Selected songs by Vincent Persichetti

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Date

2003-12

Authors

Holzmeier, Jana Jo, 1963-

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Abstract

Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) was one of America’s most respected and prolific composers. He wrote music for nearly every musical medium and performance level. His musical output includes symphonies, music for chamber ensembles, band and wind ensembles, keyboard (piano, harpsichord, and organ), chorus, and voice and piano (songs and song cycles); and an opera. Persichetti was the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships, over 100 commissions from organizations such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony, and was the first recipient of the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. He was head of the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and Chairman of the Composition Department at the Juilliard School of Music. The purpose of this treatise is to present an examination and analysis of three sets of songs for voice and piano. The songs analyzed in the treatise are: Opus 29 Two Chinese Songs All Alone (traditional Chinese text) These Days (Wang Chi) Opus 74 James Joyce Songs Unquiet Heart Brigid's Song Noise of Waters Opus 75 Hilaire Belloc Songs Thou Child So Wise The Microbe This treatise will (1) provide a brief biography of the composer, (2) evaluate Persichetti’s compositional style, (3) analyze the poetry and the music and determine the relationship between the two, and (4) make recommendations for teaching and performing the songs.

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