2. Give
3. Put
4. Lo echsar
Brian Hunter, tenor; Yue Chu, piano

BRIAN HUNTER: Words to Suite Jesus
יהוה רעי  (Adonai ro-i) - The Lord is my shepherd
לא אחסר (lo echsar) - I shall not want

Look, a glutton, a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors…and sinners. Yes, sinners. But listen to a sinner praying, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth for hiding me from the know-it-allers, and the power grabbers. Only those who see themselves as children God is pleased to be as Father. Everything has been entrusted to me by the Father, no one knows the Son except the Father. No one knows the Father but the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Come to me all you who labor and are heavy burdened, And I will give you, yes, I will put in you: rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find, yes, you will find: rest for your souls. Yes, my yolk is easy and my burden light.

Give all your parents’ money to the poor,
Then all that you've made, then follow me.
We may sow in tears for justice,
But I'll guard and guide you to heaven
And pour love into your heart 
'til you see the poor as our way.

Give all your time and trouble to the poor.
This is the one way to be yourself.
We become the poor in Spirit with the God of heaven,
Where no thief can steal our joy
And no liar can even know our rest.

Put us in prison with the sinner,
For all were made to drink the same cup.

Singers, choirs, come to prison.
Doctors, teachers, lawyers, preachers,
Curious seekers, college streakers,
Ballet troupes and holy groups, come to prison.

Let us meet behind the locks and together
Start anew, start anew.
Forgive and forget our captors,
For holders of the keys are not for heaven.

God has so composed us humans,
Giving greater honor to the lesser,
That we all might have
the same care for the poor as for the mighty.

If one human suffers, all soon suffer.
If one is honored, all rejoice, all rejoice.


We applaud you, Lord, Adonai ro-i,
You have led us beside still waters to rest.

We applaud you, Lord, Adonai ro-i,
You have led us to care for the poor.

Lo echsar in the darkest valley.
Lo echsar in righteousness.
Adonai ro-i, lo echsar, lo echsar.

Rhapsody on a Theme of Rachmaninov......................Alexander Dmitirev
Olga Gurevich, piano

The Rhapsody is modeled after Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. It is based on music of Rachmaninov’s prelude for piano. The first part consists of a theme and several variations. The second part is a reminiscence of a middle section of Rachmaniov’s rhapsody. In that section, the theme of Paganini is inverted. The final episode uses another melody from the same prelude. Also, I would like to note that this year marks 75 years since Rachmaninov died and was buried in a county where I now live (Westchester). 

Four Songs................................................................................Mira Spektor
1. "Emerveillement", on a French poem by Anna Contesse de Noaille  (1876 - 1933)
2. "Guinevere Among the Grapefruit Peels", lyrics by June Siegel (1930 - 2014) from The Housewives Cantata
3. "Turn Around", from Giovanni the Fearless
4. "Love, A Coupling of Souls" - a capella trio/round on a poem by Percy Shelley (1792 -1822) from Villa Diodati
Karen Jolicoeur, soprano; Leslie Middlebrook, mezzo-soprano;
Brian Hunter, tenor; Barbara Ames, piano

EMERVEILLEMENT (Translation by Mira J. Spektor)
Mon Dieu, je ne puis pas dire combine est fort  / My God, I cannot tell how strong
mon Coeur de ce matin devant le soleil d’or,     / my heart is, this morning before the golden sun,
Devan tout ce qui brille et sintille dehors.          / Before all that shines and sparkles outside.

Faudra-t’il que jamais je n’épuise ma joie         / May I never have to exhaust my joy
De cette eau qui reluit, de cet air qui me noie,  / for this water that gleams, this air that drowns me,
De tout ce qui du temps en mon ame poudroie!/ For all that, with time in my soul becomes dust.

Viendront-elles un jour, en quelque paradis,    / Will they come one day, in some paradise,
Ces collines pour qui j’ai tant fait et tant dit,   / those hills, for which I did and spoke so much,
M’apporter la chaleur du parfum du midi?      / To bring me the heat of midday’s perfume?

Aurai-je des maisons aux toits de tuiles roses,         / Will I have houses, with roofs of rose tiles,
Avec un ciel autour, qui glisse et se repose              /  surrounded by a sky, that slides and rests
sur les jardins, sur les Chemins, sur toutes choses../ on the gardens, on the roads, on everything…

Et verrai-je un village heureux, avec sa foule              / And will I see a happy village, with its Sunday
Des dimanches flanant, et ses ruisseaux qui coulent / crowds strolling, and its happy streams running
Pres des enclos plantes de chanvre et de ciboules    / near enclosures planted with hemp and chives.

Pourai-je en respirant gouter l’odeur du temps,       / Could I, while breathing, taste the odor of time,
et me faire le Coeur si tender et si cedant,               /  and make my heart so tender and compliant,
Que les oiseaux de l’air viendont loger dedans?      / that airborne birds will come to lodge in it?

O petite, divine, auguste et grande terre,                 /   - O small divine, august and large world
Place des jeux, place des jours et du mistere,         /   place of games, place of days and of mystery -

Pourquoi faut-il que moi, je n’aie jamais cela,            / Why is it that I may never have this,
Ce bon apaisement du corps content et las,              / the good quietude of body, content and tired,
Et que toujours mon Coeur vers vous vole en eclats../ and that always my heart wildly flies to you…

Lyrics: June Siegel - from The Housewives’ Cantata

I’m Guinevere among the grapefruit peels
I’m Isolde of the dishpan hands
Pale Diana rundown at the heels
Gloriana of the pots and pans.

I’m Guinevere among the grapefruit peels
Good King Arthur’s fond of home-cooked meals
Every day I serve round table D’Hote
And scoop the dragon droppings from the moat
Fight off a pack of addlepated suitors
Clattering itinerant commuters,
Poets with ferocious appetites,
Looney mooney lute-strumming wooers
Known to experts as the troubadooer.

I’m Guinevere. These are my salad days
The castle glistens glumly through the haze
 Down the turrets chilly tempests blow
And through the crenelations drips the snow
Walls are hung with moldy tapestries,
Beds are hung with silk and hop with fleas
My temper would be infinitely sweeter
If Merlin turned into a baseboard hate
Enchanted places are so damp and clammy
I’d rather spend the winter in Miami.

I’m Guinevere among the onion skins
With weeping eyes I expiate my sins.
The chevaliers are off upon their quest
Leaving me abandoned and depressed
They’ll journey and they’ll tourney and they’ll joust,
Rescue dainty maidens, and get soused
Do good deeds, astonish all and sundry
And then come back to me with all their laundry,
Oh why can’t I put on a suit mail
And join the jolly seekers of the grail?

TURN AROUND (Lyrics by Carolyn Balducci - From Giovanni the Fearless
Love knows no distance
Lovers never ever part,
When you love someone,
You hold them in your heart!

Turn around, turn around, I’m here beside you,
Turn around, turn around, I won’t go away,
I’ll never leave you even for a day
Turn around, turn around, hear what I say.

Ten thousand miles are nothing,
Ten years can go by,
You know the day is coming
When you’ll walk side by side.

Turn around, turn around, I’m here beside you,
Turn around, turn around, I’ve not gone away,
I never left you even for a day,
Turn around, turn around, and hear what I say.

I see your face before me,
I hear you call my name,
Though you’re not in my arms,
I love you, just the same.

Turn around, turn, turn around,
I’m right beside you, turn around.

Love, A Coupling of Souls
Souls and bodies in two worlds.
One of pain and lust;
the other good and just. 




Piece for French Horn and Piano......................................... Paul H Kirby
Bert Hill, French horn; Paul Kirby, piano


And the Joy Will Burn Out the Pain................................. Bonnie McAlvin
2. Inside; 3. Where there’s joy
Bonnie McAlvin, flute; Lily Holgate, violin

And the joy will burn out the pain is a work for flute and strings; today’s performance features the middle two movements of the work, which zoom in on two members of the ensemble: the violinist and the flutist.  The piece is based on a quote by Joseph Campbell, “find a place inside, where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.  

The movements we hear today are the second movement, “Inside”, and the third movement, “Where’s there’s joy”.  The first and fourth movements are forthcoming, and will envelope the rest of the ensemble: Find a place  /  Inside  /  Where there’s joy  /  And the joy will burn out the pain

Tryptich on Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva.......... Nataliya Medvedovskaya
1. Stanzas
2. In My Great City
3. Thy Name

Zoya Gramagin, soprano; Nataliya Medvedovskaya, piano

Tryptich, based on poems by the greatest Russian poet of 20th century, Marina Tsvetaeva, recently had its American Premiere at the National Opera Center, and I got the First Prize for this composition at the International Competition of the Gartow Foundation in Russia back then.

Expressive melodic line, emotional depth and unpredictability where the vocal melody notes become a part of a complexed harmonic structure at the piano part are the main features of all three songs.

TRYPTICH, based on Poems by Marina Tsvetayeva

And neither stanzas nor bright stars will save me
From what is called the divine retribution
For I raised my head,
From these persistent and sonorous verses
And seeked above my wide and wrinkled forehead

Far stars and not the eyes.

So, when I took you for a perfect monarch,
My handsome Eros, not a single moment
Was tiresome with you!

And in sweet fogs, when velvet night was reigning,
I asked your delicate and scarlet mouth
Not for itself-for rhymes.

I have been punished for I was like snow
For wicked judges, and for inside feeling
Of endless bliss of spirit and of soul,
And tête-à-tête with orient at sunrise
I looked for only downs and not for roses
On my prophetic brow! 

In my great city it is now-night.
I'm leaving this dormient house-right.
And people think I am a wife in white.
My hectic brain has but one dream-night.

The July wind is sweeping my dark way,
And somewhere music in a flat-rings,
The breeze will blow till comes the new day
Through gentle barriers of my breast-stings.

That's a black poplar and the gleam's faint,
And there are tower bells, and on my hand-paint,
I feel that I can but one step-skate:
I'm just a shadow-poor is my fate.

The lights are lenient like purled gold,
And with my tongue I taste a leaf cold.
From husk of day I have how to unfold,
So understand that I'm your dream-make bold.

Thy name is a bird in my hand,
Thy name is a foot of land.
Just a little one movement of lips,
Five letters, five sighs, five tongue-skips.
A ball which is caught on the wing,
A swallowed silver ring.

A stone cast into the lake                                     Thy name is-but I must not!
Will quietly sob and become your namesake.      Thy name is a kiss on the eyes-my lot-
In a light clicking of nightly hooves                       A kiss that is sent to motionless lids.
The wild hurricane thy holy name moves.            Thy name is a kiss to snowy meads.
And the pistol with an iron ball                             A blue and frosty gulp that can seep,
With the temple like tinklies call.                          With thy crystal name so deep is sleep.

This concert was made possible by the Musicians Club of New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.