On Ithacaís Shores opens with the roar of ocean waves crashing against the rocks followed by the sound of a bouzouki leading a Zorba-inspired paean to Dionysus and friends. The piece includes a set of dance variations based on "To Syrtaki tou Yorgou."

Despite its title, the second piece has several quiet moments. The middle movement is a "conversation" between guitar and violin based on a Scottish lilt in which a woman calls her lover to her bed. The last movement revolves around a simple tune from Robert Schumannís Pappilons No. 7.

While Emil Waldteufel, composer of the familiar Skatersí Waltz, might object to the neighing and sleigh-bells with which the third piece opens, he might very well be flattered to think that a composer over a hundred years later thought his little melody was interesting enough to write some variations on it. Actually I call these "elaborations" rather than variations because, unlike their progenitors, they are not formally organized into separate sub-movements but rather flow organically from one "take" into another.

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On Ithaca's Shores - Vivace
Exuberanz - Allegro  •  Andante  •  Presto
Skating with Waldteufel - Moderato

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Paul Breer's Musical Style