Homework Suite


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Homework Suite


“The Homework Suite opens seductively with an oboe part, followed in the other small movements with beautiful, dancing-like roles for the other soloists.”
Hans Visser
Gooi en Eemlander, 2010

  • For orchestra, string quartet, string quintet, or piano
  • Duration: 5:15

Ghost Waltz  
Night Horses

Orchestration: flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, English horn, bassoon, harp, strings
Perusal score available upon request

Stream Homework Suite on the album: Orchestral Works

Stream Homework Suite on the album: Piano Pieces

The five pieces comprising Homework Suite were written while I was studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1961 and 1962. They weren’t actually homework assignments, but more in the nature of voluntary extra work. I wasn’t aware of the echoes of Chopin in “Ghost Waltz” and “Night Horses” until a few years later. In truth, they don’t bother me.

My teacher at the Conservatory was the renowned Sol Joseph. I was lucky. These compositions, and everything I have written since, bear something of his mark. Yes, and Chopin’s too, for although Mr. Joseph was of the twelve-tone persuasion, he taught us the old masters with instinct and conviction. I would like to be able to report what grade he gave these efforts, but it wasn’t his practice to grade them.

Listen to Conrad Tao play Seascape, the first piece in “Homework Suite.”
(version for piano)


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Gordon Getty is mainly known for his vocal works but that he writes very well for orchestra proves the CD Orchestral Works. American Getty, in his sixties, does not feel embarrassed to say that for two/thirds he stands in the nineteenth century. That other part is responsible for the fact that his music sounds everything but old-fashioned. Stravinsky, Copland and Prokofiev have inspired him here and there without affecting his originality. The Homework Suite opens seductively with an oboe part, followed in the other small movements with beautiful, dancing-like roles for the other soloists. Not only in super audio this music is a surprise.
Hans Visser
Gooi en Eemlander, 2010

(Translated from Spanish) Gordon Getty says of himself that he is “seventy percent a nineteenth century composer,” and so he is, but it appears that the other thirty percent channels Copland, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky, and that isn’t a bad thing…The truth is that these pieces are very enjoyable: his music is sweet, delicate, simple, easy, and sentimental. That this approach is the most hated by the old guard of the 1970s and today’s academia doesn’t seem to keep people from enjoying it…Those who like to listen to all kinds of music…can have a good time with this disc.
Benjamin Fontvella
Diverdi, 2010

Gordon Getty…composes facile but propulsive music, to which this CD makes a good introduction. In the space of 12 minutes, the delectable overture to his opera Plump Jack, based on Shakespeare’s immortal Falstaff, creates a juicy musical characterization of the Bard’s unforgettable fat man. The discs’ other works, which include the Ancestor Suite and the Homework Suite, have the same attractive qualities as the overture, and they are all played robustly by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner.
Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, 2010