The Listening Room

A fresh, ever-evolving palette of colors
A lyrical voice unafraid of rich melody
An exciting multi-metered rhythmic soundscape
A bridge between ancient and future

AUDIO RENDITIONS

Some of these are live recordings & some from notation software using quality sound libraries.
Lyrics in choral works available upon request.

“Behind her words is the restraint of a thousand years of tears.” 

Read the tearful tribute of Judith Markovich about Women’s History Month from the premiere.

LAMENT for Piano Quintet & Empty Chair is dedicated to my dear friend, Laura Flax, the first female clarinetist of the NYC Opera Orchestra and member of the Da Capo Chamber Players. 

Lament travels through an octatonic soundscape with undulations of numbness, anger, denial, and ends with a final surrender to acceptance. Though the empty chair represents my own friend’s absence, performers are free to use the empty chair to represent any loss of their own. It features a violin cadenza as well as the piano.

World Premiere, March 28, 2023, Grammy-nominated Alias Chamber Ensemble. Pianist, Jerome Reed.

Read about the history of suppressed musical women who triumphed & a short chat about LAMENT before you listen.

Always an honor to get to play a meaningful work from a wonderful composer, who also happens to be a beautiful soul!  Sari Reist, cellist, TN

Absolute in meaning, the most beautiful lament ever.  Brian McDonald, composer

I was in attendance last night at the Alias Concert. I wanted to congratulate you on a wonderful premiere of your beautiful music. Your commentary was inspiring and a beam of hope in these unprecedented times. I especially loved your rhythmic and percussive treatment of the strings in the middle section. Thank you for your beautiful music and hope to connect further in the near future!  Andre Madatian, composer/guitarist

ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, World Premiere

Guest pianist, Jerome Reed

WHEN WORDS FAIL for viola and harp was specifically commissioned by the renowned harpist Rachel Talitman from Tel Aviv. This mesmerizing composition will be on a 2024 album that showcases the remarkable talents of women composers and is set to be released in June. The inspiration behind this beautiful masterpiece comes from a poignant Jewish poem that is delicately inscribed on the walls of a CA asylum, adding a profound layer of depth and emotion to the music.

 
“Woa… It is so beautiful!” Rachel Talitman, harpist

New Versions Available!

Versions for viola and piano, clarinet and harp, clarinet and piano are available in the MusicShop

ICE & FURY: Passacaglia for solo violin was commissioned by violinist Christina McGann. The ostinato came from a dream, and the title from an article about major storms and challenges by David Callis, who said, “I’ve always been captivated by how something so beautiful could become treacherous.” As I worked with the ground bass in light of the title, I imagined an Olympic figure skater as her blade cuts through the ice. I could hear the ice dancer glide, quicken steps, spin and twirl, well-prepared for the difficulty of a triple axle that can upend the best of skaters. The intensity in this piece progresses, ever-increasing to an elaborate fury of activity but ends with the sublime peace of a sunlit, quiet world covered in sparkling ice. “Be prepared. It is not “if” but “when” the challenge will come.”
“Woa… It is so beautiful!” Rachel Talitman, harpist

New Versions Available for Viola and for Cello

A viola version is available in the MusicShop. A cello version is in the works.

DEEP WITHIN, dedicated to and premiered by Allison Brewster Franzetti, is a short five-minute contemporary piano solo for professionals and students alike. This piece helps fill the gap in piano literature caused by a lack of simpler pieces with contemporary sounds. It will help develop the ear of younger students while giving professionals a short mediative work or encore to balance their programs.
Premiered by Allison Brewster Franzetti along with works by Victoria Bond and Amanda Harberg at an LSU presentation sponsored by pianist Michael Gurt.
RESTING PLACE for classical guitar, commissioned by Argentine guitarist Sergio Puccini for his album, Masterworks (2024), is a meditation based on the tune, “O Sacred Head.” Originally, this tune was written as a secular love song, “My Mind Is Confused” by Hans Leo Hassler, and reimagined by Johann Sebastian Bach. Some may be confused that someone destined to save us surrendered and was killed, but His surrender sung the deepest love song of all. It is the place of ultimate rest. World Premiere: September 15, 2023, Sergio Puccini, guitar, Argentina
“Quote” Person, Place
VOICES LONG KEPT SILENT for solo cello was commissioned and premiered by Diane Chaplin to bring short cello pieces by women composers to YouTube videos. It begins with the soul’s cry after generations of oppression. The performer uses a delay pedal at specific points in the piece to signify the echo of time. The cry gets stronger and stronger until about a quarter of the way through it breaks out into: “I’m….. angry!” The rhythm of these words–long-short short–will give this away. It is repeated twice more, each time stronger, clearer. The voice then breaks out in a flood of righteous anger until it has emptied itself. From the dust rises a happy little tune free of an established foot-tapping rhythm, a dance of sorts that expresses its newfound freedom. As that settles down, there is a moment of thoughtfulness in which the voice realized there are many still bound. At that point, the beginning melody will return as a cry for those still in chains. As it is in life, once we are freed, we turn to free others.
Featured in an interview with Sascha Groschang on Classical KC Sound Currents, July 5, 2022. Premiered by Diane Chaplin in Sienna, Italy, September 6, 2022
VOICES LONG KEPT SILENT for solo cello was commissioned and premiered by Diane Chaplin to bring short cello pieces by women composers to YouTube videos. It begins with the soul’s cry after generations of oppression. The performer uses a delay pedal at specific points in the piece to signify the echo of time. The cry gets stronger and stronger until about a quarter of the way through it breaks out into: “I’m….. angry!” The rhythm of these words–long-short short–will give this away. It is repeated twice more, each time stronger, clearer. The voice then breaks out in a flood of righteous anger until it has emptied itself. From the dust rises a happy little tune free of an established foot-tapping rhythm, a dance of sorts that expresses its newfound freedom. As that settles down, there is a moment of thoughtfulness in which the voice realized there are many still bound. At that point, the beginning melody will return as a cry for those still in chains. As it is in life, once we are freed, we turn to free others.
“Wow, Judith, this piece is outstanding. I think my heart skipped a beat reading it. I would be SO honored to sing this. My God. I love this song….” Alysha Hinton, Nashville soprano

New Versions Available

New versions with viola, clarinet, and/or cello are now available in the Music Shop.

CAME A DROP GENTLY for mezzo-soprano, tenor, English horn, and piano is a tender one-movement work about eternal love based on a poem by Walt Whitman.
“Sensitive text setting, awareness of the voice’s most natural moves up and down, intervals spelled intelligently, great harmonic support. Suitable for a professional or younger singers…I say, brava! This is wonderful!” Lisa Neher, soprano “Wow, this is gorgeous! The English horn sounds very vocal and I really love it.” Beth Wheeler, principal English horn, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

New Versions Available

New versions with viola, clarinet, and/or cello are now available in the Music Shop.

CORNERSTONE SONATA for viola & piano was commissioned and dedicated to viola virtuoso, Brett Deubner in 2020. It is a programmatic piece based on a poem called “The Bully and The Cornerstone.” Throughout the piece, you will hear the stone cutters chipping away, spewing mockery and anger or pleading for mercy. You will feel the sadness and rejection of the destined cornerstone and the power of the Master Builder who steps in to choose the rejected stone as the best. This piece is the “little sister” of CORNERSTONE CONCERTO.

A clarinet version is available.

“Allison (Brewster Franzetti) and I had a very thorough multi-hour rehearsal. It was wonderful. The bottom line is that we both love the piece.” violist Brett Deubner, NJ

New Version for Clarinet Available

A clarinet version is now available in the MusicShop.

New Versions Available

Versions with clarinet or English horn, or for piano alone are now available in the MusicShop.
REMEMBER for viola, piano & chimes suspends sound and time to create a place where memory can move from treasured moment to moment. This quiet piece is part of a larger work called “Lost Daughters.” Virtuoso violist Brett Deubner requested an arrangement for viola, premiered it in 2020 with pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti,, and recorded it with Parma Records (release date June 25, 2021.) “Remember” for clarinet or EH, piano, and chimes was arranged by the composer from the original version for piano. Suitable for high school, college, regional, or professional chamber ensemble.
“Deubner and Franzetti triumph and we are all the better for it. The album gives much to explore and quite happily so. Very recommended.” Gapplegate Music Review “I really appreciate your ear for gesture!” Stanley Grill, composer “Looking forward to doing this wonderful piece.” James Musto, III, NJ Symphony percussionist

New Versions for Clarinet, Bassoon, or Viola Available

Versions for clarinet/cello, clarinet/bassoon, English horn/bassoon, viola/cello, and two cellos are now available in the MusicShop.
THE DABBLING DUCK was commissioned by Roger Wiesmeyer, English hornist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. It was written in April of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. A rhapsody or whimsical piece was initially discussed, but a week later, what burst out was a piece of rollicking fun. When Markovich approached Wiesmeyer with the change, his response was: “The world could use that right about now!” The world premiere was April 13, 2021 on the Arkansas Symphony (ASO) River Rhapsodies Series V–Beth Wheeler (English horn); Jacob Wunsch (cello). Suitable for high school, college, regional, or professional chamber duo.
“I have two things on my stand–The Dabbling Duck and Sibelius.“ Roger Wiesmeyer, principal EH, Nashville Symphony Orchestra “I love this piece! Judith Markovich is a great composer. I didn’t feel like I was listening to a duet, but a full chamber ensemble, if you know what I mean.” Lorraine Kitts, ASO oboe “The end made me laugh out loud!” Susan Leon, ASO principal bassoon “That was a fun piece…it sounded like a lot of fun to play.“ Leanna Renfro, ASO principal oboe “…a wonderful addition to the chamber music repertoire for English horn. It is beautifully written for the instrument, is tons of fun to play, and audience members have enjoyed it so much!“ Beth Wheeler, principal English horn, ASO “I could hear this as a cello duet 🙂 although I’m tempted to just learn the English Horn!” Professional cellist, Philadelphia
THREE MINIATURES for solo viola was premiered worldwide in Paris by Brett Deubner on June 6, 2020. It is an unaccompanied solo chock full of spirited fun and challenge. A soft touch of romance is sandwiched between two energetic, multi-metered movements with a node to Stravinsky. For violists longing for a short, showy contemporary piece to balance a program, this may very well compliment your selections.
In writing “Three Miniatures,” Markovich was inspired by the rapidly changing metres of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for solo clarinet. The opening movement engages immediately for Deubner’s commanding execution of its acrobatic dance moves, and the third likewise impresses for its freewheeling energy and abandon. It’s the eloquent lyricism of the solemn central part that registers most powerfully—the kind of mournful material for which the viola is perfectly suited. ~Textura Review

Movement I

HOPE Album
Brett Deubner, violist
Now available on vinyl

Three Miniatures
by Judith Markovich

Movement II

Movement III

Single is available on all major social platforms.

A CALL FROM THE WOODS for solo viola was commissioned, recorded and performed by violist Amaro Dubois for a future album. Unique to this genre is a freely-improvised central section combined with lyrical contemporary sections and a nod to Memphis, TN, where Dubois was living at the time. Brutal NewMusic describes it this way: “Like many composers, Markovich is heavily inspired by the calmness of nature, which shows itself in this piece. Her writing for the viola is natural and intuitive, allowing Dubois to create a wide range of timbres in his playing. The work builds on the articulative motif of a thrown ricochet bow, with the inconsistences later mimicked in Dubois’ pizzicato playing.” World Premiere, August 28, 2022, Amaro Dubois
“A Call from the Woods is serene picture of dark greens emerging from the forest. Judith Markovich’s new work for solo viola…is a touching combination of lyrical melodies and traditional folksy fiddling. In his interpretation, Dubois seems to magically be able to transition between styles, from avant-garde to country to improvisation, always retaining the nuances of each…Markovich’s musical cohesion and Dubois’ superior stylistic interpretation combine into an easy listening of a great new work for viola.” Brutal NewMusic Review
EMERGENCE for full orchestra arrives n a timely season where women are emerging into higher purposes traditionally frowned upon. EMERGENCE is a celebration of emerging women. It was commissioned for the Spring Hill Orchestra by conductor, Rebecca Vendemo, and written by composer, Judith Markovich. SHO was joined by a women’s Brazilian orchestra for the world premiere on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, TN. Each motif in this tone poem is a short, extracted note pattern from Markovich’s favorite childhood hymn tune, “Purpose,” by Martin Fallas Shaw, who was a staunch supporter of women. As the tone poem builds, more of the melody emerge until there is a full explosion of the weighty, majestic hymn. Thus, the name EMERGENCE. The soundscape uses a novel instrument, a fire drum in D minor, custom-created for the performance by Jonathan Rose at www.HandsOnFire.com
“Wow! The music is beautiful, delightful, and majestic. I am honoured that you have created this…absolutely the fullest admiration for your work. If I had been a composer, this is just the sort of thing I would have composed. So delicate and full of joy.” Isobel Platings, granddaughter of Martin F. Shaw, London “Inspired to create having been at the concert last weekend. It was a treat to experience especially your composition.” Nick Coetzee, international worship leader/composer “I loved your piece…got so inspired by you that I’m going to study composition!” Maira Honorio Fer

THE DABBLING DUCK INTRODUCTION

Available in other versions

“Beyond the Noble Way” is a new addition to the brass repertoire. It portrays married romance, which begins with a trumpet call for two to become one. It weaves between two lovers and ends with a Father’s assurance that, through it all, He is with them beyond the noble way. It is dedicated to the late Patricia Zadrozny (d. 2018), the wife of a dear trombonist friend and colleague. The horn represents Pat and the trombone is her husband, Ed. The title came from her married name. Patricia means “noble.” Zadrozny is a Polish name that means “beyond the way.”
“Beautiful, Judith! Such deep, thoughtful writing.” Rebecca Vendemo, trumpeter “Marvelous! I love it!” Ed Zadrozny, trombonist “Nice piece!…with a bright theme and small surprises…I like it.” Lars Karge, composer
HALLELUJAH IN THE DARKNESS
A Praise Suite
Exciting mixed-metered rhythms,
spoken voices, and colorful harmonies

for SATB choir and orchestra

Markovich’s work, HALLELUJAH IN THE DARKNESS, was written for her husband, Richard, during his struggle with an aggressive cancer.

Modes, textures, and mixed meters embrace a soundscape of Gregorian chant to film score. The riveting third movement, We Will Glorify Him, is a put-your-foot-down commitment to praise, no matter what. He has miraculously recovered through firm faith and undying praise of Jesus Christ, Healer of healers.

Lyrics are available upon request.

Lovely piece …… the arrangement and melodic lines are gorgeous!” Richard John, songwriter, England

This is wonderful!!!” Anthony Maglione, US conductor/composer

Such a peaceful beauty! Great piece of music orchestration, superb and love changes of mood.” Haris Vucans, Ogre, Latvia

Stunning.” Helen Keeling-Marston, UK composer

The first movement, “King for a Day,” was selected for performance at the 2022 International Composers Festival in Sussex, UK.

THE LOOKING GLASS
a transformative,
contemporary dance suite

IN FIVE MOVEMENTS

for woodwinds, trumpet, percussion, guitar, bass

THE LOOKING GLASS is a unique, programmatic, five-movement work that grows from a woodwind quintet to thirteen players: woodwind quintet, trumpet, guitars, bass and percussion. Add a dancer with a large mirror and you have an event!

The title was inspired by the poet Dale Wimbrow who challenges us to be true to yourself.

The first movement was selected by the 2022 International Composers Festival, Sussek, UK and is published separately as a woodwind quintet called KING FOR A DAY.

The first three movements are published separately as THREE REFELCTIONS with the option of adding a trumpet.

THE GUY IN THE GLASS
by Dale Wimbrow (1895-1954)

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf (riches),

And the world makes you King for a day,

Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,

And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,

Who judgment upon you must pass.

The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,

For he’s with you clear up to the end,

And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test

If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,

And think you’re a wonderful guy,

But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum

If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,

And get pats on the back as you pass,

But your final reward will be heartaches and tears

If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

Copyright 1934. Printed with permission.

Lovely piece …… the arrangement and melodic lines are gorgeous!” Richard John, songwriter, England

This is wonderful!!!” Anthony Maglione, US conductor/composer

Such a peaceful beauty! Great piece of music orchestration, superb and love changes of mood.” Haris Vucans, Ogre, Latvia

Stunning.” Helen Keeling-Marston, UK composer

“When I perform recitals, I’m always on the hunt for fresh, exciting pieces!”

~ J. P. Markovich

LORD GOD OF HOSTS:
Terrors Rise
BASED ON A THEME BY J. S. BACH
a prophetic, contemporary swirl
of “ancient-future” worship
for angel choir, chorus, and orchestra

LORD GOD OF HOSTS brings hope and comfort to God’s people in times of terrorism. The wild, ancient-future evolution of a soaring theme by J. S. Bach is among the qualities to be regarded. Four solo winds, harp and classical guitar are employed across a foundation of strings, piano and light percussion in this through-composed contemporary work. The antiphonal use of an angel choir in conversation with a full chorus becomes a highly effective implement to convey the timely prophetic message from 2 Chronicles 20:

Though we may feel powerless in times of terror and don’t know what to do, be assured. God is with His children. No enemy can withstand the power of His hand.

Available for large or small ensemble, as well as performance CD (upon request).

“Wonderful! I want to hear anything you compose for choir in the future.” David Diebold, CCC Church

New, shorter version is in the making. Contact Judith if you are interested.
WE WILL GLORIFY HIM
from Hallelujah in the Darkness
a quick, powerful, multi-rhythmic work
for choir (spoken/sung), winds, piano, cello, bass

The asymmetrical rhythmic patterns in “We Will Glorify Him” combine the unusual with the familiar in a way that intuitively melds the words with the music. It is fun to perform! The constant interplay between spoken voices and the chamber ensemble captivates your attention in this short contemporary choral piece.

“It doesn’t take much faith to praise God when life goes well, But when the dark clouds lower and the raging storms batter, our trust is tested. Will we praise God in the darkness? Will we?”  J. Markovich

“Interesting and beautiful composition.” Volker Feidel, composer, Germany

“Beautiful work!” Sam Bartee, composer, Australia

Computerized rendition, so voice cannot be reproduced. However, the spoken vocal part imitates the snare.

Tired of the same ole repertoire?

Want a new composition to bridge your traditional pieces?

THE LAMB
out of introspection comes
a frolicking celebration of the Lamb

for chamber orchestra

THE LAMB is a short work but not without lasting impact. It begins in an expansive, ethereal realm of rest and ends in a multi-metered frolic across the tonal ranges of the instruments. Whether used as an encore, a short dance, or a film clip, THE LAMB is sure to delight the hearts of its listeners.

“Beautiful sound! Really well done!”  Orpheus Studio Orchestral

“I love the ending!”  Sam Bartee, composer, Australia

“Great sound and playing………fantastic atmosphere….very nice.” Promo Review