This contemplative solo piano work was written as a "commentary" on the composer's 2006 chamber cantata A Measure of Love and Silence. It reflects the spiritual-philosophical essence of the larger work's musical and poetic themes - but nevertheless has a life of its own.
Commedia, for violin, clarinet, and piano, was composed for the Verdehr Trio, who also recorded the work for Crystal Records in 2007. In a review of a 2007 concert performance, the Washington Post's Joan Reinthaler wrote: "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.
The title of my double bass quartet, Soundings, is a reference in part to the nautical term for measuring the depth of water. This term has an obvious connection to the double bass as the “deepest” sounding string instrument of the orchestra. “Soundings” can also refer to various types of exploration, and the five movements of the piece are my personal “explorations” of the instrument that is closest to me. Soundings was commissioned by and is dedicated to Robert Oppelt, Rick Barber, Jeff Weisner and Ali Yazdanfar, all members of the National Symphony Orchestra at the time of this commission in 2000.