Michael Winikoff's Compositions

(Looking for the compositions of Leanne Daharja Veitch?)

Some fellow composers: Sandra Uitdenbogerd, Leanne Veitch, Theresa Wallner.

All these works are copyright and may not be placed on the web, copied, or performed without permission. Having said that, I'm very happy for these pieces to be performed, however, I would appreciate knowing about performances, and getting a recording of the performance, if possible.

My style is based on a variety of influences including early music and early twentieth century music and late romantic music. It is mostly classical (as opposed to popular) and tonal. I tend to use simple chords but often use non-standard sequences of harmonies. Although there are some minimalistic tendencies I tend to go for "simplicity" in preference to extreme minimalism. To me the structure of music is very important. Music shouldn't ramble, it should be cohesive. These days most of my work is choral.

brief bio

A quick note on file formats

  1. Scores are in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), and can be read and printed using Adobe Acrobat Reader (and other programs). Some scores are also available in postscript format.
  2. Some pieces have MIDI renditions. These come with a disclaimer: MIDI files only capture the notes - not the expression, text, or sound. When MIDI files are of computer performances they also typically leave out interpretation aspects such as fermata, dynamics, pauses, tempo changes and so on. Furthermore, the sound of a PC playing a MIDI file is usually very different from the sound of the appropriate instruments - particularly in the case of choral music. For these reasons I view the MIDI file as only being useful to get an idea of what the notes are, not as a way of listening to the piece.
  3. In a few cases there are also MP3 files: these are from recordings of performances that, unlike MIDI, do capture text, dynamic, etc. Unfortunately, in some cases the recording quality is quite low.
  4. Some of the music was typeset using NoteWorthy Composer under Windows, the rest (the more recent work) was typeset using mup, a music program which is not as user friendly, but which provides more features, better control, and which runs on pretty much anything (DOS, Unix, or anything else with a C compiler).


These pieces are listed in chronological order.

Sonatina for flute and piano, 4 January 1989.
This piece was written in 1989 for David Smith. It was performed by David Smith (flute) and myself (piano) as part of the school play at Melbourne High School that year. [PDF full score, PDF flute part, MIDI,MP3]

For the curious you can also see the score which the MIDI is derived from (pdf), This differs from the normal score in that it spells out certain details (such as trills). This gives a good idea of what Mup can and can't do.

Recording is of performance by David Smith and Michael Winikoff as part of the Melbourne High School, school play Plays and Players II, 1989.

Sonata for flute and piano, September 1989
This is the second movement. The flute plays a gentle melody above a rippling harp-like figure from the piano. [PDF, MIDI]

Sonata for piano, completed 18 December 1989.
An early work showing the use of tension and dramatic form. The first movement conforms (perhaps too strictly?) to sonata form. The second movement is, interestingly, dramatic, rather than quiet and soothing.
First movement:[PDF,MIDI]
Second movement: [PDF,MIDI]

Nocturne 1, for piano, 1990.
This is a gentle piece which uses sparse textures, and gentle dissonance. It would probably sound good on a harp. [PDF, MIDI]

Lament for a capella SATB choir, 1994.
I've finally gotten around to typesetting Lament, as premierred by the Melbourne University Choral Society back in 1994 and also performed by the Australian National University Choral Society later that year. Lament is text-less, something which in retrospect was a mistake - consonants are important for singers.

Lament was performed on Saturday 8th October 1994, by the Melbourne University Choral Society, conducted by Andrew Wailes; and on Friday 9th December 1994, by the ANU (Australian National University) Choral Society, conducted by Trish Shaw. [PDF,MIDI,MP3]

Recording is of the MUCS performance, at Twentieth century lament, 8th October 1994.

Available on CPDL.

Anthem for Doomed Youth, piano and SATB choir, 1995
Based on a poem by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918). [PDF,MIDI]

NEW A revised version of this piece is available (pdf)

Available on CPDL.

De Profundis, a capella choir (ATBaB), 1995?
This piece shows an unusually strong early music influence. It is intended for a chamber choir. And does not use a soprano part. Note that this piece is currently being revised. [PDF,MIDI]

Vocalise, for a capella choir, begun 18 July 1995, incomplete.
Written earlier this year in conjunction with Leanne Veitch. Simple and relaxed. (and, for the moment, incomplete :-). [PDF, MIDI]

The Hollow Men, a capella choir, 1996
This is a slightly longer (around 20 minutes) piece for a capella choir based on T. S. Eliot's poem of the same name.

The Hollow Men was premierred on Saturday 5th September 1998, by the Melbourne Chamber Choir, conducted by Faye Dumont. A friend who attended the performance sent the following comment to the Australian choral-chat mailing list:

I went along to the Melbo Chamber Choir (formerly Fay(e) Dumont Singe-ers) concert Satdy night - no! It had *nothing at all* to do with one of the basses! Nothing!

Anyway, they premiered Michael's "The Hollow Men" and all I can say is really puerile sounding stuff like "wow" and "wow" and maybe "wow"! It stayed with me for the past few days and was the most jaw-droppingly stunning thing I'd heard in a very long time indeed. Unfortunatement it wasn't recorded so if you missed it and didn't have a legit excuse like being out of the country or a previous engagement or you didn't know about it, then sucko to you with knobs on!

It was without doubt the standout piece of the evening and words fail me!

You can download Hollow men in PDF format (warning: 574K). Also available are MIDI renditions of the various parts. Note that the plain chant at the start of the last section has been left out since the notes aren't hard and the MIDI rendition completely fails to capture the freedom of chant. Also, the MIDI files miss the distinction between singing, speaking, and whispering.
  1. part 1
  2. part 2
  3. part 3
  4. part 4
  5. part 5

Spring for piano solo, 8 November 1998
This was written after a long break from composing. I think I'll eventually write three other pieces (Autumn, Winter and Summer) and make a set out of them. Spring is set for solo piano and should be performed with rubato. This composition is unusual for me in that it uses solo piano and in that it is entirely in a major key - most of my works seem to be dark, gloomy, and in minor keys ...

Noteworthy: PDF (The indications "ripple" should be read as a squigley vertical line in front of the note - unfortunately Noteworthy composer doesn't seem to be able to do this.)
Low-quality recording: MP3 (Recording is Michael Winikoff at home, 2002)
Another recording: MP3 (Recording from Sandra Uitdenbogerd's recital)

Serial Moods for flute and piano, 1999
As part of the general cleaning associated with moving house I found this piece as an incomplete sketch on paper. I typeset and completed it. Although it began life as a serial (12 tone) piece, it quickly moves away from serialism. This piece also demonstrates that a piece can be (partly) serial without being atonal. [PDF,MIDI]

When Soft Voices Die for female voice, flute, and piano, 9 October 1999.
Based on a poem by Shelley. This work began when a friend asked me to write something for her (Soprano) and a friend (Flute). This was written on the morning of Saturday the 9th of October (1999). [PDF,MIDI]

Jerusalem (arrangement) for a capella SATB choir, 25 October 1999.
Jerusalem, the well known words by William Blake, with tune by Parry, is often sung by AICSA choirs, however, it is rather boring in unison. This arrangement is suitable for a concert, as it uses a few more interesting harmonies, and has different settings for the two verses. [PDF,MIDI]

Available on CPDL.

Alleluia, for a cappela SATB choir, 8-9 January 2000.
One of my perpetual new year's resolutions is to compose more. Often this seems to result in a number of pieces written early in the year; sadly, followed by little in the remainder of the year. Alleluia was written early in 2000. A setting of the word "Alleluia", it shows some Russian influences in the setting, most particular, in the five syllable pronunciation chosen: al-li-lu-i-ya. This was subsequently arranged for SSAB choir (see below) [PDF, MIDI]

When I heard the learn'd astronomer, soprano alto and baritone, 19 February 2000.
To text by Walt Whitman (1819-1892), this piece has minimalistic influences. [PDF,MIDI]

Available on CPDL.

Alleluia, for a capella SSAB choir, 2 April 2000.
When RMIT Occasional Choral Society (ROCS) began rehearsing Alleluia, it soon became apparent that the lack of men was going to be a problem. To solve this, I arranged Alleluia for SSAB. This arrangement is what ROCS performed. (on the 5th of May 2000 and the 26th of May 2000 - in both cases conducted by Michael Winikoff). [PDF,MIDI,MP3]

Recording is of the ROCS performance, 26th May 2000.

Available on CPDL.

Jerusalem of Gold, violin cello and piano, 8-12 April 2000.
Written for my father (amateur violinist) and brother (amateur cellist and professional guitarist), this trio is a theme on variations on a well-known tune by Naomi Shemer. [PDF,MIDI]

Warm up song, for a capella SATB choir, 29 July 2001.
I've worked with Faye Dumont for a number of years now. As with many choral conductors, Faye has a number of favorite warmups. This piece is a sort of joke/tribute that brings together the various warmups. This piece is dedicated to the FDS family. [PDF,MIDI]

Trio, second movement, violin cello and piano, 6 January 2002.
Also for my family. [PDF,MIDI]

The Chocolate Song, for voice and piano. 5 February 2002.
This piece is rather a change of style for me - moving from classical to popular (in this case vaguely Jazz). The text (written by Leanne Veitch) is a musing on that great love that both my wife and myself have: for chocolate :-) [PDF,MIDI]

Available on CPDL.

Who's my little baby?, for voice and piano or guitar. 9 January 2005.
This piece is a lullaby for my son. One of the more beautiful of the many Leanne and I make up, so I thought it was worth writing down. When I wrote it on the piano it was in G minor, but it would be easier on the guitar in A minor or E minor.
NEW Rough recording of me singing (and improvising a couple of additional vocal parts for harmony). (MP3, 2.1 megs)

Hear the Echo, for ATB. 15th March 2005.
The so-called Midday Madrigal Group (AKA "Operation Elevator Music") sang in the stairwell of building 10 at RMIT. This piece was written that night and is voiced for the three core members of the Computer Science vocal group - Sandra Uitdenbogerd, James Harland and myself. [PDF, MIDI]

Elements, for solo piano, 11-12th June 2006.
Four short pieces, one for each of the ancient elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, to be performed in that order). Although I'm not really happy with fire, and I'm not entirely happy with earth, I'm happy with air and am very happy with water.
  1. Earth: dark and mysterious, with subtle evocation of Grieg's hall of the mountain king (from the Peer Gynt suite) (MIDI)
  2. Water: gentle and light - I had an image in my mind of an oriental garden with water gently dripping into rippling pools. (MIDI, also MP3, because some computers have problems with having the sustain pedal down for the whole piece ...)
  3. Air: light and cheeky - this one is fun! (MIDI)
  4. Fire: intended to be a fiery tango, I think it's not quite hot enough! :-) (MIDI)
Download elements.pdf.

Three Madrigals, for STB or SAB, 12-13th August 2006.
These madrigals, written on the 12th and 13th of August, 2006, were inspired by madrigals that are part of the standard repertoire of the Australian University Choral Societies. All three madrigals are for three voice parts, and can be sung by a mezzo-soprano and two men; or by a mezzo, an alto, and a male. If the middle part is sung by an alto, then the male should double the low D in bar 12 of Since First.

The first madrigal, Since first, is a love song, dedicated to my wife, Leanne. It should be sung gently, with bars 12 to 18 being particularly lyrical.

The second madrigal, Weep, began as being inspired by Weep O Mine Eyes, but ended up with a more biblical text, loosely based on the lamentations of Jeremiah.

The third and final madrigal, Pastime, is inspired by the well-known work attributed to Henry VIII. It adopts harmonies that suggest a medieval atmosphere, while using a rather modern alternating 3/4 and 6/8 time signature (a la Bernstein).

Download: madrigals.pdf, since.mid, weep.mid, pastime.mid.

The second movement, weep, has been revised slightly (September 2007).
Download: madrigals-v2.pdf, weep-v2.mid

Available on CPDL.

This is Australia, for SAB and optional tambourine, May 2007.
This piece, with text by the composer, aims to capture a little of that that is modern Australia. It was submitted (under a pseudonym) to the ROCS composition competition, and won first prize. It was premiered by ROCS on the 7th of September, 2007, and has since been performed a second time by ROCS (with brass parts by Philip Legge), and also by the Sydney Intervarsity Choral Festival, in a concert titled Visions of Australia conducted by Brett Weymark.

Download: australia.pdf, australia.mid.

ThisIsAustraliaSIV.mp3: a recording of the performance by the Sydney Intervarsity Choral Festival. Note that some of the tempi are faster than I would have preferred.

Available on CPDL.

Deconstruct A Chrysalis, August 2008.
This piece, with text by Leanne Daharja Veitch, is for SAT semi-chorus and SATB choir.

Download: Deconstruct-v2.pdf (revised score)
NEW: I've created an SATB version (with a few small solos, and some divisi) Deconstruct-SATB.pdf.

Performance recording here

Rondo 'Impossible', October 2008.
This piece, for Clarinet and Piano, was written for a piano warming party, and was performed by Stephen Cranefield and myself.

Download: rondo.pdf, the clarinet part, rondo.mid.

Blessing, June 2009. This piece is dedicated to my father, who passed away in February 2009.
It is a setting of the priestly blessing that he read every Friday to bless his children:
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious
The Lord life up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
(There are a number of translations of this text).

The setting incorporates the text in both English and Hebrew (click here for an audio of the Hebrew pronunciation). It also includes a violin, representing both my father's violin playing, and, in the closing bars of the work, the soul finding peace.

Download: blessing.pdf. (NEW: you can also download the violin part, and both the score and violin part transpose up a semitone)

The Mona Lisa, December 2009.
A setting of a poem by Leanne Veitch, about a painting by Leonardo da Vinci

Download: Score.

Blue Sky (2010 Version), April 2010.
This extends the 2004 version with additional songs (and revises the 2004 songs).

Download: Cover and notes, Score

The Silent Trumpet, February 2010.
A micro-oratorio, submitted to the 2010 ROCS Composition Competition.

Download: Score.

Twinkle twinkle little star (2012)
Set for: a capella three male voices. An arrangement of the well-known song.

Download: PDF score, MIDI.

I know a place (where the wild things grow) (2013)
Set for: a capella S, A, T/B (i.e. three parts). This is a setting of original text by Leanne Daharja Veitch.

Download: PDF score.

Snow Snow (2016)
Back in August, after a snow day, my son asked "why don't you write a piece about snow?". So here it is!

The text, by American poet Sara Teasdale evokes light, flight, and a certain whimsical longing, which I've attempted to capture in a setting that has a light texture, and frequent subtle harmonic shifts.

Download: PDF score.

In the beginning (2016)
Set for: a capella SATB (with some divisi and a few small solos)

Download: PDF