Piano Quartet - Fundamental thematic and motivic materials, the work’s power lies even more in its atmosphere than in its structural ingenuity. All in all, the work offers a portrait of a composer with a consistent voice and a dramatic sense. Harmonic progressions that open up new vistas, But inspiration is not quite the same as imitation. If you’re trying to locate it on a stylistic map, you’re more apt to get lost in Sprague’s world of unlimited creativity.
FRANK LEE SPRAGUE
Composer, guitarist, pianist, violinist, vocalist, was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, and studied at the University of Washington and CSUF, spent time in Vienna studying classical guitar.
His music has been performed across the United States, and in Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, Czechoslovakia, the former Soviet Union, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Ireland, Australia, Spain, Germany and Finland
Sprague was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of three. After a short stay at the University of Washington, in 1976 went to study in Vienna. In 1980, he went to study at CSUF. Starting in the 1990’s Sprague traveled the world performing his music to high acclaim.
An original American composer, he wrote String Quartet in B-flat Major in 1994, debuting it in Los Angeles to rave reviews. His Symphonic Poem is his best-known score. Sprague’s other noteworthy works are currently being published, including Concerto for Violin with Orchestra, Guitar Quintet, Symphony No. 2, Pirate Music Suite for Strings, Quartet No. 2, etc. His music is described as lyrical and tonal, with passionate and original writing marked by exclusive modulations and chord techniques.
Frank Lee Sprague (born January 8th, 1958) is an American composer of classical music best known for his Quartet in B-flat Major and Symphonic Poem. He was born in Wichita Falls, Texas and began to compose at the age of eight. He developed a good singing voice, and considered becoming a professional singer. He studied at University of Washington in Seattle before traveling to Vienna to study classical guitar in 1978. The following year he returned to Southern California and began study at CSUF in 1980. Many works have been performed and recorded and he is seen as one of the most talented American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has not gone in for the sort of extreme experimentalism of some other American composers of his generation but has stuck to relatively traditional harmonies and forms. His work is lushly melodic and has often been described as neo-romantic and neo-classical but always in his own original and new style which has been described as “Spraguean”.
His various songs have been recorded and performed around the world which landed him acclaimed articles in such periodicals as Washington Post, Playboy Magazine and features on such radio programs as NPR’s All Things considered and All Songs considered.
Sprague wrote a Piano Quartet (1995) which is frequently heard. Sprague also completed several other pieces including 2 operas, a ballet, numerous chamber works, and his most recent Concerto for Violin with Orchestra.
He occupies a significant position in modern music as a symphonist and as a composer of chamber music, writing in a style that is always accessible, couched as it is in an extension of traditional tonal musical language.
Frank has spent his life studying, writing, and performing music. His main instrument is the guitar. He has many works for guitar and also guitar with various chamber ensembles.
The recording of the Violin Concerto is a landmark achievement in this composer’s career.
The first steps on this Sprague pilgrimage lift the heart for the journey to come. Sprague has become among the most esteemed musical figures of his generation. Each work bears the unmistakable stamp of a wildly fertile musical imagination and a distinctive voice forged out of the wide-ranging musical languages.
Released on Wichita Falls Records his many works are now available on his website www.frankleesprague.com and also Amazon.com (U.S.)
This is an outstanding contribution to the still far-too-small Sprague discography. This irresistible discovery, winningly championed by a new orchestra with this long-overdue first recording of his Piano Quartet, proves Frank Lee Sprague a musical genius of Mozartean universality and range.
Virtuoso compositional skills and an amazing ear...full of passion, joy, sorrow, and love.