Music for Strings and Hammers (2017) violin, double bass, piano Composed for the ensemble Strings & Hammers and premiered by them in Madrid in November, 2016 Two movements: 1. Nails, 2. Heart 12 minutes, ACE
String Quartet No. 1 "Chaconne" (2000) Commissioned for the Ying Quartet, who gave the first performance on the concert series of Chamber Music Rochester. 11 minutes, KC
String Quartet No. 3 (2012) Written for the JACK Quartet. 19 minutes, ACE
"Partway through JACK Quartet's Friday night concert at Roulette, something unusual occurred; the group was playing with a rich vibrato. ... The vibrato, which was lovely, came in the third movement of Liptak's excellent String Quartet No. 3. After hearing JACK for years produce gripping sounds in avant-garde compositions of the likes of Helmut Lachenmann and Horatiu Radulescu, it was a charming and slghtly bewildering revelation to hear how they sound playing minor chords. And JACK sounded wonderful.
As did Liptak's piece, a contemporary statement on the history of the string quartet. ...The style is expressionistic, with direct roots in Bartók, Dutilleux and, it seemed, the moody, quasi-romantic modernism of André Boucourechlíev. The tonality is minor key, and there is a velvety darkness covering a fiery intensity."
- George Grella, The Classical Review, January 17, 2015
Fanfare for Trumpets for five trumpets (2005) 1 minute, ACE
Commedia for clarinet, violin, and piano (2001) Commissioned by the Verdehr Trio, and recorded by this ensemble on Crystal Records. The four movements are 1. Entrada - Harlequin and Columbine, 2. Intermezzo - Pierrot, 3. Intermezzo - Pulcinella, and 4. Finale - Scaramouche. 15 minutes, ACE
"David Liptak's Commedia was the other commissioned work on the program, a set of musical portraits of the antics of the 16th century Comedia dell'Arte comic figures Harlequin and Columbine, Pierrot, Pulcinella and Scaramouche. Liptak, fluent in the language of violin and clarinet sonorities, has crafted vivid images while avoiding the lure of the caricature and has done this with energy and a sense of humor." -Washington Post, 3/9/09
"His Commedia , composed in 2001, is an evocation of the 16th-century commedia dell’arte . Harlequin, Columbine, Pierrot, Pulcinella, and Scaramouche are all given highly characterful portraits. One cannot listen to this music without recalling Schoenberg’s world-storming Pierrot lunaire . His atonal and highly instrumentally colored settings of Albert Giraud’s poems will, of necessity, haunt any composer with the temerity to deal with any of the commedia dell’arte characters. Liptak’s language is appropriately jagged and disjunct. It is in the quiet second section, “Intermezzo—Pierrot,” that he practices his most humanistically telling magic by forging the link between all of those overtly comedic characters (with their heroism, pathos, wisdom, cluelessness, and grotesqueries) and ourselves." -Fanfare Magazine, William Zagorski
Giovine vagha for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, marimba, and piano (1996)
Composed for the New York New Music Ensemble. Recorded by musicians from the Eastman School of Music and from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg on Albany Records. The piece incorporates music from a two-part "ballata" of the 14th-century composer Francesco Landini.
Rhapsodies for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (1992)
1. Con forza 2. Lirico 3. Allegro disinvolto
Commissioned by Meet the Composer for the Society for New Music in Syracuse, the Thamyris New Music ensemble, and the Third Angle New Music Ensemble.
Recorded by the Society for New Music in Syracuse on the Innova label 16 minutes, KC
"(the concert by newEar Contemporary Ensemble) ... concluded with a major work, David Liptak’s Rhapsodies for Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Violin and Cello, under the direction of Steven Davis. In three connected movements, Rhapsodies evolves and flows from a single, simple melodic cell. The first rhapsody, marked 'Con Forza,' is indeed an insistent, forward moving yet ultimately lyrical movement. 'Lirico, which follows, is immediately more sustained and relaxed, a flowing, languid nocturne. Flute and clarinet (NewEar stalwarts Thomas Aber and Lyra Pherigo) contributed wandering, lazy lines, colored by splashes from the piano and pizzicato strings. The final rhapsody, 'Allegro Disinvolto,' is dance-like in character. Starting out a bit stilted and mechanical, the dance soon takes off, involving the whole ensemble, with flute predominant, until the piano alone pirouettes to the silvery conclusion." -I Care if You Listen magazine, 10/5/13