Peter Ware
Classical Composer Reviews

Free MP3 file of Ware's Wind Dance from Forest Scenes
Order Ware's Scores at
 Ware's recommended books
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AISHIHIK (orchestra)
(3-2-2-3, 4-2-3-1, Timp., Perc. (3), Pno, Str.  14')
"The music wins you over with its marvelous stillness."   
- The Toronto Star

SYMPHONY NO.1 Ancient Evenings (orchestra)

(3-2-2-2, 4-2-3-1, Timp., Perc. (2), Str.  40')
"The  orchestra  reveled in the evocative and passionate passages of the musical epic, which describes the visit of a hero's soul to his own funeral and a re-visiting of his life."   -The London Free Press

BACA LOCATION #1 (orchestra)
(1-1-1-1, 2-2-1-1, Timp., Str. 22')
"In his mystical and picturesque evocations, he explores not only sound, but shape, mass, power, solidity, permanence. . . Baca Location No.1 stretches the ear into strange, exotic and pleasing territory that belongs as much to the contemporary world as to the ancient."   -Kitchener-Waterloo Record

BACA LOCATION #1 (orchestra)
. . . "a highly dramatic, even declamatory piece in two movements each of which builds to a grand rhetorical climax before ending.   His idiom is openly communicative and emotional.   He seems to be a composer of 
genuine originality and real talent."   
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

(3-3-2-2, 4-2-3-1, Timp., Perc. (3), Str. 13')
"This was an accessible and serious contemporary piece, based on an Indian Legend, that spoke in its slow and sonorous language of a mysterious and profound psychic experience"  -The Leader-Post

(string octet)
(Vln (4), Vla (2), Vlc. (2)  35')
"An exotically evocative piece, describing the atmosphere and spirit of the place with eerie harmonics, long-held notes and often sparse harmonies conveying a sense of vast emptiness and antiquity."  -The Washington Post

"Peter Ware's 'Kabah' begins with a haunting, almost eerie prestissimo appassionato accented by sweeping strings and a bed of low notes under a single hanging violin line, creating a sense of awe and mystery. In the andante con mosso, low note clusters are again used to create that sense of weight, the weight of years.  Maybe it's just the unsettling nature of the arrangement that makes presto con brio convey such a sinister feel."  -The North Jersey Herald & New

"Kabah, inspired by a Mayan ruin in Mexico's Yucatan peninsular, is a forceful and intense piece that yields little to the narrative style." -Tim Panting, Classical Guitar magazine
Free MP3 of Peter Ware's String Octet Kabah

TSANKAWI (orchestra)
(2-2-2-2, 4-2-3-1, Timp., Perc. (3), Str.  7')
"From the arresting opening of the bass drums thundering at either side of the stage, the music weaved a haunting spell."  -The Leader Post

"The Eagle and the Plumed Serpent"
(chamber music)
(Vln/Fl., Gtr/Pn 14')
"Musical ideas are worked out in a very evocative way.  Played properly this music will dazzle an audience and thrill the players."  -Soundboard

"Chama began with a long lustrous flute solo,
gradually growing more knotty."  -New York Times

"It’s slow unfolding course, in predominantly long violin phrases, has a cobra-like power to hypnotise."   -Allan Clive Jones, Classical Guitar

"Ware's style, inspired by North America's landscape and Indian heritage, has been described as 'paintings in sound.'  Chama, "the Eagle and the Plumed Serpent", the opening composition, is exactly that.  It evoked exotic imagery which produced a blend both surreal and dramatic."  - Kitchener Waterloo Record
Free MP3 excerpt of Peter Ware's Chama from the CD Americas! 

"Well, if you love "classical" guitar...I advise you to go out and get it with its new music by Peter Ware with "ELEGY & TOTENTANZ". This piece starts with strummed chords that Sor would have cringed at, but sound, to my ear, very interesting and make me want more. Lots of lead playing with chords to punctuate the motion. Nothing here that would irritate anyone, you CAN have a conversation while its playing....but I'd advise you actually listen. Ware takes Harting - Ware on some adventures that don't resolve quite the way you expect, but work wholeheartedly."  -Alternate Music Press
Free Classical Guitar MP3 excerpt of  Peter Ware's Totentanz
Order  the Score for Elegy and Totentanz @

ELEGY & TOTENTANZ &  FOREST SCENES (classical guitar)
"Born at Richmond, Virginia, in 1951, Ware offers melodic content that is quite strong, Totentanz a fascinating score with a motoric rhythm that drives the work forward. Equally appealing are the highly descriptive pieces that form Forest Scenes, the section, Woodchuck Blues, being a wonderful, tongue-in-cheek look at a lazy blues."
  -David Denton,  Fanfare

"Before starting to play this interesting and creative work, it is good to read the poem "Hibiscus by Piscataway," written by the composer and printed in the edition. This can be a nice, inspirational introduction to this striking collection of four programmatic pieces, in which guitar techniques are truly used in an evocative sense.                       

The group starts with "North Face," depicting the dramatic Rocky Mountains of Banff. There follows a fantasy "Hibiscus on the Water" in a Largo expressivo variation form. Andante, then Allegro "Woodchuck Blues" combines jazz and blues styles, employing syncopated rhythms with hemiolas and an ostinato on the damped open sixth string (in D). The collection closes with the Presto "Wind Dance", full of rocking chords and stinging snap pizzicato effects. (Wind Dance is recorded on Americas Acoma GXD-5736)

This attractive work can be heard on a CD of the same name (Acoma GXD-5734), played by the editor, so we can recommend listening. It demands a high technical level, and includes "rasgueado suave" (brushing the strings), "Bartok" pizzicati, tremolo, different ornaments, and many other effects and articulations. Good and precise editing (especially left-hand fingerings) facilitates the work."  -Uros Dojcinovic, Soundboard  
Classical Guitar MP3 of Ware's Hibiscus on the Water from Forest Scenes
Free classical Guitar MP3 file of Ware's Wind Dance from Forest Scenes
Order Score of Peter Ware's Forest Scenes for solo Guitar @

(chamber music for saxophone and percussion

Two Saxophonists and Three Percussionists.  15')
"The mood is 'cool' and distanced, yet always the emotional tone is one of intense reverence"    -St.Louis Post-Dispatch

(chamber music for saxophone and percussion)

: "Ware's textures are carefully calculated.  Fragments of saxophone licks and jazz-like scales disappear into distant clouds of vibraphone trills, only to rematerialize and glide back."  -The Cincinnati Enquirer
Free MP3 of chamber music for saxophone and percussion  of Peter Ware's Libera Me Domine first movement excerpt

NAKINA (classical guitar)
(Gtr  21')
"Ware's pungent, poignant Nakina suite."   -Los Angeles Times

"Peter Ware's Nakina is a probing, introspective work imbued with elements of jazz and blues."  -Classical Music Magazine

NAKINA (classical guitar)
"This is a sonata-length, four-movement work with the first three movements calling for a scordatura (the low E and A strings each lowered a half-step).  The movement scheme is traditional, but the altered tuning gives the piece an exotic flavor.  The texture is mostly two-part, and the writing works well, as the composer obviously understands the guitar well.  This is a dramatic, lyrical work; the third movement contains some particularly nice passages."   -Soundboard
MP3 Classical Guitar excerpt of Peter Ware's Bacarole from Nakina on the CD The Many Moods of the Guitar

THE NIGHT RAINBOW (chamber music)
(Clt.,Vla/Hn, Pno  11')
“Night Rainbow finds the piano glistening as the clarinet and viola intone mysterious chants. Time is virtually suspended in Ware’s pieces, which are mesmerizing in effect.” -Akron Beacon Journal

PISCATAWAY (classical piano)
(Pno  18')
"Romantic, lyrical and impressionistic all at once,
the pieces have a beautiful natural pianism"   -Hamilton Spectator
Free MP3 od piano Music of Peter Ware's  Piscataway performed by Yvar Mikashoff


(chamber music with voice)
(Sop, Cl., & Pn 6')
"Another work I enjoyed hearing again was Peter Ware's Three Pieces for Voice, Clarinet and Piano.  It's a setting of three sparse 'cubistic' poems of e.e. cummings in which the music perfectly matches the wit and sonic playfulness of the text."  -Musical America

Order Ware's music on CDs @ Now!  
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Last modified September 14, 2009
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