Music

A list of original compositions and arrangements by Canadian composer Michael Maw. Download scores and audio recordings for free!
Two Pieces for Orchestra
Two Pieces for Orchestra
Large Orchestra / April 2002

This work was originally titled "Symphony No. 1" and was premiered at my university graduation concert. I later changed the title as I did not think it qualified as a symphony. In fact, although there is some good musical material present in this composition, I was disappointed in the final product. The second piece has the subtitle: "Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy" (taken from Proverbs 14:10).

Classical
Orchestra
Pressure
Pressure
Piano Solo / April 2001

Composed during my third year of university, this piece is dedicated to a fellow student, Lori Muñoz, who had earlier premiered two of my "Four Preludes" (1998). I had originally planned for this work to be the first movement of a piano sonata. However, my time was taken up working on "Two Pieces for Orchestra" (2002) and I never finished the rest of this sonata. Later I renamed the piece to its current title as I found it descriptive of the "pressure" I felt during that time.

Classical
Piano
Spectral Myths
Spectral Myths
Brass Quintet / December 1999

The title of this piece is evocative of the supernatural: "Spectral" refers to something that is "of or like a ghost", while "myths" typically means that "it's a popular concept, but not really true." Personally, I do not believe in the existence of ghosts. When a person dies, they're dead - they don't know anything. I do however believe that angels are real and that what people often mistake for a "ghost" is actually an evil angel posing as such. Interestingly enough, not long after I composed this work I had an encounter with one in the basement suite I was living in at the time. I called for help and a heavenly angel was sent to deal with my unwelcome visitor.

Classical
Brass Quintet
String Quartet No. 1 - The Dreamer
String Quartet No. 1 "The Dreamer"
String Quartet / May 1996

In the spring of 1995, I began composing my first string quartet. Work went very slowly and I soon lost interest in the project. A year later, in March 1996, I discovered the unfinished score in a dresser drawer and was inspired to complete it. I immediately set at work and composed the third movement and part of the final movement in less than one day. However, the quality of the first two movements bothered me, so I set them apart as a suite on their own and soon after rewrote the remaining movements, finishing the work by the middle of May 1996.

Classical
String Quartet