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RICHARD WERNICK

RICHARD WERNICK

Awards

Works

Recordings

Reviews


Born 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts, Richard Wernick’s many awards include the 1977 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and three Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards (First Prizes in 1986 and 1991, Second Prize in 1992) — the only two-time First Prize recipient. He received the Alfred I. Dupont Award from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in 2000, and has been honored by awards from the Ford Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2006, he received the Composer of the Year Award from the Classical Recording Foundation, resulting in the funding for an all-Wernick CD on the Bridge label, and featuring performances by David Starobin, William Purvis, the Juilliard String Quartet and the Colorado Quartet.

Mr. Wernick became renowned as a teacher during his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1968 until his retirement in 1996, and was Magnin Professor of Humanities. He has composed numerous solo, chamber, and orchestral works, vocal, choral and band compositions, as well as a large body of music for theater, films, ballet and television. He has been commissioned by some of the world’s leading performers and ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Juilliard String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet. From 1983 to 1989, he served as the Philadelphia Orchestra's Consultant for Contemporary Music, and from 1989 to 1993, served as Special Consultant to Music Director Riccardo Muti.

Most of the manuscripts of works below are available from the Special Collections of the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania

View scores here (roll over to view score title):


Awards


2006: Composer of the Year Award (Classical Recording Foundation)

2000: Alfred I Dupont Award

1992: Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, 2nd Place

1991: Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, 1st Place

1986: Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, 1st Place

1982: National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grant

1979: National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grant

1977: Pulitzer Prize in Music

1976: Guggenheim Fellowship

1976: National Institute of Arts and Letters Music Award

1976: Naumberg Recording Award

1975: National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grant

1962-64: Ford Foundation Composition Grants


Works

Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos |  Early Works |  Educational |  Orchestra |  Vocal and Choral




Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos


Cadenzas and Variations II for Violin Solo (1970) -- 8’
Published: #114-40190
Commission Information: Paul Zukofsky
Premiere Information: Jerome Wigler; University of Pennsylvania; October 1971
Recordings
Reviews


Cadenzas and Variations III for Cello Solo (1972) -- 15’
Published: #114-40202
Commission Information: Barbara Haffner
Premiere Information: Barbara Haffner; University of Pennsylvania; Spring 1973
Additional Information: Winner of Naumburg Recording Award, 1976
Recordings


Cassation: Music Tom Jefferson Knew for Horn, Oboe and Piano (1995) -- 15’
Published: #114-40844
Commission Information: Hancock Chamber Players, with assistance from Thomas Jefferson University
Premiere Information: Hancock Chamber Players (Martin Webster, horn; Lisa Kozenko, oboe; Dana Burnett, piano); Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; April, 1995

Movements:
from Mr. Arnold's Air
from Mr. Moller's Sonata
from Mr. Reinagle's Sonata
Inauguration Day, 1801

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#114-40844S)


Cello Sonata No. 1: Portraits of Antiquity for Cello and Piano (1982) -- 16’
Published: #114-40375
Commission Information: Naumberg Foundation
Premiere Information: Colin Carr; Tully Hall, New York; December 5, 1983

Movements:
1. Incantation
2. Canticum Sacrum
3. Celebration and Ritual


Concerto for Cello and Ten Players (1980) -- 26’
Ob., B.Cl., Cbsn./Bsn., Hn., Tpt., Tbn., Vln., Cb., Hp., Perc.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Twentieth Century Consort, with assistance from National Endowment for the Arts, 1980
Premiere Information: Twentieth Century Consort, Christopher Kendall, conductor, Barbara Haffner, cello; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; February 1, 1981
Reviews


Da'ase for Guitar (1996) -- 3’
Published: #114-40921
Commission Information: David Starobin
Premiere Information: David Starobin
Recordings


Duettino for Oboe and Violin (1998) -- 6’
Published: #114-41010
Premiere Information: Philip West, oboe, Carole Cowan, violin; Aspen Music Festival; August 8, 1998

Movements:
Quis est super?
Romanza
Wedding Dance (Da-ase II)


Duo for Cello and Piano (2002) -- 21'
Published: #114-41191
Commission Information: Scott Kluksdahl
Premiere Information: Scott and Noreen Cassidy-Polera; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; January 19, 2003
Additional Information: Originally titled Cello Sonata No. 2
Reviews


Fanfare for a Festive Occasion for Antiphonal Brass Choirs with Percussion (1981) -- 5’
Published: #414-41148
Commission Information: University of Pennsylvania, for the inauguration of Sheldon Hackney, President, October 23, 1981

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#414-41148P)


In Praise of Zephyrus for Oboe and String Trio (1981) -- 15’
Published: #114-40575
Commission Information: Philip West, 1980
Premiere Information: Eastman School of Music; Philip West, oboe, with Eastman faculty

Movements:
"... the Lord turned a marvelous strong West Wynde": Maestoso
"... the Weste wynde arysyth..."
Vent galerne: slow, plaintive

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40575P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40575S)


Introïts and Canons for Nine Players (1977; rev. 1981) -- 20’
Fl., Cl., Bsn., Hn., Perc., Vln., Vla., Vcl., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Juilliard School of Music, Richard Dufallo, conductor; January 13, 1978
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41154)


Musica Ptolemica for Brass Quintet (1987) -- 15’
Published: #114-40467
Commission Information: Chestnut Brass Company, the Nashville Contemporary Brass Quintet, and the New Mexico Brass Quintet; with a grant from National Endowment for the Arts
Premiere Information: Chestnut Brass Company, Philadelphia; October 13, 1987

Movements:
Epicycle I
Epicycle II
Epicycle III

Recordings


Name of the Game, The for Guitar and Eleven Players (2001) -- 20’
Guitar; Fl./A. Fl., Cl./B. Cl., Bsn., Hp., 2Perc., Vln., Vla., Vcl., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Network for New Music
Premiere Information: Network for New Music, David Starobin, guitar, Jan Krzywicki, conductor; Philadelphia, PA; October 21, 2001
Additional Information: Recording due out Winter 2008
Recordings


Partita for Violin Alone (1978) -- 20’
Published: #114-40238
Commission Information: Helen Armstrong
Premiere Information: Helen Armstrong; Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center; September 1978


Piano Sonata No. 1: Reflections of a Dark Light (1982) -- 42’
Published: #410-41249
Commission Information: Lambert Orkis
Premiere Information: Lambert Orkis, piano; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; January 15, 1983

Movements:
"... in the forehead of the morning sky"
Fragments of Things Remembered
Reflections of a Dark Light

Recordings


Piano Sonata No. 2 (2000) -- 35'05"
Published: #110-40748
Commission Information: Lambert Orkis
Premiere Information: Lambert Orkis, piano; Curtis Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA; April 14, 2002
Recordings
Reviews


Pieces of Eight for Piano (2013) -- 16'
Published: #110-41797
Commission Information: Commissioned through the Anthony P. Checchia Composers Project of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Premiere Information: Charles Abramovic, piano; Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA. October 22, 2013.

Movements:
Preludetto
Scherzo Curioso
Song for Bobbie
Variation No. 34
Toccata with a short Trio
...per sepulchra regionum coget omnes
...the dying of the light
incitatus


Quintet for Horn and String Quartet (2003) -- 19'49"
Published: #114-41312
Commission Information: The Verna and Irving Fine Fund in the Library of Congress.
Premiere Information: The Juilliard String Quartet and William Purvis, horn.
Additional Information: To commemorate the 40th anniversary season of the Juilliard String Quartet.
Recordings


Quintet for Winds -- 12'
Fl. Cl.(in A) Ob. Hn. Bsn.
Published: #114-41315
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for the Imani Winds
Premiere Information: December 1st, 2006. Imani Winds, Van Pelt Auditorium, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert.


Sextet for String Quartet, Double Bass and Piano (2004) -- 14'01"
Commission Information: State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Premiere Information: November 14, 2004. Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#114-41263)
Set of parts (#114-41263P)
Full Score - Large (#114-41263S)


Sonata for Two for 2 cellos (2011) -- 7'
Published: #114-41528
Commission Information: Dinah and Gwen Krosnick for Joel Krosnick's 70th Birthday
Premiere Information: March 27th, 2013. Joel Krosnick, cello; Gwen Krosnick, cello; Juilliard School, New York, NY.


Songs of Joy and Blessing for Oboe, Guitar, Piano, and Percussion (2009) -- 15’
Published: #114-41398
Premiere Information: October 25th, 2009. Richard Woodhams,Oboe; Allen Krantz,Guitar; Donald Liuzzi,Percussion; KiyokoTakeuti,Piano;
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert, Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA.

Movements:
Monday Evening Bridal Song
Benedictio
On the Morning of the New Moon

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-41398M)
Full Score (#114-41398S)


String Quartet No. 1 (1963) -- 12’
Published: #114-40686
Commission Information: Composed in conjunction with the Ford Foundation National Music Council Youth Composers Project, 1962-64
Premiere Information: Bay Shore High School String Quartet at the Annual Directors' Conference of the New York State School Music Association, Rochester, NY, December 5, 1963

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40686P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40686S)


String Quartet No. 2 (1972-73) -- 35’
Published: #114-40602
Commission Information: Philarte String Quartet
Premiere Information: University of Pennsylvania, February 8, 1974

Movements:
Elegy
In memoriam: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Scherzo (Devil's Dance)

Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40602P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40602S)


String Quartet No. 3 (1988) -- 22’
Published: #114-40533
Commission Information: Elizabeth Sprigue Coolidge Foundation in the Library of Congress, for the Juilliard String Quartet
Premiere Information: Juilliard String Quartet; New York; January 22, 1990

Movements:
Media – Autumn
Media – Spring
Wolcott – Summer

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40533P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40533S)


String Quartet No. 4 (1990) -- 20'30"
Published: #114-40576
Commission Information: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, for the Emerson String Quartet
Premiere Information: Port of History Museum, Philadelphia, PA; April 20, 1991
Additional Information: Friedheim Award Winner (1991)
Recordings
Reviews


String Quartet No. 5 for Soprano and String Quartet (1995) -- 21'
Published: #111-40152
Commission Information: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, with support from The Pew Charitable Trust and the William Penn Foundation, for Benita Valente and the Juilliard Quartet
Premiere Information: Juilliard String Quartet and Benita Valente, soprano; January 1996
Additional Information: Texts by Hanna Senesh.
Reviews


String Quartet No. 6 (1998) -- 15’
Published: #114-41026
Commission Information: Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem.
Premiere Information: Jerusalem Quartet; Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jerusalem; May 26, 1999
Additional Information: Recording due out Winter 2008
Recordings


String Quartet No. 7 (2007) -- 14'
2Vln. Vla. Vcl.
Premiere Information: 25th November, 2008. Juilliard Quartet, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Movements:
Canon per augmentationem et diminutionem quattuor vocibus; molto appassionato
Coda: “The Death of Time”


String Quartet No. 8 (2010) -- 25'
2Vln. Vla. Vcl.
Premiere Information: 6th November, 2010. Daedalus Quartet, Bay Shore High School Auditorium, Bay Shore, NY.

Movements:
I. Motò furioso
II. Arioso Serioso I
III. Menuetto in Binary Form
IV. Arioso Serioso II


Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello (2003) -- 10'
Published: #114-41215
Premiere Information: Fall 2003, Gwendolyn Krosnick, cello, Juilliard School of Music


Suite No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello -- 15'
Premiere Information: Gwendolyn Krosnick, Feb. 9, 2008, Fairchild Chapel, Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College, Ohio


Telino's Acrobats for Bass Clarinet Solo (1999) -- 7’
Published: #114-41136
Premiere Information: February 21, 2004, John Friedrichs, bass clarinet, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY


Tintinnabula Academiae Musicae (Bells of the Academy of Music) for Carillon (1988) -- 3’
Published: #114-40614
Commission Information: Written for the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
Premiere Information: September 1989
Additional Information: Written to be used as a concert hall bell signal.


Trio No. 1 for Violin, Clarinet, and Cello (1962) -- 10’
Published: #114-40884
Commission Information: Department of Music, Brandeis University, 1961
Premiere Information: Brandeis Players (Robert Koff, violin; Felix Viscuglia, clarinet; Madeline Foley, cello); Brandeis University; December 7, 1962


Trio No. 2 (“the Traits of Messina”) for Violin, Cello, and Piano (2012) -- 15’
Published: #114-41555
Premiere Information: March 14th, 2013. Trio Cleonice (Ari Isaacman-Beck, violin, Gwen Krosnick, cello, Emely Phelps, piano), Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.

Movements:
I Vivid; Effulgent
II Sometimes sentimental; sometimes unpredictable
III Spirited; Energetic


Trochaic Trot for Guitar (2000) -- 3’
Published: #114-41102
Commission Information: David Starobin
Premiere Information: David Starobin; Festival of New American Music; November 7, 2000
Recordings


Violin Sonata for Violin and Piano (1997) -- 21’
Published: #114-41025
Commission Information: Gregory Fulkerson
Premiere Information: Gregory Fulkerson, violin, Charles Abramovic, piano; Cleveland Museum of Art; March 14, 1999

Movements:
"... in the grand manner"
"... in the manner of a chaconne"
"... in the manner of a dance of death"



Early Works


"Midsummer Night's Dream" Incidental Music (1954)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"Oedipus Rex" Incidental Music (Sophocles)
Withdrawn


"The Geranium Hat" Incidental Music (Bernard Evslin)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"The Saintliness of Margery Kempe" Incidental Music (John Wulp)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"The Thracian Horses" Incidental Music (Maurice Valency)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"The Trojan Women" Incidental Music (Euripedes)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"Thieves' Carnival" Incidental Music (Jean Anouilh)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


"Thieves' Carnival" Revised Incidental Music (Jean Anouilh)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


A Bowl of Cherries Film Score
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Agamemnon Incidental Music (Aeschylus)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Beginnings for SATB Chorus
Available From American Conference of Cantors


Chanukah Festival Overture for Band or Orchestra and Chorus
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


Concert Overture for Band
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


Dance Piece for Flute, Cello, Piano and Percussion
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Divertimento for Viola, Cello, Clarinet and Bassoon
Withdrawn


Duo Concertante for Cello and Piano
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


Family Worship Film Score
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Fete Brilliante a Ballet from the music of Mozart
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Four from "Tulips and Chimneys" for Baritone and Orchestra
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Four from "Tulips and Chimneys" Reduction for Baritone and Piano
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Four Pieces for String Quartet
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Full Fadom Five for Mixed Chorus and Chamber Ensemble
Available From CMP Library Edition


Harlequinade
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Kee El Asher Verses from the Book of Ruth
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Maggie an Opera based on a fragment from Stephen Crane's "Maggie: A Girl in the Streets"
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Mute Wife
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Orchestra Ballet
Withdrawn


Snap Shots for Band
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


Something for the Girls Film Score
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Stretti for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Guitar
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


The Diocletians for Band
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


The Emperor's New Clothes
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Emperor's Nightingale Ballet for television
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Fur-lined Foxhole Film Score
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Nativity Ballet for Television
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Purple Turtle Film Score
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Queen of Ice Ballet for Television
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


The Swineherd a Ballet
Available From Mills Music, Inc. (EMI Music Publishing, distributed by G. Schirmer)


The Twisted Heart a Ballet
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Three Pieces for Beginning Strings
Available From CMP Library Edition


what if a much of a which of a wind for Mixed Chorus and Piano 4 Hands
Available From CMP Library Edition


Would Be Gentleman Incidental Theater Music
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania



Educational


New Directions for Strings
Published: #114-40169
Commission Information: Margaret Farrish

Movements:
A Musical Game of Tag for 2 Violins
Peter's March for 2 Violins
You Can't Catch Me for 3 Violins


Studies for Elementary Band
Available from the Presser Rental Library



Orchestra


Aevia for Orchestra (1966) -- 12'
4 2 3 2 - 4 3 3 1; Timp., 4 Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: University of Chicago for its 75th anniversary, 1966
Premiere Information: University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, December 1966


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1998-2000)
Available From Special Collections, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1990) -- 30'30"
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 4 1; Timp., 4 Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Hechinger Foundation, for Lambert Orkis and the National Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich, Music Director
Premiere Information: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; February 7, 1991
Additional Information: Friedheim Award Winner, 1992

Movements:
"... the dream they smile and the kiss they whisper..."
Fantasia "Tintinnabula Academicae Musicae"
Rejouissance

Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41155)
Full Score - Study (#416-41214S)


Concerto for Viola: Do Not Go Gentle (1986) -- 20'
Solo Vla.; String Quintet; 1-1-1-1; 2-2-1-1; Timp., Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: ANL Foundation, for Leon Botstein, Walter Trampler and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic
Premiere Information: Walter Trampler and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Leon Botstein; conductor; May 8, 1987

Movements:
"...into that good night..."
"Do not go gentle…"

Recordings
Reviews


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1984) -- 24'30"
4(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp., 4 Perc., Hp., Cel., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: the National Endowment for the Arts, 1981-82
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Muti, conductor, Gregory Fulkerson, violin; January 17, 1986
Additional Information: First Prize, Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Solo Part with Piano Reduction (#114-40481)
Full Score - Study (#416-41114)
Full Score - Large (#416-41215S)


Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra (1992) -- 25'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp., 3 Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Mstislav Rostropovich
Premiere Information: Juilliard Orchestra, Robert Mann, cond., Joel Krosnick, cello; October 4, 1999
Reviews


Hexagrams for Chamber Orchestra (1962) -- 20'
2 2 2 2 - 2 0 0 0; Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Composed in conjunction with the Ford Foundation National Music Council Youth Composers Project, 1962-64
Premiere Information: Bay Shore High School Orchestra, Annual Directors' Conference of the New York State School Music Association, Kiamesha Lake, New York; December 4, 1962

Movements:
Configurations
Contours


Musica da Camerata (1999) -- 20'
Fl., 2Ob., 2Bsn., 2Hn., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Israel Camerata
Premiere Information: Wiezmann Institute, Rehovot; Israel Camerata, Avner Biron, conductor; February 17, 2000

Movements:
Ciaccona
Da'ase III (Wedding Dance)
Scherzo


Symphony No. 1 (1988) -- 21'
4(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(E-flat Cl. B.Cl.) 4(2Cbsn.) - 6 3 3 2; 2 Timp., 3 Perc., Pno., Synthesizer, Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Hugh Keelan, conductor, with a grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts
Premiere Information: Masonic Temple, Scranton, PA; January 20, 1989
Reviews


Symphony No. 2 for Solo Soprano and Orchestra (1993) -- 21'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp., 3 Perc., Pno.(Cel.), Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra in memory of Stephen Sell
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Orchestra, Hans Vonk, conductor, Sylvia McNair, soprano; January 19, 1995

Movements:
Scherzo
Verses for Steve

Reviews



Vocal and Choral


...and a Time for Peace ("...ve-eyt shalom") for Mezzo-soprano and Orchestra (1995) -- 15'
Mezzo-sop.; 2(Picc.)-2(E.Hn.)-2(B.Cl.)-3(Cbsn.); 4-3-4-0; Pno./Cel., Hp., Timp., 3Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Ravenna Festival for its 1995 season
Premiere Information: Filarmonica della Scala, Riccardo Muti, conductor, Freda Herseth, mezzo-soprano; June 18, 1995
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41148)


A Poison Tree for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Soprano (1979) -- 12'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Syracuse Society for New Music
Premiere Information: Syracuse Society for New Music, Neva Pilgrim, soprano; January 1980
Additional Information: Text by William Blake.

Movements:
A Poison Tree (Valse Macabre)
Fantasia Ricapitolata
Fantasia with Variations and Cadenza

Recordings

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#416-41112)


A Prayer for Jerusalem for Mezzo-Soprano and Percussion (1971) -- 12’
Published: #111-40083
Premiere Information: Jan DeGaetani and Matthew Hopkins; University of Pennsylvania; Spring 1972
Additional Information: Winner of Naumburg Recording Award, 1976
Recordings
Reviews


And on the Seventh Day (Sacred Service) -- 25'
Cantor (Low Voice) and Percussion
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Movements:
Conclusion (Shalom Rau; Meditation II; The Blessing of the Wine and the Sabbath; The Adoration)
Invocation to the 12 Tribes of Israel; The Blessing of the Candles; Meditation I; Kaddish; Barchu)
Mi-chamocha
Shima Yisrael
V' sham' ru
Yism' chu

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41182)


Ball of Sun for Voice and Piano (1989) -- 3’
Published: #111-40112
Commission Information: Written for Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano, and Gilbert Kalish, piano
Additional Information: Text by Bernard Jacobson.


Contemplations of the Tenth Muse for Soprano and Piano (1977-79) -- 20'30"
Commission Information: Book I commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation. Book II commissioned by WFMT-FM, Chicago.
Premiere Information: Elsa Charlston, at Carnegie Recital Hall, 1977, and University of Chicago, 1979
Additional Information: Poems by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672).
Reviews


Contemplations of the Tenth Muse Book 1
Published: #111-40162


Contemplations of the Tenth Muse Book 2
Published: #111-40163



Fragments of Prophecy for SATB, a cappella (boys’ voices preferred for soprano and alto parts) (1990) -- 8’
Published: #312-41627
Commission Information: Philadelphia Boys' Choir and Chorale, Robert Hamilton, Music director
Premiere Information: 31st March, 2006. University Singers (Indiana University School of Music), conducted by Jan Harrington. First United Church, Bloomington, IN.


Haiku of Basho for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Contrabass, Two Percussion, Piano and Tape (1967) -- 12-15’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago, composer conducting; Chicago; March 1, 1968
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41180)


I Too for Voice and Piano (1984) -- 4’
Published: #111-40123
Premiere Information: December 20, 1984, Jan DeGaetani and Gilbert Kalish; Carnegie Hall
Additional Information: Text by Charles Lee.


Kaddish-Requiem A secular service for the victims of Indo-China (1971) -- 18’
Mezzo-sop., Fl./Picc., Cl./B.Cl., Vln., Vcl., Sitar, 2 Perc., Pno., Tape
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Philadelphia Composers Forum, 1971
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Composers Forum; Fall 1971

Movements:
"...alles Fleisch..."
Kaddish
Requiem aeternam

Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41179)


Lyrics from 1 X 1 for Soprano, Vibraphone-marimba, and Contrabass (1965) -- 10’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Ars Nova Consort at the Center for the Performing Arts in New York State University at Buffalo, 1965
Premiere Information: Contemporary Chamber Players, University of Chicago; December, 1966
Additional Information: Text by e.e. cummings.


Moonsongs from the Japanese for Soprano and Two Pre-recorded tracks of Soprano Voice, or Three Solo Sopranos (1968) -- 5’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Neva Pilgrim, 1964
Premiere Information: Neva Pilgrim; University of Pennsylvania; Spring 1969
Additional Information: Texts from Issa (1762-1826), Sokan (1465-1553), Hokushi (1665 ? -1718) and Shiki (1867-1902)
Recordings


Oracle II for Soprano, Oboe and Piano (1985) -- 12’
Published: #111-40107
Commission Information: Chamber Music Society of Baltimore
Premiere Information: Elsa Charlston, James Ostryniec, and Lambert Orkis; Baltimore, MD; January 18, 1987
Additional Information: Text from the Rebbe of Kotzk.
Reviews


Oracle of Shimon bar Yochai, The for Cello, Piano and Soprano (1983) -- 14'30"
Published: #111-40102
Commission Information: André Emilianoff
Premiere Information: Margaret Chalker, soprano, André Emelianoff, cello, and John van Buskirk, piano; 92nd Street "Y"; December 8, 1983
Additional Information: text from Shimon bar Yochai (fl. 135 AD - 170 AD)


Songs of Remembrance Four songs for Shawm, English Horn, Oboe and Mezzo-soprano (1973) -- 20’
Published: #111-40126
Commission Information: Jan DeGaetani, 1973
Premiere Information: Jan DeGaetani and Philip West; Harold Prince Theater, University of Pennsylvania; 1974
Recordings
Reviews


String Quartet No. 5 for Soprano and String Quartet (1995) -- 21'
Commission Information: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, with support from The Pew Charitable Trust and the William Penn Foundation, for Benita Valente and the Juilliard Quartet
Premiere Information: Juilliard String Quartet and Benita Valente, soprano; January 1996
Additional Information: Texts by Hanna Senesh.


Symphony No. 2 for Solo Soprano and Orchestra (1993) -- 21'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp., 3 Perc., Pno.(Cel.), Hp., Str.
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra in memory of Stephen Sell
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Orchestra, Hans Vonk, conductor, Sylvia McNair, soprano; January 19, 1995


The Eleventh Commandment: "No, thou shalt not Xerox® music" for SATB chorus with Piano or Organ (1987) -- 3'30"
Published: #312-41535
Commission Information: Ithaca College School of Music
Premiere Information: November 14, 1987


The Devil’s Game for SATB chorus, a cappella (2013) -- 4'
Published: #312-41871
Written for the 25th anniversary of the New York Virtuoso Singers
Premiere Information: March 3rd, 2013. New York Virtuoso Singers, conducted by Harold Rosenbaum; Merkin Hall, New York, NY.


Two for Jan for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Oboe/English Horn, Bass Clarinet and Cello (1991) -- 7’
Published: #111-40132
Premiere Information: Karen Holvik, soprano; Freda Herseth, mezzo-soprano, Philip West, english horn; Allen Blustine, bass clarinet; Christopher Finckel, cello; March 12, 1992
Additional Information: Words by Bernard Jacobson

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#111-40132P)
Full Score - Large (#111-40132S)


Visions of Terror and Wonder for Mezzo-soprano and Orchestra (1976) -- 30'
4-4-4-4; 4-3-3-1; 2 Timp., 5 Perc., Cel., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Aspen Music Festival, with assistance from National Endowment of the Arts
Premiere Information: Aspen Festival Conference on Contemporary Music, Richard Dufallo, conductor, Jan DeGaetani, soprano; July 1976
Additional Information: Pulitzer Prize winner, 1977
Reviews

Available Separately:

Piano/Vocal Score (#111-40106)
Full Score - Large (#416-41097)


V'shamru for Cantor and Unspecified Single Instrument (1985/95) -- 3’
Published: #111-40137


Recordings


Name of the Game, The for Guitar and Eleven Players


Bridge 9303: The Music of Richard Wernick
David Starobin, guitar, International Contemporary Ensemble, Cliff Colnot, conductor



Piano Sonata No. 2


Bridge Records 9131: From Hammers to Bytes
Lambert Orkis, piano



A Prayer for Jerusalem for Mezzo-Soprano and Percussion


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) S-344:
Jan DeGaetani and Glenn Steele.



Songs of Remembrance Four songs for Shawm, English Horn, Oboe and Mezzo-soprano


Nonesuch Records CD 71342:
Jan DeGaetani and Philip West.



Cadenzas and Variations II for Violin Solo


New World Records CD 80313: Cadenzas and Variations
Gregory Fulkerson.



Cadenzas and Variations III for Cello Solo


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 762:
Scott Kluksdahl, cello



Musica Ptolemica for Brass Quintet


Albany Records TROY 233: Contemporary Music for Brass Quintet
Chestnut Brass Company.



String Quartet No. 4


Deutsche Grammophon 437 537-2:
Emerson String Quartet.



Da'ase for Guitar


Bridge Records CD 9084: Newdance: 18 New Dances for Solo Guitar
David Starobin, guitar.



Bridge 9303: The Music of Richard Wernick
David Starobin, guitar



String Quartet No. 6


Bridge 9303: The Music of Richard Wernick
Colorado Quartet



Trochaic Trot for Guitar


Bridge 9303: The Music of Richard Wernick
David Starobin, guitar



Quintet for Horn and String Quartet


Bridge 9303: The Music of Richard Wernick
William Purvis, horn, Juilliard String Quartet



Piano Sonata No. 1: Reflections of a Dark Light


Bridge Records CD 9003: Lambert Orkis plays Music of Crumb and Wernick
Lambert Orkis, piano.



Concerto for Piano and Orchestra


Bridge Records CD 9082: Richard Wernick
Lambert Orkis, piano; Symphony II, Richard Wernick, conductor



Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


Bridge Records CD 9082: Richard Wernick
Gregory Fulkerson, violin; Symphony II, Larry Rachleff, conductor



Haiku of Basho for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Contrabass, Two Percussion, Piano and Tape


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) S-379 (also CD 817):
Contemporary Chamber Players, Univ. of Chicago, composer cond., and Neva Pilgrim.



Kaddish-Requiem A secular service for the victims of Indo-China


Nonesuch Records CD 79222: Spectrum: New American Music
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Arthur Weisberg, cond., and Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano.



Moonsongs from the Japanese for Soprano and Two Pre-recorded tracks of Soprano Voice, or Three Solo Sopranos


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) S-379:
Contemporary Chamber Players, Univ. of Chicago, composer cond., and Neva Pilgrim.



A Poison Tree for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Soprano


Smithsonian Collection N027:
20th Century Consort, Christopher Kendall cond., and Lucy Shelton, soprano.



Spectrum Records SR-183:
Syracuse New Music Ensemble and Neva Pilgrim, soprano.



Concerto for Viola: Do Not Go Gentle


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CD 618:
Walter Trampler, viola, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Leon Botstein, conductor.



Reviews

"Wernick has a vision of music's future, and no musician is more actively involved in realizing that vision."

-Wigler, Baltimore Sun

"Richard Wernick is a sensitive artist who so enjoys his work that he never feels the need of a hobby to relax. Yet at the same time, his music never floats down on the world from some ivory tower: He is a modern troubadour whose compositions are as timely as the newspapers and newscasts."

-Dunning, Santa Fe Reporter


Double Duo for 2 Cellos and 2 Pianos

"… a piece that works its magic by having the pairs of pianists and cellists begin in tandem and gradually find their independence. Subtle changes of texture were everything."

-Allan Kozinn, The New York Times


Piano Sonata No. 2

"Wernick’s Piano Sonata No. 2 [offers] meditative breathing spaces amid busy passages that suggest a Bach toccata filtered through a modernist, atonal sensibility… as in Wernick’s best music, this one seems to be powered by a deep inner experience."

-David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"… jaunty, angular melody and broad-arching structure… subtle shadings of dynamic range and variety of colors in the piano."

-Gail Wein, The Washington Post

"… an ingeniously constructed piece in three parts… Wernick's piano writing [has] an emotional expansiveness - powerfully articulated - which seems entirely personal. … cordially recommended…"

-Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone


A Prayer for Jerusalem for Mezzo-Soprano and Percussion

"It is one of the finest pieces in the contemporary idiom."

-Sable, NATS Bulletin


Oracle II for Soprano, Oboe and Piano

"…a dark work, and a beautiful one. The text asks God to manifest his presence in the midst of human suffering. And Wernick uses his vocal and instrumental forces in an equally uncompromising way, challenging and ultimately rewarding the audience."

-Wigler, Baltimore Sun


Songs of Remembrance Four songs for Shawm, English Horn, Oboe and Mezzo-soprano

"…a memorable score… capable of commanding not only respect but deep affection."

-American Record Guide


String Quartet No. 5 for Soprano and String Quartet

"Because the motifs are so clear, they provide structural guides that strengthen the work. The effect is that of a serious unity – instruments and voice creating a portrait of the poet's thought."

-Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer

"… [Hannah Senesh's] poignant, anguished verses hover above Wernick's haunting string lines…""

-Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone magazine


Cadenzas and Variations II for Violin Solo

"A dramatic, virtuoso number in eight contrasting sections (theme, five variations, and two cadenzas) generated by the unifying thematic material, the progressive sections, played without pause, stress natural and false harmonics, left hand pizzicato and utilize a broad vocabulary of bowings in all degrees of dynamic shadings from the quietest pianissimo to the wildest fortissimo... There is a fascinating element of discovery in this work which makes imaginative use of the materials appropriate to the violin idiom, suitable for very advanced violinists with facile technique, versatile bow control, and a desire for adventure."

-American String Teacher

"Ingenious writing for solo violin which uses every conceivable technical resource including a couple that the composer has invented himself."

-Making Music


String Quartet No. 4

"…an intriguing mixture of seriousness and playfulness… has a quality of broad romantic gesture, without sounding old-fashioned. It is personal and rich in contrast without being extravagant… grandly conceived."

-Haagsche Courant


String Quartet No. 2

"…enormously resonant … It expands naturally as an exploration of evocative ideas."

-Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Duo for Cello and Piano

"Wernick here succeeds in re-imagining the potential of the instruments he is writing for, and forging for them what seems at once a totally original and an absolutely compelling musical language"

-Bernard Jacobson, Seen & Heard: Music Web

"…a short Scherzo for a middle movement, cut off in midstream as he was composing on 9/11, after which comes a movement called 'Remembrance'. The contrast between that and the foregoing is powerful, yet tasteful and well balanced; and the music returns finally to the opening. This is a fine piece."

-D. Moore, American Record Guide


Contemplations of the Tenth Muse for Soprano and Piano

"… eager to please both the untutored and the sophisticated listener… a genuinely ambitious score with some beautiful moments in it."

-Horowitz, New York Times


...and a Time for Peace ("...ve-eyt shalom") for Mezzo-soprano and Orchestra

"The divine order of the world is evoked by the composer in a complex, thoughtful construct … no one would be able to deny the acknowledgement of a noble spell; as well as the undeniable impression of finding one's self engaged with a very original personality."

-L'unita

"…a demonstration of fine creativeness composed to correspond with the apocalyptical verses with music. . .a martial design that is obsessive and brilliant, while in the center of everything there appears the delicate cameo that is entrusted to a sextet that radiates a phosphorescent post-Webern color over the delicate Danteian Intermezzo."

-La Republica


Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra

"Richard Wernick's music, which once appeared a reconciliation of modernism with the mainstream, now seems positively defiant in standing up for dissonant chords and melodies that have no obvious tonal home. Monday night's first performance… brought out the virtues of persistence."

-New York Times


Concerto for Cello and Ten Players

"…an absolutely brilliant and compelling composition."

-Black, Market Square (Pittsburgh)


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

"Clearly modern in its idiom but in touch with traditional ideals, styles and forms of concerto writing, this three-movement work combines technical brilliance (in both the piano and orchestra) with intense emotional communication… a beautifully balanced work"

-McLellan, Washington Post

"Richard Wernick's music… seems to be about energy, its rise and fall, the stresses that pull it towards velocity and stasis… Tonal and near-tonal lines alternate with dissonant counterpoints, often punctuated by clusters for dramatic effect. Wernick's use of rhythm is impeccable, as is his sense of dramatic timing."

-Fanfare

"…a notably less abstract work than many of Mr. Wernick's recent scores… His themes, particularly those introduced by the piano, are often angular, and tend to evade tonal centers. But this time the evasion is sneakier: Several of Mr. Wernick's melodies begin as comfortably diatonic melodies, and slowly break away. And his lush scoring and avoidance of stretches of overtly dissonant harmony are all the more seductive once one realizes how far afield Mr. Wernick has led the willing ear… The 30-minute work's most appealing quality though, is its sense of coherent narrative flow… In each of the three movements, themes are fully developed and are passed back and forth between the piano and the orchestra in the kind of lively dialogue listeners have largely despaired of hearing in contemporary concertos."

-Kozinn, New York Times

"…is alternately amusing and sentimental. Interestingly, the piece has no jazz or pop music in it, and the resulting sonorities, in which the saxes play mostly without the usual vibrato, are fascinating."

-Zakariasen, Daily News (Philadelphia)


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

"…an orchestral craftsman who has absorbed the gamut of modernist techniques into an idiom both eclectic and communicative. Wernick states bold lyric and dramatic oppositions and then boldly reconciles them in a big, eruptive, brilliantly scored, rhythmically agitated finale that is the musical heart of the work… In sum, Wernick's concerto seemed a 25-minute odyssey from darkness to light that was worth taking. It has serious ideas to communicate and it communicates them well."

-Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


Introïts and Canons for Nine Players

"…incorporates a host of rigorous musical procedures, including canons of various sorts a chaconne, a passacaglia and an isorhythmic obbligato. But it is the work's broad Romantic gestures that make the most striking first impression… Mr. Wernick skillfully uses instrumental color to reinforce the shifting moods of his 18-minute composition"

-Horowitz, New York Times


Kaddish-Requiem A secular service for the victims of Indo-China

"Sunday evening I heard a piece of contemporary music so compelling, so intellectually stimulating, to which I also had such a strong emotional response, that I was literally drawn back to the Monday evening performance — there was simply no other choice. That work was Kaddish Requiem by composer Richard Wernick… an example of protest music which works and will endure. It does so because it captures a universal emotion of lament, a contrast of violence and serenity in musical language which can be understood on many levels."

-Pearson, Albuquerque Journal

"…intensely eloquent. Its central section is based on the Jewish "Kaddish" rite for the dead, and by the use of tape collage effects it transforms a single cantor's voice into a striking chorus of grief for human suffering. This section is bracketed by others that draw motifs from Brahms' German Requiem, Renaissance polyphony and the Catholic Requiem Mass, and the composer's integration of these works into a single entity with a unified impact is an impressive tour de force."

-Washington Post

"The invisible but very real harmonies and organization of the piece gave it a rationality that pleased listeners and drew praise, we discovered later, from the performing musicians"

-Dunning, Santa Fe Reporter

"If you enjoy music that stirs the intellect and the emotions — that stretches your imagination as you listen, don't miss tonight's performance. The music stands on its own without the need for explanation or a story to tie it to an event in American life… the emotional effect is enough to move the listener to tears. The reason for this impact lies with Wernick's genius, and the reality of it was apparent from the expressions of the people in the audience Sunday."

-Hillerman, The New Mexican

"…I’m prepared now to declare Richard Wernick’s Kaddish-Requiem a masterpiece."

-Lamply, WAPV-TV (Washington, DC)

"…Has something to say, and says it strongly and affectingly."

-Salzman, Stereo Review


Symphony No. 1

"…The Symphony breathes with a sense of freedom, ease and maturity … The piece has melodies to recall, colors to savor and a form that satisfies."

-Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer

"…gives the impression of a man who harbors a great secret sorrow but has found the means to express it succinctly, with dignity and simple eloquence… The clarity and purpose of his symphony are never in doubt, from that awesome first sound — a pedal point on the bass instruments that seems to well up from somewhere in the center of the earth — through a logically ordered and organic treatment of time, material, and gesture that leads us back to the source."

-Davis, New Yorker Magazine


Symphony No. 2 for Solo Soprano and Orchestra

"The work’s two movements – a tumultuous scherzo followed by a gentle slow movement – provide a natural dramatic structure depicting death and resolution."

-Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer


Concerto for Viola: Do Not Go Gentle

"…a strong, tightly made piece rich in instrumental invention and altogether quite moving in effect."

-Buell, Boston Globe


Visions of Terror and Wonder for Mezzo-soprano and Orchestra

"…undeniably music of craft, drama and splendid invention… holds dramatic power in using the orchestra like a dynamo."

-Musical America