Marga Richter

  • Visual experiences and nature are the primary inspirations for Marga Richter’s music. Sources as varied as the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, a New England winter scene and the exotic landscape of Tibet have all served to trigger the composer’s creative responses.

    A daughter of American soprano Inez Chandler and granddaughter (on her father’s side) of German composer/conductor Richard Richter, Marga Richter was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin in 1926, and received her early musical training in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1943, the family moved – en masse – to New York so that she could enroll at the Juilliard School where she majored in composition with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti, and studied piano with Rosalyn Tureck, receiving a Master’s Degree in 1951. While still in her twenties, a series of pieces commissioned by MGM Records brought national recognition.

    Over the years the Richter oeuvre has grown to include virtually every genre of composition: opera, solo, chamber, choral and orchestral works. Among her signature pieces are Blackberry Vines and Winter Fruit, an orchestral work evoking a Vermont winter; the Landscapes of the Mind series, three works – Landscapes of the Mind I, a piano concerto, Landscapes of the Mind II, for violin and piano, and Landscapes of the Mind III for piano, violin and cello – derived from Richter’s response to two paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe (Sky Above Clouds II and Pelvis I); a 1988 work, Qhanri (snow mountain) for cello and piano, subtitled “Tibetan Variations,” Richter’s musical portrait of the landscape and people of that country; Lament for string orchestra, an enduring early piece that is often performed and has been recorded twice; and Riders to the Sea, a one act chamber opera.

    Richter’s music has been played by more than 45 orchestras here and abroad, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphonies, the London Philharmonic, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Among the artists who have championed her music are Jessye Norman, Menahem Pressler, William Masselos, the late Natalie Hinderas, and Daniel Heifetz who included her Landscapes of the Mind II in his prize-winning Tchaikovsky Competition concert in Moscow. She has received grants, awards, and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, the National Federation of Music Clubs, Meet-the-Composer and ASCAP. An accomplished pianist, she frequently performs her own compositions.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
    FE134 Darkening Of Light
    FE136 Darkening Of Light-Cell
    FE135 Eight Pieces for Piano
    CY1501 A Farewell
    CY1502 Four Piano Pieces
    CY1518 Fragments
    FE210 Fragments
    CY1506 The Lost People, The Dancers
    O5409 Masters Of Our Day
    FE208 One for Two and Two for
    160-00192 Remembrances for Piano
    FE205 Requiem
    solo Piano
    CY1514 Soundings
    solo Harpsichord
    FE83 Soundings-Harpsichord
    CY1524 Sonata for Piano
    CY1536 Suite for Solo Viola
    solo Viola
    FE84 Variations On A Theme B
    CY1515 Landscapes Of The Mind Ii
    full score, vln., pno.
    CY3409 Landscapes Of The Mind Iii
    full score, vln., vlc., pno.
    CY1517 Melodrama
    2 Pianos 4 Hands
    CY3410 Qhanri
    Cello and Piano
    FE209 Ricercare
    For Brass Quartet
    trumpet 1 in Bb??, trumpet 2 in Bb??, trombone 1 or Horn in F, trombone 2 or tuba
    CY3335 Sea Cliff Variations
    full score, vln., vla., vlc., pno.
    CY1512 Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
    clarinet and piano (set)
    CY3337 Suite for Violin and Piano
    full score, vln., pno.
    21226 Bird of Yearning
    30:00 2 1 2 1 – 2 1 1 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    2 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    O5073 Blackberry Vines and Winter Fruit
    21227 Blackberry Vines and Winter Fruit
    13:00 3(Fl.2 dbl. A.Fl. / Fl.3. dbl.Picc.) 2 2(dbl.B.Cl.) – 4 3 2 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    21228 Concerto for Piano, Violas, Cellos and Basses
    21:00 pno.; vla.(4), vcl.(4), cb.(2)
    21229 Dusseldorf Concerto
    20:00 Solo flute (dbl. picc., b. fl.), viola; Perc. Hp. Str.
    21230 Eight Pieces for Orchestra
    7:00 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
    21231 Fragments: Five Pieces for Orchestra
    6:00 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2(dbl.B.Cl.) 2 – 2 1 1 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
    21232 Landscapes of the Mind I
    29:00 Solo Pno.; 3(Fl.2 dbl. A.Fl., Fl.3 dbl.Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 4 0 0; Timp. Perc.(2 or 3), Cel. Elec.Gtr., Elec.B.Gtr., Elec. Tamboura or sitar. Hp. Str.
    21233 Out of Shadows and Solitude
    16:00 3(dbl. Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    23634 Quantum Quirks of a Quick Quaint Quark
    for Orchestra
    5:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    21234 Riders to the Sea
    55:00 soprano (2), mezzo-sop., contralto, tenor, baritone, men’s chorus, women’s chorus; 1 (picc., penny whistle); accord.; perc.; celtic Hp. Str.
    21235 Spectral Chimes: Enshrouded Hills
    for Three Quintets and Orchestra
    27:00 Woodwind quintet: fl.(picc., a. fl.), ob., cl., bsn.; hn.; Brass quintet: tpt.(2), hn., tbn., t; String quintet: vln.(2), vla., vcl., cb.; Orchestra: 2(dbl. Picc.) 2(dbl.E.H.) 2 (dbl.B.Cl.) 2(Cbsn.) – 2 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    21236 Variations and Interludes on Themes from Monteverdi and Bach
    42:00 Solo violin, cello and piano; 3(Fl.2-3 dbl. Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    21237 Variations on a Sarabande
    8:30 2(dbl. Picc.) 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.