About the Work

I was thinking about new music to write while staring at a blank page of manuscript. I looked up at my bookshelf and noticed a book of paintings called “Treasures of the Louvre.” I love visuals and stories, I opened this book and started to stare at paintings such as Rembrandt’s “Bathsheba Bathing,” Watteau’s “Pierrot” formally known as “Gilles,” The Embarkation for the Island of Cythera,” Géricault’s “Mounted Officer of the Imperial Guard,” and Boucher’s “Diana Bathing.” I soon checked out other paintings from the museum including de La Tour’s “The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds” and other great works from galleries around the world. I imagined some of the characters from these paintings jumping right off the canvas and into life through music. Soon I stopped looking at all these paintings and just allowed the music to take me on its own journey. Other works that inspired me include Chagall’s “Branche” (The Branch) and “L’Acrobrate” (Acrobat) and Vernet’s “A Shipwreck in Stormy Seas” and set them against the music. Night in the Gallery is a four-movement chamber orchestra work.

— Cliff Eidelman

Recorded January 29, 2018 by Members of the London Symphony Orchestra with Michael McHale on piano at Abbey Road Studios.


Symphony for Orchestra and Two Pianos

About The Work

"This Symphony for Orchestra and Two Pianos was composed for full Orchestra, it has three movements and two double piano cadenzas. 

Though this three-movement work does not tell a specific story, as I began to form my initial thematic ideas, I imagined abstract scenes inspired by the movement of water. The concept of motion then extended to many forms and became a connecting link. I went on an array of different paths from large scale swirling oceans, unworldly fantasy characters to intimacy of serene water with its beauty and yearnings.

As I have always loved music that leaves me with a sense of hope and optimism, I too embraced this path for the ending of this work."


Triumph of the Spirit Concert Suite

About the Work

In 1989,  I was hired to compose the music for the film Triumph of the Spirit. To this day it remains one of my most cherished film scores. Directed by Robert M. Young and starring Willem Dafoe and Edward James Olmos, the screenplay was inspired by true events. These events are about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There, he was permitted to survive as long as he fought for the amusement of his captors. For the music, I used a mostly western symphony orchestra with added ethnic instruments founds in Jewish Sephardic parts of the world where this story originates. The choir parts are mainly Jewish liturgy translated into Ladino by Cantor Bernard Savitz. Composing this score remains one of my most challenging and deeply felt efforts.

Cliff conducting Triumph of the Spirit with the Fairfax Choral Society on the Conducting Videos page

Triumph of the Spirit was used in the Schindler's List trailer




The Tempest - Tone Poem in Three Sections

About the Work

The Tempest is a little over sixteen minutes and is a tone poem in 3 sections. I set Shakespeare's final play over 3,500 years ago on a mythical island near Jerusalem. The first movement begins with a sudden storm at sea brought about by the main character and magician, Prospero. The movement ends with a soft cello melody as the ship safely settles onto the island. The high flute and harp introduce Prospero’s angel servant Ariel, who leads shipwrecked Ferdinand to Prospero, leaving the rest of the crew to deal with their own fate.

The quick paced trumpets start the second section. Here, an impression of interaction occurs between many of the characters and Prospero. The sudden forceful interruptions played by the trombones and trumpets symbolize Prospero using his magic to change the course of action in order to serve his main ambition, marrying his daughter Miranda to Ferdinand. The French horn theme characterizes Prospero as he heroically comes closer to his dream. This movement ends as Prospero tests Ferdinand’s love for Miranda through tedious labor tasks. Soft strings start off the final section as the marriage and love of Ferdinand and Miranda is celebrated. Toward the end, the low trombones and bassoons remind the couple that darkness still lurks even though all seems so perfect. Prospero blissfully watches Miranda as she sails off into the sunset with Ferdinand.

Listen to The Tempest on the Conducting Videos page.



Wedding in the Night Garden

About the work

It was the year 2000 and as I was approaching my own wedding, "Wedding in the Night Garden" poured out of me.  It is a piece about two souls, weightless, floating through a night garden in search of one another; it is my love piece to my wife Claire.

The music is lyrical in style and the many linear string parts and mezzo-soprano melodies imply the harmony throughout the work.  The effect of this was to create a sense of two souls floating through air.  

Finding the right text for this work almost seemed like an endless search.  After volumes of reading through poetry, I finally turned to the "Song of Songs" and found the perfect words staring straight at me expressing all the mystery and beauty that I was yearning for in the music.

Originally, the two-movement work was orchestrated for strings and mezzo-soprano.  Later, a second version was developed for strings, choir and mezzo-soprano which was performed in 2002 by the Los Angeles Master Chorale.   Conductor Grant Gershon, programmed repeat performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in their 2005/2006 season with Suzanna Guzmán singing the mezzo-soprano part. 

In its first-ever release, this original version is performed by 15 strings and were recorded under my direction with the mezzo soprano part performed by the gifted Aleta Braxton.

Both versions are available for concert performances. 

Version I

Version II

Although the recording here is version 1 , the following score is version II. You can still follow this score with Version I audio. Both version scores will be here to browse soon.


The Five Tales for Solo Piano

About the Work

This piano work consists of Five Tales:

I.    Night Dreams
II.   Dancing Forest
III.  Memory of Love
IV.  Awaken Spirits
V.   Whirling

Each with its own character, colors, textures, and emotion. 

This MIDI realization will be replaced by a piano soloist soon.


Watching for the Willows

About the Work

The score was originally inspired by the life of picture brides around the turn of the 20th century. Later, the inspirations expanded into a more complete concert piece using influences of Asian sounds and color.


Film Score Titles Available for Performance

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Concert Suite
Concert Suite from the original score to the film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Composed and Conducted by Cliff Eidelman

Christopher Columbus Concert Suite
Concert Suite from the original score to the film, Christopher Columbus
Composed and Orchestrated by Cliff Eidelman
(Audio track begins at page 14 in the score)