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
    463-41000 Auden Variations, Op. 136
    For Organ
    23:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    460-00066 Appalachian Christmas Carols
    (After John Jacob Niles) – for One Piano, Four Hands
    7:30 Piano 4 Hands
    163-00022 Chorale Prelude: Drop, Drop Slow Tears
    For Organ
    5:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    463-41002 Chorale Prelude: Give Peace, O God
    For Organ
    12:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    460-00052 Concerto
    For Piano, Four Hands
    18:00 Piano 4 Hands
    163-00035 Do Not Go Gentle
    After A Poem By Dylan Thomas, for Organ (Pedals Alone)
    8:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    463-41001 Dryden Liturgical Suite
    For Organ
    18:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    460-00032 Eighth Piano Sonata
    For Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00211 Eighth Harpsichord Sonata
    460-00035 Eleventh Piano Sonata
    19:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00082 Fifth Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    9:30 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    460-00029 Fifth Piano Sonata
    For Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00073 First Piano Sonata
    16:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00206 Four Arabesques
    For Piano
    3:20 Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00081 Fourth Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    9:30 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    460-00028 Fourth Piano Sonata
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00224 Frog Dance
    For Piano
    2:30 Piano
    164-00016 Infanta Marina
    For Viola and Piano
    8:00 Viola with Piano
    460-00083 Little Harpsichord Book
    460-00077 Little Mirror Book
    For Piano
    4:30 Piano Unaccompanied
    164-00264 Little Piano Book
    460-00026 Little Piano Book
    464-00039 Little Recorder Book
    For Soprano and Alto Recorders (Or Other Treble Instruments)
    464-00005 Masques
    Violin and Piano
    Violin with Piano
    160-00204 Mirror Etudes
    For Piano
    14:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00091 Ninth Harpsichord Sonata
    460-00033 Ninth Piano Sonata
    9:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    164-00106 Parable for Alto Saxophone
    (Parable Xi)
    7:00 Alto Saxophone
    164-00092 Parable for Carillon
    (Parable V)
    4:30 Carillon
    164-00162 Parable for Solo Tuba
    (Parable Xxii)
    13:30 Tuba Unaccompanied
    164-00146 Parable for Solo Trombone
    (Parable Xviii)
    5:00 Tenor solo
    164-00110 Parable for Solo Piccolo
    (Parable Xii)
    2:40 Piccolo with Piano
    160-00097 Parades
    For Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00208 Parable for Harpsichord
    (Parable Xxiv)
    163-00034 Parable for Organ
    (Parable Vi)
    14:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    160-00190 Parable for Piano
    (Parable Xix)
    1030 Piano Unaccompanied
    164-00083 Parable for Solo Bassoon
    (Parable Iv)
    5:30 Bassoon Unaccompanied
    164-00111 Parable for Solo Clarinet
    (Parable Xiii)
    5:00 Clarinet Unaccompanied
    164-00121 Parable for Solo Double Bass
    (Parable Xvii)
    164-00116 Parable for Solo English Horn
    (Parable Xv)
    164-00031 Parable for Solo Flute
    (Parable I)
    164-00148 Parable for Solo Guitar
    (Parable Xxi)
    164-00095 Parable for Solo Harp
    (Parable Vii)
    164-00105 Parable for Solo Horn
    (Parable VIIIi)
    6:45 Horn solo
    164-00094 Parable for Solo Oboe
    (Parable Iii)
    4:00 Oboe Unaccompanied
    164-00117 Parable for Solo Trumpet
    (Parable Xiv)
    164-00125 Parable for Solo Viola
    (Parable Xvi)
    460-00092 Piano Sonatas
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00036 Piano Sonatinas
    I: 1-3
    460-00136 Piano Sonatinas
    Ii: 4-6
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00024 Poems for Piano (In Three Volumes)
    Vol. 1
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00025 Poems for Piano (In Three Volumes)
    Vol. Ii
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00071 Poems for Piano
    (In Three Volumes) – Vol. Iii
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00203 Reflective Keyboard Studies for Piano
    For Equal and Simultaneous Development Of Both Hands
    Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00076 Second Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    11:30 Piano with Harpsichord
    160-00205 Second Piano Sonata
    11:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00098 Serenade No. 2
    For Piano Solo
    Piano Unaccompanied
    464-00049 Serenade No. 4
    For Violin and Piano
    8:30 Violin with Piano
    160-00099 Serenade No. 7
    For Piano
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00154 Serenade No. 8
    For Piano, Four Hands
    Piano 4 Hands
    164-00062 Serenade No. 12
    For Solo Tuba
    Tuba Unaccompanied
    164-00171 Serenade No. 14
    For Solo Oboe
    12:00 Oboe Unaccompanied
    160-00210 Serenade No. 15
    For Harpsichord
    460-00087 Seventh Harpsichord Sonata
    460-00031 Seventh Piano Sonata
    7:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    163-00021 Shimah B’Koli
    Psalm 130: for Organ
    8:00 Organ Unaccompanied
    460-00085 Sixth Harpsichord Sonata
    460-00030 Sixth Piano Sonata
    Piano Unaccompanied
    164-00006 Sonata
    For Solo Violin
    160-00182 Sonata for Harpsichord
    463-00008 Sonata for Organ
    Organ Unaccompanied
    164-00019 Sonata for Solo Cello
    163-00023 Sonatine
    For Organ, Pedals Alone
    Organ Unaccompanied
    163-00041 Song Of David
    For Organ
    5:30 Organ Unaccompanied
    460-00093 Tenth Harpsichord Sonata
    460-00034 Tenth Piano Sonata
    22:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00080 Third Harpsichord Sonata
    For Harpsichord
    9:10 Harpsichord Unaccompanied
    460-00027 Third Piano Sonata
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00196 Three Toccatinas
    For Piano
    6:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    460-00075 Twelfth Piano Sonata
    Mirror Sonata
    13:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00189 Variations for An Album
    Piano Solo
    Piano Unaccompanied
    160-00214 Winter Solstice
    For Piano
    11:00 Piano Unaccompanied
    Chamber Ensemble
    460-00051 Concertino
    For Piano and Orchestra
    9:00 Solo Piano, Piano
    164-00199 Fanfare
    For Two Trumpets
    1:10 Trumpet Duet
    164-00135 First String Quartet
    Score and Parts
    15:00 String Quartet
    164-00141 King Lear
    For Woodwind Quintet Timpani and Piano
    164-00068 Parable for Brass Quintet
    (Parable Ii)
    13:00 Brass Quintet
    466-00024 Parable for String Quartet
    (Parable X)
    String Quartet
    164-00200 Parable for Two Trumpets
    (Parable Xxv)
    7:00 Trumpet Duet
    464-00050 Parable for Violin, Cello and Piano
    (Parable Xxiii)
    23:30 String Trio
    462-00014 The Pleiades (Text By Walt Whitman)
    For Chorus, Trumpet and String Orchestra
    23:00 Chamber Ensemble
    14258 The Pleiades
    for Trumpet, SATB Chorus and String Orchestra
    164-00004 Quintet
    For Piano and Strings
    23:00 Piano Quintet
    164-00109 Second String Quartet
    17:00 String Ensemble
    164-00058 Serenade No.6
    For Trombone. Viola and Cello
    164-00085 Serenade No. 9
    For Soprano and Alto Recorders
    4:30 Woodwind Duet
    164-00255 Serenade No. 9
    For Piccolo and Flute
    4:30 Flute Duet
    164-00032 Serenade No. 10
    For Flute and Harp
    Flute, Harp
    164-00041 Serenade No. 13
    For Two Clarinets
    6:00 Clarinet Duet
    160-00186 Sonata
    For Two Pianos
    2 Pianos 4 Hands
    466-00010 Third String Quartet
    In One Movement (Score)
    20:00 String Quartet
    164-00024 Vocalise
    Cello with Piano
    166-00016 Introit for Strings
    3:00 String Ensemble
    466-40023 A Lincoln Address
    For Narrator and Orchestra
    12:00 Orchestra
    14256 A Lincoln Address
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    11:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    14253 Dance Overture
    8:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    21180 Fables
    21:30 Narrator; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    21181 Fairy Tale
    3:30 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    14257 Night Dances
    22:00 3 3 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    466-00008 Serenade No. 5
    For Orchestra
    14260 Serenade No. 5
    11:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Str.
    466-00009 Seventh Symphony
    28:00 Orchestra
    16740 The Sibyl
    A Parable of Chicken Little.
    1:15:00 2(Picc.) 1 2(B.Cl.) 1 – 2 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14267 Sinfonia: Janiculum
    (Symphony No. 9)
    23:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
    14264 Symphony for Strings
    (Symphony No. 5)
    22:00 Str.
    466-00052 Symphony No. 3
    14262 Symphony No. 3
    28:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
    14263 Symphony No. 4
    23:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    14265 Symphony No. 7
    25:00 4 3 4 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    466-00020 Symphony No. 8
    Study Score
    29:30 Orchestra
    14266 Symphony No. 8
    30:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    Orchestra w/ Soloist(s)
    14250 Concertino for Piano and Orchestra
    9:00 Solo Pno.; 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. Str.
    14251 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    32:00 Solo Pno.; 3 2 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    460-00037 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
    Edition for Two Pianos
    27:00 2 Pianos 4 Hands
    14249 Concerto for English Horn and String Orchestra
    164-00143 English Horn Concerto
    For English Horn and String Orchestra
    164-00166 The Hollow Men
    For Trumpet and String Orchestra
    Trumpet with Piano
    466-00031 Piano Concerto
    Vocal / Choral
    161-00048 3. When The Hills Do
    For Voice and Piano
    362-01173 Agnus Dei
    From Mass for Mixed Chorus (A Cappella)
    362-03157 Amens
    From Hymns and Responses for The Church Year
    161-00051 Brigid’s Song, No. 2 From “James Joyce Songs”
    For Voice and Piano
    Voice, Piano
    462-00009 Celebrations (Cantata No. 3)
    For Chorus and Wind Ensemble (Piano-Vocal Score)
    23:00 SATB
    362-03227 A Clear Midnight
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    431-41010 Contemporary American Art Songs
    462-00019 The Creation
    1:10:00 SATB
    14252 Creation
    for SATB Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra
    1:00:00 3 3 3 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    362-01222 Dominic Has A Doll
    Two Part Chorus and Piano (Sa, Tb, Sb, Or Satb)
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03357 Flower Songs
    (Cantata No. 6) – for Chorus and String Orchestra
    21:00 SATB
    14254 Flower Songs (Cantata No. 6)
    for SATB Chorus, String Orchestra
    21:00 SATB Chorus, Str.
    462-00028 Glad & Very
    Five Cummings Choruses
    362-01172 Gloria
    From Mass for Mixed Chorus (A Cappella)
    161-00049 The Grass
    4. from Emily Dickinson Songs
    461-00003 Harmonium
    Song Cycle for Soprano and Piano
    462-00001 Hymns and Responses
    For The Church Year, Vol. 1
    462-00030 Hymns and Responses for The Church Year
    For Choir and Congregational Use
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03342 I Celebrate Myself
    For S.A.T.B., Piano
    362-03229 I Sing The Body Electric
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    161-00047 I’M Nobody
    I’M Nobody
    161-00050 James Joyce Songs
    1. Unquiet Heart
    161-00052 James Joyce Songs: Noise Of Waters
    For Voice and Piano
    362-03333 Love
    S.S.A.A., A Cappella
    2:30 SSAA
    462-00012 Mass
    For Mixed Chorus, A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    362-01224 Maggie and Milly and Molly and May
    Two Part Chorus and Piano, Sa, Tb, Sb Or Satb
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03325 Magnificat and Nune Dimittis
    S.A.T.B., With Piano Or Organ
    9:00 SATB
    161-00054 The Microbe
    The Microbe
    461-00005 A Net Of Fireflies
    Song Cycle for Voice and Piano
    362-01223 Nouns To Nouns
    Two Part Chorus and Piano: Sa, Tb, Sb, Or Satb
    Mixed Chorus
    161-00046 Out Of The Morning
    For Voice and Piano
    362-01102 Proverb
    For Mixed Chorus (Satb) A Cappella
    Mixed Chorus
    362-00505 Seek The Highest
    For S.A.B. Chorus With Organ Or Piano
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03228 Sing Me The Universal
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-03226 There Is That In Me
    For S.A.T.B. and Piano
    362-00130 Song Of Peace
    For Male Chorus, T.T.B.B.
    Men’s Chorus
    362-03336 Song Of Peace
    S.A.T.B., With Piano Or Organ
    2:00 SATB
    462-00010 Spring Cantata
    (Cantata No. 1) for Women’s Voices and Piano S.S.A.
    7:00 Women’s Chorus
    14261 Stabat Mater
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    28:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Str.
    362-03341 Stranger
    For S.A., Piano, From Celebrations for Chorus and Wind Ensemble
    Women’s Chorus
    462-00026 Te Deum
    For Chorus (S.A.T.B.) and Orchestra (Vocal-Piano Score)
    11:00 SATB
    14268 Te Deum
    for Chorus and Orchestra
    11:00 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
    362-03268 Three Canons for Voices
    For Women’s, Men’s Or Mixed Voices
    3:15 Mixed Chorus
    362-01225 Uncles
    Two Part Chorus and Piano – Sa, Tb, Sb Or Satb
    Mixed Chorus
    362-03403 Thou Child So Wise
    For Unison Chorus and Piano
    161-00053 Thou Child So Wise
    For Voice and Piano
    362-03126 Three Selections From Winter Cantata
    For Women’s Chorus, Flute, and Marimba
    161-00068 Two Chinese Songs
    For Voice and Piano
    462-00013 Winter Cantata No. 2
    For Women’s Chorus, Flute & Marimba
    18:00 Women’s Chorus
    Band / Wind Ensemble
    165-00093 Adagio Sostenuto
    Movement 2 From Symphony No.6
    3:00 Concert Band
    165-00098 Bagatelles for Band
    6:00 Concert Band
    165-00083 Celebrations
    Cantata No. 3 for Chorus and Wind Ensemble – Full Score and Parts
    Concert Band
    165-00091 Chorale Prelude
    Oh God Unseen: for Band
    8:00 Concert Band
    165-00038 Chorale Prelude: So Pure The Star
    For Band (Full Score and Parts)
    4:00 Concert Band
    165-00039 Chorale Prelude: Turn Not Thy Face
    For Band
    4:30 Concert Band
    135-41014 Divertimento for Band
    Full Score and Parts
    11:00 Concert Band
    165-00070 A Lincoln Address
    For Narrator and Band
    12:00 Concert Band
    165-00040 Masquerade for Band
    12:00 Concert Band
    165-00059 O Cool Is The Valley
    Poem for Band
    6:00 Concert Band
    J512 Pageant
    6:30 Concert Band
    165-00066 Parable for Band
    (Parable Ix)
    16:00 Concert Band
    165-00041 Psalm for Band
    2015 Centennial Edition
    Concert Band
    165-00042 Serenade for Band
    Concert Band
    164-00054 Serenade No. 1
    For Ten Wind Instruments
    10:00 Wind Ensemble
    165-00043 Symphony for Band
    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