List of Works
Audio Samples

Email: info@robertrival.com
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book on music, gesture & rhetoric
Traces of a Silent Landscape
Sonata "Muskoka"
Global tapestry - Ananta duo
Sonata "Muskoka" for clarinet & piano (Lake movement). Ananta Duo: "Global Tapestry" (2018). Purchase. Spotify.

Windermere String Quartet: Inner Landscapes
Traces of a Silent Landscape. Windermere String Quartet: "Inner Landscapes" (2016). Purchase. iTunes. Spotify. Naxos Music Library.


Lullaby. Edmonton Symphony Orchestra: "A Concert for New York" (2013). 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards nominee for Classical Recording of the Year. Purchase.


Delights & Discords

Instrumentation: SATB (divided) chorus & wind ensemble
chorus & piano
Duration: 17:00 (2’, 3’, 2’, 3’, 2’, 5’)
Year Composed: 2014
Commissioner: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
  1. Rose-Cheek’d Laura Come (Thomas Campion)
  2. On My First Son (Ben Jonson)
  3. Now Winter Nights Enlarge (Campion)
  4. The Glories of Our Blood and State (James Shirley)
  5. Delight in Disorder (Robert Herrick)
  6. The Sun Is Set (Robert Sidney)*

The version for chorus & piano serves as vocal score.

*In the version for chorus & piano, No. 6 "The Sun Is Set", is to be sung unaccompanied, in which form it may also be programmed independently.

Audio Samples


Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Music Director Edwin Outwater interviews Robert Rival about Delights & Discords. Features footage from a Richard Eaton Singers rehearsal. Produced by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Program Notes

Delights & Discords draws its texts from the English Renaissance. Six short poems by five authors (Campion, Jonson, Shirley, Herrick, Sidney), though all secular, share no particular theme. My goal is to provide a glimpse of the profoundly rich, diverse and accessible poetry of this period. No topic or aspect of life, however mundane, seems to have escaped these poets’ attention. The texts I've chosen thus span a wide range of human experience: from naive love (no. 1) to fashion and flirtation (no. 5); from a heartbroken elegy on the death of a child (no. 2) to a commentary on war and universal mortality (no. 4); from the celebration of the good life (no. 3) to a meditation on the cosmos (no. 6). The order juxtaposes contrasting emotional content to emphasize this diversity.

The language of the Renaissance, a period that witnessed a great flowering of linguistic resources and imagery, is itself striking. "Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty's / Silent music" (Campion, no. 1) rolls mellifluously off the tongue while "here doth lie / Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry" (no. 2) invokes self-reflexivity. "Let well-tun'd words amaze" (Campion, no. 3) illustrates inventive metaphor—frequently musical; "victor-victim" (James Shirley, no. 4), one of the period's innumerable coinages. With such evocative words the music practically writes itself.

Echos of Renaissance music abound in my settings. The scoring for wind ensemble recalls combinations of like instruments (winds and brass) associated with outdoor and public music, oboes and trombones in lieu of shawms and sackbuts. The vocal writing frequently draws on Renaissance styles, including extensive polyphony, often in five or more voices, and word painting and imitation reminiscent of the madrigalists. Yet the music, overall, is contemporary and personal, with no. 5 even set in a jazz idiom. —R.R.


  • May 2,3&4, 2014—Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony / Grand Philharmonic Choir
    Edwin Outwater, cond. Centre in the Square, Kitcher-Waterloo, ON.
  • May 2&3, 2014—Edmonton Symphony Orchestra / Richard Eaton Singers
    William Eddins, cond. Winspear Centre, Edmonton, AB.


Score Perusal & Parts Rental

For score perusal and parts rental information, contact Robert Rival.