Release Date: August 12, 2016
Catalog #: RR7940
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

96 Strings and 2 Whistles

Scott Brickman composer
Beth Levin piano
Eight Strings & A Whistle

Composer Scott Brickman demonstrates the diversity of his inspirations and musical interests on his third full album on Ravello Records, NINETY-SIX STRINGS AND TWO WHISTLES. Drawing on a sea of influences, from Baroque dance suites, to the compositional methods of Arnold Schoenberg, to punk rock, the mixture of popular and historic references broadly typifies post-modern American music composition.

French Suite was written for the ensemble Eight Strings & a Whistle, each movement featuring either the flute, viola or cello as an ensemble leader. The piece draws on Baroque French suites, particularly Bach’s and the French Canadian affinity of his home state of Maine. The prevalence of short, dotted rhythms in the suite’s first movement seem to reference the characteristics of Baroque-era French overtures; likewise the slower tempo and ¾ meter of the second movement seem to reference Minuet movements common to Baroque dance suites.

Divertimento, for cello and piano, references the genre of light, melody-driven pieces dating back to the eighteenth century. The pseudo-Romantic lyricism of the cello parts in the slow first and third movements is evident, and demonstrates Brickman’s facility with 12-tone composition as he achieves melodic sweetness uncommonly associated with the fruits of that compositional technique.

Unlike Divertimento and French Suite, the piece Wind Power was composed without a number or historical references in mind. The self-constrained work offers a conclusion to the album that presents a distinct style and form in juxtaposition to the other tracks


Hear the full album on YouTube

Artist Information

Scott Brickman


Illinois native Scott Brickman (b. 1963) was educated in the Chicago Public Schools and holds a B.M. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Music Composition and theory from Brandeis University. Brickman learned under both Chester Biscardi and Yehudi Wyner, whom he regards as his most important and influential composition teachers. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where he is Professor of Music and Education.

Beth Levin

Beth Levin


Brooklyn-based pianist Beth Levin is celebrated as a bold interpreter of challenging works, from the Romantic canon to leading modernist composers. The New York Times praised her “fire and originality,” while The New Yorker called her playing “revelatory.” Debuting as a child prodigy with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age twelve, Levin was subsequently taught and guided by legendary pianists such as Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Shure and Dorothy Taubman, Another of her teachers, Paul Badura-Skoda, praised Levin as a pianist of rare qualities and the highest professional caliber. Her deep well of experience allows an intuitive connection with the great pianistic traditions, to Bach, to Mozart, to Beethoven.

Eight Strings & a Whistle


Eight Strings & a Whistle has been committed to presenting and expanding the repertoire for the unique combination of flute, viola, and cello since 1998. A cutting-edge presence, the Trio champions Baroque, Classical, and Romantic repertoire  and collaborates regularly with a wide roster of living composers, premiering and performing their pieces throughout the concert season.