David Heckendorn



This page is dedicated to my most recent CD releases, 
announcements of upcoming performances, 
and sharing articles of interest.
Most Recent CD Releases
                                   Rise Softly Into The Gentle Dawn
To purchase:
        Herm Freeman - cover art

About the music:
1. The Meadow Lark is based on the poem of the same name by Ernest McGaffey and was commissioned by the Cedarhurst Museum of Mt. Vernon, Illinois in 2003. It was premiered in October of that year by the community chorus and the Pacifica Quartet. For this version I substituted Flute for the first Violin with the outstanding flautist Jessica Jade Han as soloist with the Compatriot String Trio together with the Vocal Quartet.
2. Tasting The Seed Of The Wine has had several incarnations including a jazz work for ten pieces, a saxophone quartet and a mixed woodwind quartet. This piece was originally composed as a song with words and is here presented as a string quartet.
3. Fog is based on the poem by Carl Sandburg and is performed by Soprano, Amanda Boyd accompanied by the Compatriot Woodwind Quartet.
4. Crestonian Fantasy was composed under the tutelage of Paul Creston whom I studied with in the late 1960's and which I consider Opus 1 in my classical music catalogue. Unfortunately both this piece and tracks 6 and 8 were recorded over 25 years ago and I have no record of the fine musicians playing.
5. Il Pleure Cans Mon Coeur is a setting of the Paul Verlaine poem to music. This text was the recommendation of a former colleague, Jeri Cowen, foreign language coordinator of the East Williston School District where I taught for twenty-one years. Tim Reno is the Tenor soloist accompanied by the the Compatriot Woodwind Quartet.
6. Tis A Bonnie Lass pays a nod to the dual spirit of the Gaelic heritage of a number of people who have passed through my life. I added this as the second movement to my Opus 1 to make it part of my Suite for Woodwind Quintet.
7.  Yo No LLore was inspired by the Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer poem Asomaba a Sus Ojos. The lyrical voice of Amanda Boyd is complemented by Stephen Salerno on Guitar, Jessica Han on Flute, Irena Monchilova on Viola, Deborah Sepe on Cello and the composer on the Piano. It speaks of love, loss and regret.
8. Sauerbraten mit Kartoffelklöße is the third movement of the Suite for Woodwind Quintet. Each movement was composed at different times in my life and reflect attitudes, concerns, and sensitivities of its time. This piece was strongly influenced by the Second Viennese School of composers and by my visits to Austria in the early 1970's.
9. If  You Were Coming In The Fall is a setting to music of this poem by Emily Dickenson. It is performed by Amanda Boyd and Tim Reno with a saxophone quartet accompaniment.
10. Rise Softly Into The Gentle Dawn was named to suggest an optimistic and loving approach to a day's beginning clothed in a waltz of tranquility.
11. Ruhest du auch is based on the poem Wandrers Nachtlied II by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. To me, it speaks of the transition from the pain of dying into the peace of forever. I dedicate this to the memory of two friends who had passed at the time of its composition - Don Pero and Leonid Levin. They are both sorely missed. Amanda Boyd is the Soprano soloist accompanied by the Compatriot String Quartet.
12. Solliloquy for Bassoon Quartet was originally a jazz song with words played here by the marvelous bassoonist Patricia Wang.  Ah the endless possibilities of recording in multi-track over-dubs.
13. Schlafe Traumend im Himmel for Chorus and Piano is the setting of a poem by Henrich Heine with some additional verse by myself. it features the Compatriot Voices with a piano accompaniment by David Smith. It was composed in memory of my mother, Marion Marie Heckendorn, upon her passing in October 1997.                                      DavidHeckendorn,2014

The Compatriot Chamber Players

Vocal Quartet:  Amanda Boyd - Soprano; Linden Smith - Alto; Tim Reno, - Tenor; John A. Musacchio - Bass.
Woodwind Quartet:  Jim Perry - Flute/Soprano Saxophone; Bill Kinslow - Clarinet/Alto Saxophone; Dale DeMarco - Bass Clarinet/Tenor Saxophone; David Heckendorn - Alto, Tenor + Baritone Saxophones
String Quartet: Kiwon Nahm - Violin 1; Jade Nahm - Violin 2; Irena Monchilova - Viola; Deborah Sepe - Cello
Soloists: Jessica Han - Flute; Patricia Wang - Bassoon; Steve Salerno - Guitar; David Smith - Piano

Produced by David Heckendorn                               
All music composed by David Heckendorn                        
Published by Lizzy Bee Music, ASCAP                           
Recorded and/or Mixed and Mastered at Lea Studios, NY 
3 Samples Below:

Sample #1 "Fog" is a musical setting to the poem by Carl Sandburg for Soprano voice and four woodwinds.
Sample #2 "Tis A Bonnie Lass" for woodwind quintet.
Sample #3 Yo No Llore for Soprano voice, Flute, Viola, Cello, Guitar and Piano.

Stranger In The Time Worn Glass 

To purchase:

       Herm Freeman - cover art

3 Samples Below:

Sample #1 "Nature's Universal Throne"   #2 "Romance" for Solo Bassoon        #3 "Psalm Four and Twenty"

About the music:

It was 1975 and I had just completed my master's degree in music composition from CW Post, Long Island University of New York having studied composition with Raoul Pleskow - a decendent of the Webern School of composition. I found him to be fascinating, knowledgeable, highly intelligent and I composed several pieces under his influence including Psalm Four And Twenty which was originally written for Chorus and Organ. I decided to rewrite it for saxophone quartet and chamber orchestra twenty years later because the vocal parts were far too difficult to find singers to sing them. I decided that the words were still important to the piece so I choose to have a narrator speak the words in the appropriate places in the piece.  
Also in 1975 I was finishing up my fifth year of full-time teaching music at Jamaica High School in Queens, NY. When two years later I was laid off from teaching due to budget cuts in NYC, I took a part-time position as organist and choir director at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Richmond Hill Queens, NY. While there I composed Cantate Domino for the choir with myself accompanying them on organ. Several years later I orchestrated the piece for chamber orchestra.

On October 29, 2000 my I Corinthians 13 was performed in concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. This piece was sung by Katherine DeSinger along with a full program of my chamber music. This piece was composed on commission from St. Patrick's. Included on this CD is Stranger In A Time Worn Glass which is a reworking of material from that piece featuring Arthur Sato on English Horn.

For the July 4, 2000 celebration in Breckenridge, Colorado I received an NEA grant to compose Nature's Universal Throne. The premiere was given by the National Repertory Orchestra under the direction of Carl Topilow. Unfortunately, the concert was not recorded so I reduced the orchestration to chamber orchestra with chorus and narrator and recorded it for this CD.  The text is a compilation of Amercian Indian verse, 18th and 19th century poetry either spoken or sung as the piece proceeds. It speaks of the beauty and grandeur that so well describes the people and environment in the state of Colorado.

The two pieces Like A Flower and Tanz mit Mir were both composed originally as jazz tunes however I found both contained musical material suitable for these short chamber versions. Like A Flower was composed in the Autumn of 1978 as I contemplated my baby daughter, Elizabeth and Tanz mit Mir seemed to be an appropriate title for a fox-trot reminiscent of the music of Kurt Weil.

Romance has been played as a solo for Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Violin and French Horn but I was so taken with Patricia Wang's Bassoon version that I chose to include it on this CD. The themes are all songs with words taken from various theater pieces I have composed presented here as a suite or overture. The 1st Violinist is my dear friend Leonid Levin who played an important role in the performance and production of my classical music.
                                                                                                                              David Heckendorn, 2014                                                                                                               
The Compatriot Chamber Players

Musical Director and Conductor: David Heckendorn

Full Orchestra on "Nature's Universal Throne"

Gerry Niewood and Jessica Han - Flute; Robert Polan and Arthur Sato - Oboe;  William Kinslow - Clarinet;  Patricia Wang - Bassoon; Rheagan Osteen and Matthew Beecher - French Horn;  Steve Fitzko and Tristen Napoli - Trumpet; Dan Pierce - Trombone; Peter Koop - Piano and Harp; Ed Chiarello - Drums and Percussion; Kiwon Nahm, Jade Nahm, Leonid Levin, and Vilen Doneil - Violin; Irena Monchilova, Pamela Becker, - Viola; Deborah Sepe, Melanie Yarger and Joseph Kumura - Cello;: Michael Hall and Dennis Christians - Bass

Chamber Orchestra Personnel on tracks 1, 4, 5, and 7: Jessica Han - Flute;  Arthur Sato - Oboe;  William Kinslow - Clarinet;  Patricia Wang - Bassoon;  Rheagan Osteen - French Horn; Tristen Napoli - Trumpet;  Dan Pierce - Trombone;  Peter Koop - Piano and Harp;  Ed Chiarello - Drums and Percussion; Kiwon Nahm and Jade Nahm - Violin; Irena Monchilova - Viola; Deborah Sepe -Cello; Michael Hall - Bass

Chamber Orchestra Personnel on track 2: Arthur Sato - English Horn Soloist; Joseph Trent - Flute; William Kinslow - Clarinet;  Dennis Joseph - Bass Clarinet; Rheagan Osteen - French Horn; Leonid Levin, and Vilen Doneil - Violin; Pamela Becker - Viola; Melanie Yarger - Cello; Dennis Christians - Bass

Chamber Orchestra Personnel on track 6: Patricia Wang - Bassoon Soloist; Leonid Levin, and Vilen Doneil - Violin; Pamela Becker - Viola; Melanie Yarger - Cello; Dennis Christians - Bass

Saxophone Quartet: Gerry Niewood - Soprano; Neal Haiduck - Alto; Steve Catalano - Tenor; David Brandom - Baritone

Chorus for Cantate Domino: Maria Whisenand - Soprano; Brana Williams - Alto; Everett Suttle - Tenor; Bob Williams - Bass
Narrator: Robert Brandt
Chorus for Nature's Universal Throne: Amanda Boyd and Amanda Hall, Tim Reno, David Heckendorn
Narrator for Nature's Universal Throne - Judy Staber

"Blame It On My Youth"

3 Samples Below:  Slow Boat To China, Tulum, Blame It On My Youth

To Purchase:

The David Heckendorn Septet: Jerry Sokolov – Trumpet and Flugelhorn, John Marshall – Soprano and Alto Saxophone, John Tendy – Tenor Saxophone and Flute, John Allred – Trombone, David Heckendorn – Piano and vocals, Mike Hall – Bass, Neal Capalongo - Drums
Additional Production – John Tendy
Music arranged and conducted by David Heckendorn
Recorded at "IndexJazz" in Yorktown Heights, NY
on the 1st and 2nd of April, 2010
Recording and mix engineer – John Tendy

A mix of 6 instrumental originals compositions together with 6 vocals on American standards: Blues In the Night, Anniversary Samba, Slow Boat To China, Without You Again, Lollypops and roses, Deal Me In, Midnight Sun, Que Bonita, blame It On My Youth,Rise and Shine, You Stepped Out Of A Dream, Tulum.

 "Having known David Heckendorn for many years I have watched him go through many phases - from high school band director 
to symphonic orchestra composer. Throughout his career it has been obvious to me that the musicians with whom he has worked 
have had a profound influence upon his music and his recordings.This particular session, perhaps has its roots in one of his early 
musical relationships. As a high school band teacher David met Jerry Sokolov, a promising young trumpet student. 

David saw Jerry flourish as a student and over the years watched him grow into a great jazz artist. The long time evolution of both 
Jerry and Dave's careers have intersected over the course of decades. Says DH "Jerry has always impressed me with his ever growing 
talent and insight in the field of jazz music. I decided to base an entire project on the inspiration gained from our various 
shared experiences throughout the years."

Blame It On My Youth began with Jerry and David discussing their favorite musicians with whom they have worked. The result 
as a combination of the musicians discussed. Unfortunately, having been arranged in a septet format they weren't able to include 
the entire spectrum of very talented musicians form their past. The players chosen best suited this particular album's there.

"Each tune reflects a life-long passion not only for the music but the life I've led itself. The music, my friends, my life are 
inseparable. These very talented musicians are reoccurring threads in both the fabric of my professional life, and my life as a 
whole. If you disagree with my choices of music and musicians, well then - 'Blame it on my youth".  
Notes by Hal Krieger, Music Educator 9/2010

"Reflections Of A Journey"

  To purchase:

     Herm Freeman - cover art

3 Samples below: Early Spring, The Child Of Morning, Noonday Dreams


"Those familiar with David Heckendorn's previous work are never surprised by the ever-present diversity of style and instrumentation. This recording would  be best described as a suite for piano and chamber orchestra. Such influences as Maurice Ravel, Bill Evans, and Antonio Carlos Jobim are evident."  Hal Krieger, May 4, 2010

This album contains nine new pieces in a style blending aspects of jazz and classical music featuring a piano trio of Mike Hall on bass and Neil Capolongo on drums and David Heckendorn on piano. Other members of the chamber orchestra include Leonid Levin on violin, Joseph Kimura on cello, Jim Perry on woodwinds, Dan Pierce on trombone and Bob Devos on guitar.