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ROGER SESSIONS

ROGER SESSIONS

Works

Recordings


Roger Sessions (1896-1985) is one of the musical giants of the 20th century, a composer of profound emotion, uncompromising honesty, and consummate craftsmanship. His works have been performed by most of the world’s major musical organizations, and have earned him universal admiration and respect. In addition, he has made important contributions to American music as an educator, counting among his former pupils such eminent composers as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, George Tsontakis, Milton Babbitt, Andrew Imbrie, Leon Kirchner, David Diamond, and Hugo Weisgall.

Born in Brooklyn in 1896, Sessions showed remarkable intellectual and musical precocity, entering Harvard at the age of 14. He later attended Yale, studying with Horatio Parker after a plan to study with Ravel was prevented by the War. He was most strongly influenced in his early years by Ernest Bloch, first as his student and later as his assistant at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He later was able to go to Europe, and lived and worked in Paris, Berlin and Florence during the years 1925 to 1933.

His first big success was the 1928 The Black Maskers: Suite. His style subsequently evolved through the open intervals of the Symphony No. 1 to the more chromatic Violin Concerto of 1935. Later works in the 1950s used the 12-note technique, as exemplified by works such as the Symphony No. 3.

Sessions was associated with a number of institutions, including the University of California, Princeton University, and the Juilliard School of Music. His honors include several Guggenheim Fellowships, a Carnegie Fellowship, a Prix de Rome, an honorary doctorate from Harvard, and membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the International Society for Contemporary Music, among many others. In addition to a special Pulitzer citation bestowed for his life’s work in 1974, Mr. Sessions was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Concerto for Orchestra in 1982, which also turned out to be his final work.

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



Works

Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos | Choral | Opera | Orchestra | Piano | Vocal




Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos


Duo for Violin and Cello (1978) -- 8' 30"
Published: #144-40224


Duo for Violin and Piano (1942) -- 14'
Available From Hal Leonard


First String Quartet
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#494-01650)
Set of parts (#494-01650P)
Full Score - Large (#494-01650S)


Second String Quartet
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#494-01871)
Set of parts (#494-01871P)
Full Score - Large (#494-01871S)


Six Pieces for Cello (1966) -- 12' 30"
Available From Hal Leonard (out of print)


Solo Violin Sonata (1953) -- 28'
Available From Hal Leonard


String Quintet (1958) -- 18'
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#494-01872)
Set of parts (#494-01872P)



Choral


Ah, Sinful Nation from Psalm 130 -- 7’
for SATB Chorus and Piano
Published: #342-40118
Additional Information: Piano reduction of the 2nd movement from "Three Choruses on Biblical Texts" (also available).


Mass for Unison Chorus and Organ (1956) -- 15'
Published: #492-00028


Out of the Depths from Isaiah 1 and 2 -- 4' 30"
for SATB Chorus and Piano
Published: #342-40117
Additional Information: Piano reduction of the 1st movement from "Three Choruses on Biblical Texts" (also available).


Praise Ye the Lord from Psalms 147, 148, and 150 -- 3' 30"
for SATB Chorus and Piano
Published: #342-40119
Additional Information: Piano reduction of the 3rd movement from "Three Choruses on Biblical Texts" (also available).


Three Choruses on Biblical Texts for SATB Chorus and Orchestra (1971) -- 15'
1 1 2 2 - 1 1 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: SATB Chorus and Piano reductions of each movement also available.


Turn, O Libertad for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (1943) -- 4'
3 3 4 2 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Text by Walt Whitman.


When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd Cantata for Soprano, Contralto, Baritone, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (1966-70) -- 45'
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Text by Walt Whitman.

Available Separately:

Piano/Vocal Score (#442-41005)



Opera


Montezuma an Opera in Three Acts
Available From E.B. Marks


The Trial of Lucullus an Opera in One Act
Available From E.B. Marks



Orchestra


Concertino for Chamber Orchestra (1972) -- 16'
1 1 1 1 - 2 1 1 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Concerto for Orchestra (1981) -- 15'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41042)


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1956) -- 18'
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#496-00019)


Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1935) -- 35'
Vln. Solo; 3 2 4 3 - 4 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Str.(no violins)
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra (1970-71) -- 20'
Vln., Vcl. soli; 3 2 3 2 - 3 1 2 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41032)


Divertimento for Orchestra (1959) -- 20'
3 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41037)


Rhapsody for Orchestra (1966-70) -- 9'
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41034)


Suite from "Montezuma" -- 15’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Orchestral Suite from the Opera.


Suite from "The Black Maskers" for Orchestra (1928) -- 22'
3 3 4 3 - 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Score only. From Roger Sessions' incidental music for the play by Leonid Andreyev.


Symphony No. 1 (1927) -- 22'
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Symphony No. 3 (1957) -- 32'
3 3 4 3 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Symphony No. 4 (1958) -- 24'
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Symphony No. 5 (1964) -- 16'
3 3 4 3 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Symphony No. 6 (1966) -- 18'
3 3 4 3 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41022)


Symphony No. 7 (1967) -- 20'
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41023)


Symphony No. 8 (1967-68) -- 14'
3 3 4 3 E(Cl.4(Cbsn.) - 4 3 4 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Symphony No. 9 (1980) -- 25'
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#446-41047)



Piano


Five Pieces for Piano (1974-75) -- 15’
Published: #440-40008


From my Diary for Piano (1937-38) -- 10'
Available From Hal Leonard


Little Piece for Piano (1965) -- 30"
Available From Hal Leonard (in collection "American Composers of Today")


Piano Sonata No. 2 (1946) -- 14’
Available From Hal Leonard


Piano Sonata No. 3 (1964-65) -- 24'
Available From Hal Leonard


Waltz for Brenda for Piano (1936) -- 4'
Available From Hal Leonard (in collection "American Composers of Today")


Waltz for Piano (1977-78) -- 1'
Published: #140-40045



Vocal


Idyll of Theocritus for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra (1956) -- 42'
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Psalm 140 for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra (1963) -- 8'
3 3 Heckelphone 3 3 - 4 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Romualdo's Song from "The Black Maskers" for Soprano Soloist and Orchestra (1923) -- 4'
1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 0; Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Recordings


Symphony No. 8


New World Records New World Records 80631-2: Copland, Sessions, Perle, Rands (The Vision of Francis Goelet)
American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein