List of Works
Audio Samples

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An occasional newsletter announcing concerts, recordings, & projects.

book on music, gesture & rhetoric
six pieces for piano in memoriam Peter Longworth
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.


Ten Miniatures

Instrumentation: chromatic kantele (zither)
Duration: 12:00
Year Composed: 2017
Commissioner: Hedi Viisma, with the support of Queen's University.
  1. Dreamily, freely
  2. Moderato, quasi alla marcia
  3. Freely flowing, amabile e molto espressivo
  4. Maestoso
  5. Canon a 2: Allegro vivo
  6. Imitative duo: Cantabile
  7. Allegro energico
  8. Waltz: Comodo
  9. Fughetta a 3: Allegro vivo
  10. Ripples: Dreamily

Dedicated to Hedi Viisma.

Robert Rival and Hedi Viisma
Rival and Hedi Viisma after the premiere of Ten Miniatures. Music Centre, Helsinki, Finland, November 11, 2017.

Audio Samples

Complete Video

Ten Miniatures
[starts at 37:11]

Hedi Viisma, chromatic kantele

Helsinki, Finland
November 11, 2017

Program Notes

When I first heard the Estonian musician Hedi Viisma play the chromatic kantele I was immediately taken by the instrument's many exquisite attributes: the clarity across its entire compass, the purity of its tone, the deep resonance in its bass, and its remarkable agility. I was especially intrigued by its capacity to project multiple voices simultaneously, like a keyboard instrument, a feature that Ms. Viisma's performances of Bach's D minor Chaconne and the Goldberg Variations demonstrate so vividly. As it happens, what drew Ms. Viisma to my work is its rootedness in counterpoint. So when she commissioned me to write a piece for her, I naturally responded with music that foregrounds the instrument's polyphonic potential. Several miniatures focus overtly on traditional contrapuntal processes: canon (No. 5); imitative duo (No. 6); fughetta (No. 9). Others showcase the kantele's magnificent resonance in harmonic realms ranging from diatonic (No. 3) to chromatic (Nos. 1, 10)—or somewhere in-between (No. 4). There are a few outliers. The energetic No. 7, the longest, demands nimbleness. The crunchy No. 2 presses the instrument to its chromatic limits. And a quirky waltz (No. 8) alludes to the kantele's folk heritage.



  • Oct 22, 2022—Gerda Pärnaku
    Excerpts. Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia)
  • Dec 15, 2018—Hedi Viisma
    Sibelius Academy doctoral recital, Music Centre (Helsinki, Finland)
  • Nov 11, 2017—Hedi Viisma
    Sibelius Academy kantele concert, Music Centre (Helsinki, Finland)


Score Perusal & Parts Rental

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