Harmonizing History and Imagination, Gene Pritsker’s ‘Only A Game’ Symphony of Strings

Immersing listeners in a world of artistic collaboration and cross-temporal connections, ‘Only A Game’ stands as a compelling testament to the intertwining of history, imagination, and musical innovation. Crafted by the accomplished hands of Gene Pritsker, this string trio composition was a commission brought to life by Robert Shannon Fields. Fields’ ballet libretto, conceived decades prior in the former East Germany, found its sonic counterpart in Pritsker’s evocative composition.


The ethereal strains of ‘Only A Game’ resonate with a profound narrative thread. Inspired by the intricate dance of words and actions that define Fields’ ballet scenario, Pritsker’s musical strokes paint vivid portraits of imaginary dancers, each movement a kinetic portrayal of Robert’s storytelling. Notably, the third act takes flight with ‘A Special Game,’ an enchanting scene that sees the solo cello weaving a tapestry of chromaticism and lyricism reminiscent of Shostakovich’s signature style. A motif, paying homage to the great composer, emerges, inviting listeners into a playful and captivating game of musical motifs.

Performed with finesse and flair by the ensemble of Wolfgang Schroeder on violin, Paul Cortese on viola, Alberto Ferres on cello, and enriched by the presence of Borislav Strulev on Act III, Movement 5, ‘Only A Game’ exudes a seamless harmony of talents. Julian Jahanpour’s meticulous touch in recording, mixing, and mastering brings forth a sonic tapestry that captures the essence of the music’s creative journey.

With each act, ‘Only A Game’ unveils a different facet of emotion and human experience. From the opening notes of ‘A Typical German Bar’ to the climactic crescendo of ‘Bezahlem Bitte,’ the composition traverses a spectrum of feelings. The meticulous structuring—Act I’s intrigue, Act II’s playful dynamics, and Act III’s introspective crescendo—guides listeners through a multi-dimensional journey.

In a world where creativity bridges the gaps between eras and ideologies, ‘Only A Game’ beckons us to celebrate the magic that comes from reimagining history. The music’s ethereal notes echo across time, reminding us that each note played is a part of a greater narrative—both real and imagined.

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