Vincent Persichetti

  • There have been few more universally admired twentieth-century American composers than Vincent Persichetti. His contributions have enriched the entire musical literature and his influence as performer and teacher is immeasurable.

    Born in Philadelphia in 1915, Persichetti began his musical life at age five, first studying piano, then organ, double bass, tuba, theory and composition. By the age of 11, he was paying for his own musical education and helping to support himself by performing professionally as an accompanist, radio staff pianist, orchestra member and church organist. At 16, he was appointed organist and choir director for the Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, a post he held for nearly 20 years. A virtuoso pianist and organist, he combined extraordinary versatility with an osmotic musical mind, and his earliest published works, written when the composer was 14, exhibit mastery of form, medium and style.

    Concurrent with these early activities, Persichetti was a student in the Philadelphia public schools and received a thorough musical education at the Combs College of Music, where he earned a Mus. B. degree in 1935 under Russel King Miller, his principal composition teacher. From the age of 20, he was simultaneously head of the theory and composition departments at the Combs College, a conducting major with Fritz Reiner at the Curtis Institute and piano major with Olga Samaroff at the Philadelphia Conservatory, in addition to studying composition with a number of important American composers. He received a Diploma in Conducting from the Curtis Institute and Mus. M. and Mus. D. degrees from the Philadelphia Conservatory.

    In 1941 Persichetti was appointed head of the theory and composition departments at the Philadelphia Conservatory and in the same year married pianist Dorothea Flanagan. A daughter Lauren, was born in 1944 and a son, Garth, in 1946. In 1947 he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music, assuming chairmanship of the Composition Department in 1963. Persichetti was appointed Editorial Director of the music publishing firm of Elkan-Vogel, Inc. in 1952.

    Over the years, Vincent Persichetti was accorded many honors by the artistic and academic communities, including Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Bucknell University, Millikin University, Arizona State University, Combs College, Baldwin-Wallace College, Peabody Conservatory, and honorary membership in numerous musical fraternities. He was the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships, two grants from the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities and one from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, of which he was a member. He received the first Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, Brandeis University Creative Arts Award, Pennsylvania Governor’s Award, Columbia Records Chamber Music Award, Juilliard Publication Award, Blue Network Chamber Music Award, Symphony League Award, Philadelphia Art Alliance Medal for Distinguished Achievement, Medal of Honor from the Italian Government, and citations from the American Bandmasters Association and National Catholic Music Educators Association. Among some 100 commissions were those from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Louis and Louisville Symphony Orchestras, the Koussevitsky Music Foundation, Naumberg Foundation, Collegiate Chorale, Martha Graham Company, Juilliard Musical Foundation, Hopkins Center, American Guild of Organists, Pittsburgh International Contemporary Music Festival, universities and individual performers. He appeared as guest conductor, lecturer and composer at over 200 universities. Wide coverage by the major TV and news media of the premiere of his A Lincoln Address helped to focus worldwide attention on his music.

    Persichetti composed for nearly every musical medium. More than 120 of his works are published and many of these are available on commercial recordings. Though he never specifically composed “”educational”” music as such, many of his smaller pieces are suitable for teaching purposes. His piano music, a complete body of literature in itself, consists of six sonatinas, three volumes of poems, a concerto and a concertino for piano and orchestra, serenades, a four-hand concerto, a two-piano sonata, twelve solo piano sonatas, and various shorter works.

    His keyboard virtuosity led him to produce nine organ works, including Sonatina for Organ, Pedals Alone, and the dramatic Shimah B’Koli (Psalm 130), as well as nine sonatas for harpsichord.

    Persichetti’s style of orchestral writing reflected his considerable talent and experience as a conductor. Of his symphonies, several, notably the Fourth, Fifth (Symphony for Strings), and Eighth, have made their way into the repertoire of major American symphonic ensembles. The Seventh Symphony was a very personal statement and is a symphonic development of materials from his small choral book Hymns and Responses for the Church Year. Another large important orchestral work, commissioned for the Philadelphia Orchestra, is Sinfonia: Janiculum, written while Persichetti was in Rome on his second Guggenheim Fellowship. The most famous of his smaller orchestral works, and one firmly established in American symphonic literature, is The Hollow Men for trumpet and string orchestra, a delicate evocation of the T.S. Eliot poem. Three of his last commissions were the English Horn Concerto (New York Philharmonic), Flower Songs: Cantata No. 6 (Michael Korn and the Philadelphia Singers), and Chorale Prelude: Give Peace, O God (Ann Arbor chapter of the American Guild of Organists).

    The numerous instrumental compositions include two unique series: one comprises 15 different works each entitled Serenade for such diverse combinations as piano duet, flute and harp, solo tuba, orchestra, band, two recorders, two clarinets and the trio of trombone, viola and cello. The series of 25 pieces, each entitled Parable, occupied Persichetti’s thoughts for some time. He also wrote four string quartets, a piano quintet, solo sonatas for violin and cello, Infanta Marina for viola and piano, Little Recorder Book, and Masques for violin and piano, to name just a few.

    Persichetti’s unusual feeling for poetry produced numerous vocal and choral compositions of remarkably high literary and musical quality. His greatest solo vocal work is undoubtedly Harmonium, an impressive cycle of 20 closely interrelated songs to poems by Wallace Stevens.

    Though not of the same magnitude as Harmonium, Persichetti’s other vocal compositions exhibit a unique wedding of text and music which sets them apart from most other composers’ efforts in this genre. His choral output ranges from small works such as Proverb for mixed voices, Song of Peace for male chorus and piano, Spring Cantata for women’s voices and piano, through larger works: Mass for mixed chorus a cappella, Winter Cantata for women’s voices, flute and marimba, and Glad and Very for two-part mixed, women’s or men’s voices and piano, and then to large scale sacred and secular works: The Pleiades for chorus, trumpet and string orchestra, Celebrations for chorus and wind ensemble, and what Persichetti considered to be his magnum opus, The Creation, a huge work for solo vocal quartet, chorus and orchestra with texts drawn by the composer from mythological scientific, poetic and Biblical sources. The small but significant choral book Hymns and Responses for the Church Year, has already been influential in breathing a new spirit into twentieth-century hymnody.

    More than any other major American composer, Persichetti poured his talents into the literature for wind band. From the Serenade for Ten Wind Instruments, Op. 1 to the Parable for Band, Op. 121, he provided performers and audiences with a body of music of unparalleled excellence. Of his 14 band works, four are of major proportions: Masquerade, Parable, A Lincoln Address and Symphony for Band. Of lesser compositional importance, the Divertimento is nevertheless one of the most widely performed works in the entire repertoire.

    In additions to his exhaustive compositional efforts, Persichetti found time to write one of the definitive books on modern compositional techniques, Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice (W.W. Norton, 1961) and essays in two books by Robert Hines on twentieth century choral music and twentieth century orchestral music (University of Oklahoma Press, 1963 and 1970). He also co-authored a biography of William Schuman (G. Schirmer, 1954).

    To a new, adventurous generation of composers ‘fortunately, large and musically eloquent’ he was a teacher par excellence and a highly lucid theorist. In both capacities his great artistry was ever clear and impressive, providing an example of dynamic leadership for those who encountered his genius.

  • Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation
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    Auden Variations, Op. 136
    For Organ
    463-41000 23:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Appalachian Christmas Carols
    (After John Jacob Niles) – for One Piano, Four Hands
    460-00066 7:30 Piano 4 Hands
    Chorale Prelude: Drop, Drop Slow Tears
    For Organ
    163-00022 5:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Chorale Prelude: Give Peace, O God
    For Organ
    463-41002 12:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    For Piano, Four Hands
    460-00052 18:00 Piano 4 Hands
    Do Not Go Gentle
    After A Poem By Dylan Thomas, for Organ (Pedals Alone)
    163-00035 8:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Dryden Liturgical Suite
    For Organ
    463-41001 18:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Eighth Piano Sonata
    For Piano
    460-00032 Piano Unaccompanied
    Eighth Harpsichord Sonata 160-00211 10:00
    Eleventh Piano Sonata 460-00035 19:00 Piano Solo
    Fifth Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    460-00082 9:30 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    Fifth Piano Sonata
    For Piano
    460-00029 Piano Unaccompanied
    First Piano Sonata 460-00073 16:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Four Arabesques
    For Piano
    160-00206 3:20 Piano Unaccompanied
    Fourth Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    460-00081 9:30 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    Fourth Piano Sonata 460-00028 Piano Unaccompanied
    Frog Dance
    For Piano
    160-00224 :2:30 Piano
    Infanta Marina
    For Viola and Piano
    164-00016 8:00 Viola with Piano
    Little Harpsichord Book 460-00083 11:30
    Little Mirror Book
    For Piano
    460-00077 4:30 Piano Unaccompanied
    Little Piano Book 164-00264
    Little Piano Book 460-00026 Piano
    Little Recorder Book
    For Soprano and Alto Recorders (Or Other Treble Instruments)
    Violin and Piano
    464-00005 Violin with Piano
    Mirror Etudes
    For Piano
    160-00204 14:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Ninth Harpsichord Sonata 460-00091 13:00
    Ninth Piano Sonata 460-00033 9:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Parable for Alto Saxophone
    (Parable Xi)
    164-00106 7:00 Alto Saxophone
    Parable for Carillon
    (Parable V)
    164-00092 4:30 Carillon
    Parable for Solo Tuba
    (Parable Xxii)
    164-00162 13:30 Tuba Unaccompanied
    Parable for Solo Trombone
    (Parable Xviii)
    164-00146 5:00 Tenor solo
    Parable for Solo Piccolo
    (Parable Xii)
    164-00110 2:40 Piccolo with Piano
    For Piano
    160-00097 Piano Unaccompanied
    Parable for Harpsichord
    (Parable Xxiv)
    160-00208 8:40
    Parable for Organ
    (Parable Vi)
    163-00034 14:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Parable for Piano
    (Parable Xix)
    160-00190 10:30 Piano Unaccompanied
    Parable for Solo Bassoon
    (Parable Iv)
    164-00083 5:30 Bassoon Unaccompanied
    Parable for Solo Clarinet
    (Parable Xiii)
    164-00111 5:00 Clarinet Unaccompanied
    Parable for Solo Double Bass
    (Parable Xvii)
    164-00121 6:00
    Parable for Solo English Horn
    (Parable Xv)
    164-00116 2:30
    Parable for Solo Flute
    (Parable I)
    164-00031 6:45
    Parable for Solo Guitar
    (Parable Xxi)
    164-00148 12:00
    Parable for Solo Harp
    (Parable Vii)
    164-00095 17:00
    Parable for Solo Horn
    (Parable VIIIi)
    164-00105 6:45 Horn solo
    Parable for Solo Oboe
    (Parable Iii)
    164-00094 4:00 Oboe Unaccompanied
    Parable for Solo Trumpet
    (Parable Xiv)
    164-00117 4:20
    Parable for Solo Viola
    (Parable Xvi)
    164-00125 9:00
    Piano Sonatas
    460-00092 Piano Unaccompanied
    Piano Sonatinas
    I: 1-3
    460-00036 Piano Unaccompanied
    Piano Sonatinas
    Ii: 4-6
    460-00136 Piano Unaccompanied
    Poems for Piano (In Three Volumes)
    Vol. 1
    460-00024 Piano Unaccompanied
    Poems for Piano (In Three Volumes)
    Vol. Ii
    460-00025 Piano Unaccompanied
    Poems for Piano
    (In Three Volumes) – Vol. Iii
    460-00071 Piano Unaccompanied
    Reflective Keyboard Studies for Piano
    For Equal and Simultaneous Development Of Both Hands
    160-00203 Piano Unaccompanied
    Second Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    460-00076 11:30 Piano with Harpsichord
    Second Piano Sonata 160-00205 11:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Serenade No. 2
    For Piano Solo
    160-00098 Piano Unaccompanied
    Serenade No. 4
    For Violin and Piano
    464-00049 8:30 Violin with Piano
    Serenade No. 7
    For Piano
    160-00099 Piano Unaccompanied
    Serenade No. 8
    For Piano, Four Hands
    160-00154 Piano 4 Hands
    Serenade No. 12
    For Solo Tuba
    164-00062 Tuba Unaccompanied
    Senerade No.14
    For Solo Oboe
    164-00171 12:00 Oboe Unaccompanied
    Serenade No. 15
    For Harpsichord
    160-00210 7:30
    Seventh Harpsichord Sonata 460-00087 7:00
    Seventh Piano Sonata 460-00031 7:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Shimah B’Koli
    Psalm 130: for Organ
    163-00021 8:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    Sixth Harpsichord Sonata 460-00085 7:30
    Sixth Piano Sonata 460-00030 Piano
    For Solo Violin
    Sonata for Harpsichord 160-00182
    Sonata for Organ 463-00008 Organ Unaccompanied
    Sonata for Solo Cello 164-00019
    For Organ, Pedals Alone
    163-00023 Organ Unaccompanied
    Song Of David
    For Organ
    163-00041 5:30 Organ Unaccompanied
    Tenth Harpsichord Sonata 460-00093 12:00
    Tenth Piano Sonata
    460-00034 22:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Third Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    460-00080 9:10 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    Third Piano Sonata 460-00027 Piano Unaccompanied
    Three Toccatinas
    For Piano
    160-00196 6:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Twelfth Piano Sonata
    Mirror Sonata
    460-00075 13:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Variations for An Album
    Piano Solo
    160-00189 Piano Unaccompanied
    Winter Solstice
    For Piano
    160-00214 11:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    For Piano and Orchestra
    460-00051 9:00 Solo Piano, Piano
    For Two Trumpets
    164-00199 1:10 Trumpet Duet
    First String Quartet
    Score and Parts
    164-00135 15:00 String Quartet
    King Lear
    For Woodwind Quintet Timpani and Piano
    164-00141 19:00
    Parable for Brass Quintet
    (Parable Ii)
    164-00068 13:00 Brass Quintet
    Parable for String Quartet
    (Parable X)
    466-00024 String Quartet
    Parable for Two Trumpets
    (Parable Xxv)
    164-00200 7:00 Trumpet Duet
    Parable for Violin, Cello and Piano
    (Parable Xxiii)
    464-00050 23:30 String Trio
    The Pleiades (Text By Walt Whitman)
    For Chorus, Trumpet and String Orchestra
    462-00014 23:00 Chamber Ensemble
    The Pleiades
    for Trumpet, SATB Chorus and String Orchestra
    14258 23:00
    For Piano and Strings
    164-00004 23:00 Piano Quintet
    Second String Quartet 164-00109 17:00 String Ensemble
    Serenade No.6
    For Trombone. Viola and Cello
    164-00058 12:00
    Serenade No. 9
    For Soprano and Alto Recorders
    164-00085 4:30 Woodwind Duet
    Serenade No. 9
    For Piccolo and Flute
    164-00255 4:30 Flute Duet
    Serenade No. 10
    For Flute and Harp
    164-00032 Flute, Harp
    Serenade No. 13
    For Two Clarinets
    164-00041 6:00 Clarinet Duet
    For Two Pianos
    160-00186 2 Pianos 4 Hands
    Third String Quartet
    In One Movement (Score)
    466-00010 20:00 String Quartet
    Vocalise 164-00024 Cello with Piano
    Introit for Strings 166-00016 3:00 String Ensemble
    A Lincoln Address
    For Narrator and Orchestra
    466-40023 12:00 Orchestra
    A Lincoln Address
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    14256 11:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Dance Overture 14253 8:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    Fables 21180 21:30 Narrator; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    Fairy Tale 21181 3:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Night Dances 14257 22:00 3 3 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Serenade No. 5
    For Orchestra
    466-00008 Orchestra
    Serenade No. 5 14260 11:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Str.
    Seventh Symphony
    466-00009 28:00 Orchestra
    The Sibyl
    A Parable of Chicken Little.
    16740 75:00 2(Picc.) 1 2(B.Cl.) 1 – 2 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    Sinfonia: Janiculum
    (Symphony No. 9)
    14267 23:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    Symphony for Strings
    (Symphony No. 5)
    14264 22:00 Str.
    Symphony No. 3 466-00052
    Symphony No. 3 14262 28:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    Symphony No. 4 14263 23:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Symphony No. 7
    14265 25:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Symphony No. 8
    Study Score
    466-00020 29:30 Orchestra
    Symphony No. 8 14266 30:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    Concertino for Piano and Orchestra 14250 9:00 Solo Pno.; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. Str.
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra 14251 32:00 Solo Pno.; 3 2 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    Edition for Two Pianos
    460-00037 27:00 2 Pianos 4 Hands
    Concerto for English Horn and String Orchestra 14249 20:00
    English Horn Concerto
    For English Horn and String Orchestra
    164-00143 20:00
    The Hollow Men
    For Trumpet and String Orchestra(arr.)
    164-00166 Trumpet with Piano
    Piano Concerto 466-00031
    Vocal / Choral
    3. When The Hills Do
    For Voice and Piano
    Agnus Dei
    From Mass for Mixed Chorus (A Cappella)
    362-01173 SATB
    From Hymns and Responses for The Church Year
    Brigid’s Song, No. 2 From “James Joyce Songs”
    For Voice and Piano
    161-00051 Voice, Piano
    Celebrations (Cantata No. 3)
    For Chorus and Wind Ensemble (Piano-Vocal Score)
    462-00009 23:00 SATB
    A Clear Midnight
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-03227 SATB
    Contemporary American Art Songs 431-41010
    The Creation 462-00019 1:10:00 SATB
    for SATB Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra
    14252 60:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Dominic Has A Doll
    Two Part Chorus and Piano (Sa, Tb, Sb, Or Satb)
    362-01222 Mixed Chorus
    Flower Songs
    (Cantata No. 6) – for Chorus and String Orchestra(arr.)
    362-03357 21:00 SATB
    Flower Songs (Cantata No. 6)
    for SATB Chorus, String Orchestra
    14254 21:00 SATB Chorus, Str.
    Glad & Very
    Five Cummings Choruses
    462-00028 11:00
    From Mass for Mixed Chorus (A Cappella)
    362-01172 SATB
    The Grass
    4. from Emily Dickinson Songs
    Song Cycle for Soprano and Piano
    Hymns and Responses
    For The Church Year, Vol. 1
    Hymns and Responses for The Church Year
    For Choir and Congregational Use
    462-00030 Mixed Chorus
    I Celebrate Myself
    For S.A.T.B., Piano
    362-03342 SATB
    I Sing The Body Electric
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-03229 SATB
    I’M Nobody
    I’M Nobody
    James Joyce Songs
    1. Unquiet Heart
    James Joyce Songs: Noise Of Waters
    For Voice and Piano
    S.S.A.A., A Cappella
    362-03333 2:30 SSAA
    For Mixed Chorus, A Cappella
    462-00012 Mixed Chorus
    Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
    Two Part Chorus and Piano, Sa, Tb, Sb Or Satb
    362-01224 Mixed Chorus
    Magnificat and Nune Dimittis
    S.A.T.B., With Piano Or Organ
    362-03325 9:00 SATB
    The Microbe
    The Microbe
    A Net Of Fireflies
    Song Cycle for Voice and Piano
    461-00005 19:00
    Nouns To Nouns
    Two Part Chorus and Piano: Sa, Tb, Sb, Or Satb
    362-01223 Mixed Chorus
    Out Of The Morning
    For Voice and Piano
    For Mixed Chorus (Satb) A Cappella
    362-01102 Mixed Chorus
    Seek The Highest
    For S.A.B. Chorus With Organ Or Piano
    362-00505 Mixed Chorus
    Sing Me The Universal
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-03228 SATB
    There Is That In Me
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-03226 SATB
    Song Of Peace
    For Male Chorus, T.T.B.B.
    362-00130 Men’s Chorus
    Song Of Peace
    S.A.T.B., With Piano Or Organ
    362-03336 2:00 SATB
    Spring Cantata
    (Cantata No. 1) for Women’s Voices and Piano S.S.A.
    462-00010 7:00 Women’s Chorus
    Stabat Mater
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    14261 28:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Str.
    For S.A., Piano, From Celebrations for Chorus and Wind Ensemble
    362-03341 Women’s Chorus
    Te Deum
    For Chorus (S.A.T.B.) and Orchestra (Vocal-Piano Score)
    462-00026 11:00 SATB
    Te Deum
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    14268 11:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Three Canons for Voices
    For Women’s, Men’s Or Mixed Voices
    362-03268 3:15 Mixed Chorus
    Two Part Chorus and Piano – Sa, Tb, Sb Or Satb
    362-01225 Mixed Chorus
    Thou Child So Wise
    For Unison Chorus and Piano
    362-03403 1:30
    Thou Child So Wise
    For Voice and Piano
    Three Selections From Winter Cantata
    For Women’s Chorus, Flute, and Marimba
    362-03126 SSAA
    Two Chinese Songs
    For Voice and Piano
    161-00068 1:20
    Winter Cantata No. 2
    For Women’s Chorus, Flute & Marimba
    462-00013 18:00 Women’s Chorus
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    Adagio Sostenuto
    Movement 2 From Symphony No.6
    165-00093 3:00 Concert Band
    Bagatelles for Band 165-00098 :6:00 Concert Band
    Cantata No. 3 for Chorus and Wind Ensemble – Full Score and Parts
    165-00083 Concert Band
    Chorale Prelude
    Oh God Unseen: for Band
    165-00091 8:00 Concert Band
    Chorale Prelude: So Pure The Star
    For Band (Full Score and Parts)
    165-00038 4:00 Concert Band
    Chorale Prelude: Turn Not Thy Face
    For Band
    165-00039 4:30 Concert Band
    Divertimento for Band
    Full Score and Parts
    135-41014 11:00 Concert Band
    A Lincoln Address
    For Narrator and Band
    165-00070 12:00 Concert Band
    Masquerade for Band 165-00040 12:00 Concert Band
    O Cool Is The Valley
    Poem for Band
    165-00059 6:00 Concert Band
    Pageant, Op. 59 J512 6:30 Concert Band
    Parable for Band
    (Parable Ix)
    165-00066 16:00 Concert Band
    Psalm for Band
    2015 centennial edition
    165-00041 Concert Band
    Serenade for Band 165-00042 Concert Band
    Serenade No. 1
    For Ten Wind Instruments
    164-00054 10:00 Wind Ensemble
    Symphony for Band 165-00043 15:00 Concert Band

  • Mr. Persichetti has no embarrassment of melodic riches. He has just the right amount and very beautiful melody it is, too.
    –Edward Downes, New York Times

    I’m pinning my hopes for new music on the amalgamation idea advanced, and practiced, by Persichetti.
    –Wayne Johnson, Denver Post

    The extent of Mr. Persichetti’s knowledge, his ability to analyze and evaluate factors in musical style, and to illustrate them with clarity to an audience sprinkled with non-composers amount to virtuosity.
    –Frank C. Campbell, The Washington Evening Star

    There is no more honored and respected American composer than Vincent Persichetti. His works, in virtually every form and for all media, are played throughout the world. Lovers of band music are especially indebted to him because he — of all the leading A
    –Ainslee Cox, The Guggenheim Memorial Concerts

    Persichetti’s music is remarkable for its contrapuntal compactness, in a synthetic style, amalgamating the seemingly incompatible idioms of different historical epochs.
    –Nicholas Slonimsky, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary

    Each work in his large catalog of varied music is in perfect balance and embraces the tonal emancipative doctrine and rhythmic non-symmetrical dogma of the twentieth century.
    –Arthur Cohn, Philadelphia Art Alliance Bulletin

    Solid in his craft, conscious of his heritage, easy in his manner, precise and serious without being pedantic.
    –John Haskins, Washington Times-Herald

    Persichetti has synthesized the several features of twentieth century music, but has also retained a connection with the musical culture of the last 300 years. At the same time his language is sufficiently advanced to allow further exploration of combinat
    –Thomas Sherman, St. Louis Dispatch

    Persichetti writes to express himself and to please the angels.
    –Marjorie Eger, The Elkhart Truth

    Persichetti has become one of America’s most prolific contemporary composers, contributing major works in both the vocal and instrumental areas of music literature. Remarkable for its compact organization and simplicity of ideas, his music creates both wa
    –Maurice Hinson, Clavier

    Persichetti enjoys the almost unique distinction of never having belonged to the Right, or Left, or for that matter, the Middle of the Road, and as a consequence, the extremes which one finds in his writing cannot be charged up as victories for any extant
    –Robert Evett, The Juilliard Review

    This excellent and underrated Philadelphia-born composer wrote with incredible buoyancy and drive. Persichetti’s technique was so sound that he could include all manner of instruments and traverse all manner of forms in his works.
    –Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    The climax of the program… lyrical and poignant… a dramatic masterpiece.
    –Calvert Shenk, American Organist

    The Concerto for Piano, Four Hands was for me one of the most interesting stimulating American works of the Pittsburgh International Contemporary Music Festival.
    –Colin Mason, Manchester Guardian

    Divertimento has unusual personality and expressive power. Its tunes, its harmony and its instrumentation have all of them originality. It makes a mood, sustains it, holds the interest. Neither its sense nor its sound is familiar, and both have real sweet
    –Virgil Thomson, New York Herald Tribune

    The [First Harpsichord Sonata] is real harpsichord music; those pointed effects for which the instrument is most widely known are collected and husbanded with a master’s hand. In sum, we have a new work in which to show pride.
    –Jay Harrison, New York Herald Tribune

    So, start practicing, harpsichordists: composers ARE giving us lovely new music for our instrument. Let us now reward them by learning these pieces [Second, Third & Fourth Harpsichord Sonatas], playing them (both well and often), and getting them establis
    –The Diapason

    Persichetti delivers his music superbly, for he is a marvelous pianist, and the writing [Fourth Piano Sonata] is suited to the instrument better than almost anything written in America today.
    –Virgil Thomson, Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph

    Persichetti has remained his own man through the years… the Fourth String Quartet emerges as a strong, assured, meaningful piece of considerable dignity.
    –Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times

    Harmonium is unquestionably a masterpiece— Persichetti at his finest in what is by far the best song-cycle of its length by an American composer.
    –Peter Chrisafides, Pennsylvania Traveler

    Painters and architects have for years been giving a contemporary look to liturgy. Composers and poets, while slower, have also produced some of their wares in church. A new example is a slim hymnal by Philadelphia-born Persichetti… His tunes are fresh an
    –Time Magazine

    MASS, OP. 84
    Persichetti’s Mass for mixed chorus, a cappella, is music eminently suitable for the church, but also rewarding for a concert-hall audience… It has a timeless quality which corresponds to that of the Mass itself… The lucid and admirable balanced character
    –Francis D. Perkins, The Musical Quarterly

    The Ninth Piano Sonata is made as lightly as the works of a small watch. The tiny motif at the opening meshed with every note in the four movements.
    –Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer

    PARABLE IX, OP. 121
    Parable for Band is certainly one of the finest works written for the medium… It is destined to become a lasting work of the band repertoire.
    –Don R. Marcouiller, Drake University Letter

    Parable for Solo Horn is a musically stimulating, dramatically varied work of art… Its immediate impact is simple here and now reality, the second and more vital message being suggestive of a lasting inner quality.
    –Harwood Simmons, School Music News

    PARABLE XI, OP. 123
    Parable for Solo Alto Saxophone is the most successful realization to date of the saxophone in the unaccompanied dimension. The work will surely find its place in the permanent repertory of our instrument.
    –Brian Minor, World Saxophone Congress Newsletter

    So, start practicing, harpsichordists: composers ARE giving us lovely new music for our instrument. Let us now reward them by learning these pieces [Second, Third & Fourth Harpsichord Sonatas], playing them (both well and often), and getting them establis
    –The Diapason

    With seeming ease, Persichetti blends the sensuous and ideational possibilities of that largest of all instruments, using chromaticism, dissonance, and consonance in ways only a master can, convincing the listener that these musical manifestations are not
    –Lester Trimble, Stereo Review

    The four-movement Sonata for Two Pianos is an absolute delight. If you like contemporary music that speaks to the heart as well as to the brain, this is for you.
    –Evelyn Garvey, American Music Teacher

    Persichetti has added huge chunks to the repertory of our time. He has a conscious mastery of 20th-century materials as well as an intuitive feeling for them. Virtually no medium… has not gained from Persichetti’s prolific pen. In his piano writing he dis
    –William Schuman, Musical Quarterly

    Persichetti’s music is both subtle and accessible, in the manner of Mozart. You can enjoy it casually, as it is so elegantly constructed and sensible. But within the structure are countless little turns of phrasing that are not quite what you would expect
    –Peter Burwasser, Fanfare

    SYMPHONY NO. 3, OP. 30
    For me, the greatest surprise was in hearing Persichetti’s Third Symphony. At the time I thought this to be the best American symphony I had heard. The Copland Third, Harris Third, and the works of Barber paled in comparison, and they are about the best w
    –David Ward-Steinman, The Florida Flambeau

    Their appearance [recordings of the Tenth and Twelfth Piano Sonatas] continues to document the gradual recognition of Persichetti’s contribution to this medium as one of the most comprehensive artistic statements in contemporary piano music.
    –Walter Simmons, Fanfare

    So, start practicing, harpsichordists: composers ARE giving us lovely new music for our instrument. Let us now reward them by learning these pieces [Second, Third & Fourth Harpsichord Sonatas], playing them (both well and often), and getting them establis
    –The Diapason

    Their appearance [recordings of the Tenth and Twelfth Piano Sonatas] continues to document the gradual recognition of Persichetti’s contribution to this medium as one of the most comprehensive artistic statements in contemporary piano music.
    –Walter Simmons, Fanfare

  • Harpsichord Sonatas HARPSICHORD SONATAS
    Naxos (8.559843); July 14, 2017
    Performer(s): Christopher D. Lewis, harpsichord
    Work(s): Eighth Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 158
    Fifth Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 152
    Ninth Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 163
    Serenade No. 15, Op. 161
    Sonata for Harpsichord, Op. 52
    Third Harpsichord Sonata, Op. 149

  • 3 Guggenheim Fellowships
    2 grants from the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities
    National Institute of Arts and Letters grant
    Kennedy Center Friedheim Award
    Brandeis University Creative Arts Award
    Pennsylvania Governor’s Award
    Columbia Records Chamber Music Award
    Juilliard Publication Award
    Blue Network Chamber Music Award
    Symphony League Award
    Philadelphia Art Alliance Medal for Distinguished Achievement
    Medal of Honor from the Italian Government
    Citation from American Bandmasters Association
    Citation from National Catholic Music Educators Association

  • Concertino for Piano and Orchestra
    Concerto for English Horn and String Orchestra
    Dance Overture
    for Orchestra
    Divertimento for Band
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    Flower Songs (Cantata No. 6)
    for SATB Chorus and String Orchestra
    Night Dances
    for Orchestra
    for Piano and Strings
    Sinfonia Janiculum
    (Symphony No. 9)
    Stabat Mater
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    Symphony for Strings
    (Symphony No. 5)
    Symphony No. 3
    for Orchestra
    Symphony No. 4
    for Orchestra
    Te Deum
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    The Hollow Men
    for Trumpet and String Orchestra
    The Sibyl (part 1)
    A Parable of Chicken Little, Opera in One Act
    The Sibyl (part 2)
    A Parable of Chicken Little, Opera in One Act