- In 1990, the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa made a set of short films, collectively entitled Dreams. It's the inspiration for Spanish composer Ramón Paús’ 2009 work, Piano en Arlés. Just as Van Gogh moves in the film through the Arles countryside, looking for light and shadow, so Paús’ work uses the two shade contrasts.
- Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) was inspired by a trip to the region, which is about 20 km southeast of Rome. In the work, Marx paints broad pictures of the Mediterranean area. The first movement, Villa Hadriana, refers to Hadrian’s Villa, a Roman ruin in Tivoli, Italy. The original villa had been constructed around 120-130 AD as a retreat for the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
- Dr Asenjo’s 1996 composition Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra starts us in a dark world for which the entry of the cello does not bring light. The string orchestra sets up a dense sound environment and, above it and through it, the cello winds long melodies.
In his work Las Cíclades arcaicas, Brouwer invokes the ancient world of the Cyclades, adding in fragments of Greek rhythms and melodies, brief reveries, and moments of dramatic silence. He also provides the opportunities for intricate filigree passages, matching the art of the ancient culture. It is the silences as much as the playing that brings out the aesthetic purity of the work.
- Chronicling a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, on 16 June 1904, James Joyce’s phenomenal Ulysses is in a stream-of-conciousness style that was highly controversial at the time. In Episode 17, Leopold Bloom returns home and is questioned by his wife, Molly. This catechism of questions forms the basis of Victoria Bond’s setting of this scene in her work Leopold Bloom’s Homecoming.
- How can you make a simple ringtone (with all those cultural overtones) into a work of music? In his composition Ringtone, Greek composer George Kontogiorgos (b. 1945) gives us the development and a set of variations on a familiar melody.
- The Overture was a hit from its first hearing. Bernstein gave its premiere with his New York Philharmonic in January 1957 (while the musical was still on Broadway). A flood of recording and arrangement followed and it remains a concert staple.
- Written in 1987 as a competition piece, that Thème et Variations explores micro-form. The theme for the variations is only three bars long, but the variations that follow give it maximum expression through different realizations: expansive, expressive, flowing, meditative and violently agitated.