PERSICHETTI: Legacy of Songs – Unpublished Songs on Poetical Texts – Soloists/MSR Classics

PERSICHETTI: Legacy of Songs – Unpublished Songs on Poetical Texts – Joshua Pierce, piano/ Lee Velta, baritone/ Sherry Overholt, soprano – Poetry by Hilaire Belloc, e e cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, James Joyce, Carl Sandburg, Sara Teasdale, and others (TracklLst below) MSR Classics CD MS1558 TT: 55:30 (12/9/15) [Distr. by Albany] ****:

A first recording of Persichetti songs is a must have for Persichetti completists.

The music of Vincent Persichetti has always had a strong appeal to me. My first exposure to his compositional skills was playing his Psalm for Band in both High School and College. I never got tired of playing it or hearing it. Persichetti was much more than a wind band composer. He wrote nine symphonies, more than a dozen works for concert band, instrumental “Parables” and “Serenades”, 12 piano sonatas as well as many other keyboard works. He was also a master of church music.

This disc is a world premier recording of an assortment of poems set to music. The disc contains a generous 41 tracks. There are a few English poets in the mix: James Joyce, Hilaire Belloc, three 17th century English poets, as well as translations from the Chinese and Japanese. All the rest of the poets are American. The recording is lovely, with the voices centered and just a bit of dimension of the soundstage for the piano.

Persichetti died in 1987 and it was a loss to the art of music. MSR Classics is to be congratulated for sharing these unpublished works that further confirm Persichetti’s versatility and abundant musical talent.

TrackList:

TWO E. E. CUMMINGS SONGS, OP.26 (1945)

Doll’s boy’s asleep

The moon is hiding in her hair

TWO CHINESE SONGS, OP.29 (1945)

(Translations by Arthur Waley)

All Alone

These Days

THREE 17TH CENTURY ENGLISH SONGS, OP.49 (1951)

My Mistress (Richard Brathwaite)

Serenade (Aphra Behn)

Now sleep, and Take Thy Rest (James Mabbe)

FOUR SARA TEASDALE SONGS, OP.72 (1957)

Central Park at Dusk

Let It Be Forgotten

A June Day

There will be stars

TWO CARL SANDBURG SONGS, OP.73 (1957)

Mill Doors

Maybe

THREE JAMES JOYCE SONGS, OP.74 (1957)

Unquiet Heart

Brigid’s Song

Noise of Waters

TWO HILAIRE BELLOC SONGS, OP.75 (1957)

Thou Child So Wise

Microbe

TWO ROBERT FROST SONGS, OP.76 (1957)

Dust of Snow

The Pasture

FOUR EMILY DICKINSON SONGS, OP.77 (1957)

Out of the Morning

I’m Nobody

When the Hills Do

The Grass

A NET OF FIREFLIES – SONG CYCLE, OP.115 (1970)

(Translation from the Japanese by H. Steward)

Waking at an Inn (Muso Soseki)

The Pavilion on the Lake (Rimpû)

With Sharpened Senses (Matsuo Bashô)

Four Magpies (Hô-ô)

A Whiteness (Kagami Shiko)

Noon (Taniguchi Buson or Yosa)

The Carp (Konishi Raizan)

The Faun (Kobayashi Issa)

Hypothesis [a Zen Paradox]

Summer Grasses (Matsuo Bashô)

Paper Wings (Hô-ô)

Its Netted Trail (Hô-ô)

Beneath the Net (credited to Buson-Sôgyo)

Firefly (Matsuo Bashô)

After the Death of Her Small Son (Chiyo)

Dewdrop (Kobayashi Issa)

The Black Cat’s Face (Hô-ô) 

—Mel Martin

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