PERSICHETTI: Concerto for Piano, Four Hands. Sonata for Two Pianos. Serenade No. 8. Celebrations. Masquerade. BARBER: Souvenirs. HANSON: Chorale and Alleluia. March Carillon. Music by Gillingham, Zappa, Schmitt, Camphouse, Melillo, & others..

PERSICHETTI: Concerto for Piano, Four Hands. Sonata for Two Pianos. Serenade No. 8. BARBER: Souvenirs. Malinova Sisters, piano duo. KOCH INTERNATIONAL 3-7213-2H1 [DDD]; 52:11. Produced by Michael Fine

PERSICHETTI: Celebrations. HANSON: Chorale and Alleluia. March Carillon. TULL: Variants on an Advent Hymn. CAMPHOUSE: A Movement for Rosa. MELILLO: Escape from Plato’s Cave. GRAINGER: Themes from “Greenbushes”. STAMP: Chorale Prelude, “Be Thou My Vision”. Jack Stamp conducting the Indiana University/Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble and Chorale, and the Keystone Wind Ensemble; Thomas O’Neal conducting the Arkansas State University Symphonic Band. CITADEL CTD-88111 [DDD]; 66:10. Produced by Tom Null.

PERSICHETTI: Masquerade. GILLINGHAM: Serenade, “Songs of the Night”. GILMORE: Five Folksongs. ZAPPA: Envelopes; Dog Breath Variations. SCHMITT: Dionysiaques. Barbara Pare, soprano; Eugene Corporon conducting the Cincinnati College Conservatory Wind Symphony. KLAVIER KCD-11066 [DDD]; 70:25. Produced by Jack Stamp.

Here are three new releases featuring music by Vincent Persichetti, including some pieces recorded for the first time The Koch disc features the Moscow-born, American-trained piano duo Margarita and Olga Malinova performing Persichetti’s three pieces–widely divergent in scope-for two pianists.

Readers with obsessive-compulsive inclinations might be interested to note that this disc’s clearest precurser is a 1982 Melodiya LP 010161334 featuring the Soviet duo of Alexander Bakhchiev and Elena Sorokina in an all-Persichetti program that included both the Concerto and Sonata offered here, as well as the Piano Sonata No. 9 (see Fanfare 6:3, pp. 226-8). Though that disc was a remarkably curious phenomenon for the American music specialist, the average listener is not likely to find the performances worth the considerable effort to locate, as the interpretations are quite misguided, for the most part. Only the craggy density of the Sonata for Two Pianosseemed well suited to the Bakhchiev/Sorokina Duo’s approach. Koch’s Malinova Sisters also offer a fine reading of this relatively brief early work which, though sensitively conceived and superbly crafted, lacks the distinctive Persichetti personality that blossomed during the 1950s, which was the composer’s most fertile and creatively consummated period. As I wrote in the review cited above, “While Persichetti is often profound without being turgid, he is on occasion turgid without being profound. This is particularly true in his earlier pieces, An example is the 1940 Sonata, a knotty, dense work that uses a strangely angular, tonally attenuated harmonic-melodic syntax to express relatively simple human gestures. The contrast between the Sonata for Two Pianos and the Concerto for Piano, Four Hands that followed 11 years later is striking. Here are structural lucidity, stylistic focus, and coherent integration of materials and content, accomplished through effortless compositional mastery, that result in a uniquely personal musical language of tremendous nuance, breadth, and depth. After some 35 years of acquaintance with the work, during which I have listened to it hundreds of times, I continue to feel that theConcerto for Piano, Four Hands, is one of the most completely satisfying pieces of music I know. It is a work like this, together with, say, the Symphony No. 5 (for strings) and No. 6 (for band), to mention just three, that made Persichetti — along with Peter Mennin — the most significant American compositional voice of the 1950s. (The fact that these two composers shared their professional lives in the same institution during this period is a fascinating coincidence, warranting deeper analysis which is, however, outside the scope of this review.)

The Concerto, like the Fifth Symphony, is a work of approximately 20 minutes duration, comprising one multisectional movement that develops a single theme — in the case of the Concerto, primarily four notes — through an enormous range of moods, textures, and levels of activity. Such a work, with an endless number of details to savor from different perspectives, can benefit from a variety of interpretive approaches. The Malinovas’ is only the fourth recording of the work to appear in the 45 years of its existence the three most recent were all released during the past 15 years I would have to say that this is the best of these three, and the only one available on CD, so it warrants commendation. However, as solid and competent as their reading is, the Malinova Sisters lack the ecstatic mercurial exuberance — and even the technical precision — of the first recording, on Columbia Records “Modern American Music” series, which featured the composer and his wife in a recording made a couple of years after they gave the premiere. That performance, bristling with energy, rhythmic vitality, delicacy, and wit, is in a class by itself. However, it certainly warrants the supplement of a superior modern recording, and I am sure that there is no shortage of duos capable of capturing the expressive-technical gestalt of this work more comprehensively than the Malinovas have. 

Serenade No. 8 is another work for piano, four hands, represented here in its first recording. Far from the virtuoso demands of the Concerto just discussed, this piece, composed three years later, can be assayed by lower-intermediate level piano students. Yet, as with most of Persichetti’s easier music, rewards to the listener are uncompromised. Indeed, the warmth, simplicity, and good humor that infuse the four tiny movements of this three-minute work are also perceptible within expressive core of the far more forbidding Concerto. This consistency is one of the most remarkable and endearing hallmarks of Persichetti’s genius.

The Citadel disc offers the first recording of Persichetti’s Celebrations, nine poems from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, set in 1966 for mixed chorus and wind ensemble. Modern poetry was  of Persichetti’s great loves, and, though never widely represented in his discography, song cycles and choral settings represent — along with keyboard music and wind music — an essential aspect of his compositional identity. Compared with the brash grandiosity of most Whitman settings by American composers of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Persichetti’s are gentle, lithe, and brightly affirmative in character. They are generally syllabic homophonic, and quite lightly scored, so that the words are dominant and clearly audible (texts are included anyway). The chorus and wind ensemble from Indiana University of Pennsylvania contribute a sensitive and stirring performance

 The Klavier disc originally appeared on the Mark label in 1992, but has now been absorbed into Klavier’s Corporon/Cincinnati Conservatory Wind Series. (Corporon has since moved on to North Texas State University, and seems to be continuing his fine series of recordings with their superb group.)  Reviewing the Mark release inFanfare 16:5 (pp. 278-81), I wrote that Persichetti’s 11-minute Masquerade is “a brilliant, kaleidoscopically unfolding set of variations on material that originally appeared in a didactic setting in his text, Twentieth Century Harmony. Composed in 1966, Masquerade is more dissonant and less clearly tonal than such band works from the 50s as Psalm, Pageant, and the Symphony No. 6. Nevertheless, its cool, light tone and exuberant rhythms produce a genial, exhilarating effect that masks its intricate (and fascinating) structure. The performance by the Cincinnati Conservatory Wind Symphony is excellent.”

Turning now to the companion works: Samuel Barber’s Souvenirs is, for those unfamiliar with it, a sort of affectionate, nostalgic excursion into turn-of-the-century salon music — much more lightweight entertainment than one might expect from this typically serious, high-toned composer. As much as love Barber’s music, this is not at all my cup of tea, yet, after resisting it for years, even I now find myself captivated by some irresistible moments, such as the “Hesitation Tango.” Souvenirs was originally written in 1951 for piano, four hands, but Barber prepared a piano, two hands, version and an orchestral version shortly afterward. In 1952, the piano duo Gold and Fizdale arranged it for two pianos; the music has been successful in all  four versions. The Malinova Sisters provide a warm and energetic reading, but I prefer the grace and panache of John Browning and Leonard Slatkin in their reading of the one piano, four hands, version (RCA 60732-2-RC — listed incorrectly in Opus as the orchestral version). The Citadel disc bears the stamp of Jack Stamp, an active figure in the world of band music today, who has launched a series of recordings that are contributing to the integration of this genre into the mainstream of recorded music. This new release features — except for Stamp’s own piece — two ensembles from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where Stamp is Director of Bands. The performances are generally quite good, though at times a little rough and heavy?handed, compared to the Fennell and Corporon recordings to which we have become accustomed.

 Howard Hanson’s March Carillon is an arrangement of one of his 1920 Yuletide Pieces. Though routine and pedestrian in character, it displays some endearing and distinctively Hansonian turns of phrase. Chorale and Alleluia (1953) is probably Hanson’s best known work for band and exhibits the rousing chorale style and the over-reliance on ostinato patterns that are both characteristic of the composer. Stephen Melillo is a prolific composer of functional music. His Escape from Plato’s Cave is a 12-minute tone poem in an ingratiating and uncomplicated neoromantic idiom, with a slightly slick, overblown quality that suggests a contemporary Hollywood influence. With its alternation of stirring and heartwarming moods, it might be characterized as Hanson updated for the ’90s.  Mark Camphouse’s A Movement for Rosa is the same duration and in much the same style as Melillo’s piece. Inspired by Black civil  rights pioneer Rosa Parks, it is a dramatic, heartfelt, and thoroughly accessible work. Both these pieces are enjoyable, if not terrible challenging. 

Fisher Tull’s piece consists of four variations on the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” scored for brass and percussion. This is music in the mainstream American band language of the 1950s and 60s — flamboyant and brash, not very deeply felt, but skillful and superficially attractive. Percy Grainger’s Themes from “Greenbushes” is a delightful treatment of the same tune that concludes Lincolnshire Posy. Substantially different from its elaboration in that work, this version was originally done for orchestra, then transcribed for band. Jack Stamp’s own Chorale Prelude: Be Thou My Vision was explicitly modeled on similar band works by Persichetti, although these simple diatonic variations a far cry from the reflective subtleties of the latter’s chorale preludes. Stamp’s piece was written for the Arkansas State University Symphonic Band, and they offer a fine rendition here. 

Altogether, this is an attractive, entertaining program that should appeal to band aficionados, while more selective mainstream listeners will be especially interested in the Persichetti Celebrations. Unfortunately, program notes are very skimpy and omit much relevant and important background information. 

I hope that the response to Stamp’s ongoing series of recordings will justify many more releases; perhaps he will address some of the less well-known masterpieces of the conservative/modern genre that seems to appeal to him most especially, works such Vittorio Giannini’s Variations and Fugue, Arnold Rosner’s Trinity — both of which have yet to be recorded — and Nicolas Flagello’s Symphony of the Winds, which was issued on a recent Citadel disc, but in a performance that leaves much room for technical and interpretive improvement. These are works that make pieces such as those by Melillo, Camphouse, Tull, and the like seem simplistic in content, ordinary in effect, and primitive in execution, yet are themselves no less accessible to listeners. 

For comments on the music that appears on the Klavier disc, I refer the reader to the review in Fanfare 16:5 cited above.  There I noted that “the recording quality . is a bit lacking in brilliance.” For this Klavier re-issue, the equalization appears to have been improved significantly.

A Continuing Reassessment of Samuel Barber

Five recent releases, several of which make substantial contributions to the Samuel Barber discography, prompt these reflections. A Solstice disc, featuring pianist Lilia Boyadjieva, offers a number of pieces never before recorded, and is probably the most valuable CD solely devoted to Barber’s keyboard music. Virgin Classics presents a lovely program of Barber’s songs, sensitively and tastefully performed, augmented by works for string quartet. A rewarding disc on its own, it is, however, rendered superfluous by the magnificent two-CD set on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring Cheryl Studer, Thomas Hampson, and John Browning (see Fanfare 18:1, pp. 132-34). RCA Victor features violinist Kyoko Takezawa in yet another fine performance of the Violin Concerto, this one boasting a silky, liquid violin tone and an appropriately patrician conception. The disc also offers superb performances, led by today’s pre-eminent Barber conductor Leonard Slatkin, of two of the composer’s lesser compositions. Choral music accounts for some of Barber’s most deeply moving and fully consummated works, featured here on an ASV disc, along with two pieces by his exact contemporary, William Schuman. This disc, highlighting an English choir called The Joyful Company of Singers, bears comparison with the all-Barber choral program on Gamut, sung by the Cambridge University Chamber Choir (also discussed in the review cited above). The two choirs are comparable in size, style, and interpretive approach, so that a choice between the discs entails weighing one’s interest in the disappointingly unmusical Schuman pieces and the never-before-recorded God’s Grandeur of Barber against A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map and the excerpts from Vanessa and Antony and Cleopatra included on the Gamut disc. A Nuova Era release offers Italian pianist Dorella Sarlo in rather labored, unidiomatic renditions of several American piano works, among which Barber’s Souvenirs is of subordinate importance. (Of more significance is the large group of Bernstein’s Anniversaries–short sketches written for friends and relatives, many of which found their way into larger works, most prominently Age of Anxiety and Mass. Copland’sFour Piano Blues, introspective character pieces that draw upon “bluesy” turns of phrase in the most remote, abstract way, are played here in an uncomprehending, literal manner, without a trace of “swing.” The late [1972] Night Thoughts, ostensibly a homage to Ives, are more reminiscent of Messiaen in their groping, unfocused ruminativeness — a quality quite uncharacteristic of Copland in general.)

Auditioning this cornucopia of music by Barber has been illuminating and deeply pleasurable. The five discs include of the genres in which he worked, and comprise almost half entire output, the earliest piece dating from age 13, and the latest — his penultimate completed work — from age 67. The extent of international interest in Barber’s music is illustrated by this review, which addresses a French disc featuring a Bulgarian pianist who lives in France; an English disc that features a (presumably) English baritone and string quartet; a disc featuring a major American orchestra and conductor, with soloists from Japan and England; an English disc that features an English chorus; and an Italian disc featuring an Italian pianist.

Particularly exciting is the presence on both the Solstice and the ASV releases of pieces– mostly recorded for the first time — that are not included on Barber’s official work-list. Most of them were written during the composer’s youth, but are not at all dismissable as juvenilia. In addition, the performances discussed here are mostly quite good, in many cases revealing a sense of comfort, confidence, and polish suggesting that the musicians have not just learned the music for these recordings, but have been digesting it for some time. In other words, these are not “first-generation performances,” as are most recordings of American music, but, rather, show the effects of the music’s increasing general familiarity.

To a devotee of program notes, the annotators’ various attempts to conceptualize the 20th-century American music scene and Barber’s role within it are fascinating. The annotators of the respective discs are: Fanfare’s own erudite, Paris-based Martin Anderson; Michael Oliver, who was not previously known to me; Barbara Heyman, author of a comprehensive biography of the composer, in which voluminous research is counterbalanced by a timidity about assessing matters of meaning and significance characteristic of American musicologists; the estimable and venerable Wilfrid Mellers, a delightfully provocative English musicologist with a particular interest in American music, and one who is not at all timid about making assessments of meaning and significance, whose deftly-expressed speculations are at times infuriatingly wrongheaded and at others brilliantly acute; and Mauro Balma, an Italian commentator not previously known to me.

The notes by these writers indicate that from today’s vantage point, Barber’s place among the pantheon of American composers and the themes that underlie his creative output are not as well understood or appreciated as is the quality of individual works. This is partly the result of a misconception — especially prevalent in Europe — that the dominant reference points in American music are Charles Ives and John Cage, two characters who, in reality, exerted relatively little influence on the vast majority of serious American composers. (Barber himself said, “I can’t bear Ives,” describing him as “an amateur, a hack, who didn’t put pieces together well.”)  From the perspective of such commentators, Barber looms among the intellectuals from the East Coast, the eccentric experimentalists from the West Coast, and the various purveyors of a mythic American landscape as the conservative who remained loyal to the European late-romantic tradition. This may be true as far as it goes, but it is an obvious oversimplification. Far more relevant and pointed is the question: Among all the American traditionalists who forged their own identities without abandoning the familiar language of European late-romanticism, what was unique and special about Barber? Since his death in 1981, work after work has gradually entered the “standard repertoire,” where de facto “masterpiece” status is conferred. Yet there has not been any serious reassessment of Barber’s overall significance as an artist.

Further barriers to a deeper, fuller understanding are biographical factors that do not play well from the perspective of the “rugged pioneer” view of American culture– for example, that Barber was a “sissy,” born to an affluent family with influential musical connections (“with silver spoons spilling from his mouth and prizes magnetically gravitating towards him,” in Mellers’ words). Afforded the opportunity to concentrate on cultivating both his talent and his network of social contacts, he won the encouragement of wealthy benefactors and the enthusiastic support of many of the greatest musicians of the day while he was still in his mid-twenties. The assumption is that Barber “had it easy,” and therefore didn’t “pay his dues” as a “suffering artist.” Commentaries on Barber often display this prejudice in their patronizing or begrudging attitudes. Consider the tortuous ambivalence reflected in Mellers’ favorable description of the Adagio for Strings: “Finely spun string cantilena gives to the harmonies’ opulence a frail pathos, so that one is involved in a genuine, not Hollywooden, tear-jerker, but is never emotionally bullied.” Elsewhere, Mellers describes him as “a composer usually distinguished by charm and discretion” — a description clearly based more on Barber’s social image than on the character of his music.

What emerges from deeper acquaintance with Barber’s entire output is a musical personality of great tenderness, sensitivity, a fragile vulnerability — a “hothouse” personality, perhaps.
Supporting this temperament is the hand of a meticulous craftsman who tolerated nogaucherie in workmanship or taste, regardless of a work’s scope or level of ambition. It is this latter quality that is most striking in the piano pieces dating from the composer’s mid-teen years: Three Sketches and the two pieces that comprise Fresh from West Chester. Anderson’s commentary leads one to expect childish self-mockery and awkward satire, not to mention some crudeness and immaturity in execution. But what one discovers are “salon” pieces that almost anticipate Souvenirs in their irresistible “prettiness,” their refined taste, and their sophisticated workmanship — quite astonishing for a 15-year-old! Discovering these early pieces, played without a scintilla of condescension by Boyadjieva, provides a point of departure from which to view the pieces that soon followed, such as the Op. 1 Serenade and the Three Songs, Op. 2.

Barber’s artistic mentor from his childhood well into his maturity was the composer Sidney Homer, who happened to be his uncle (and how illuminating it might be to encounter some of his music on recording!). Homer successfully pointed his nephew toward two ideals: one was the imperative of being true to one’s inner voice, and the other was the fundamental
importance of impeccable craftsmanship. How closely Barber heeded this guidance may be seen in the works he composed during his twenties– e.g. the Songs of Opp. 2, 10, and 13, the Choruses, Op. 8, and the Reincarnations— works in which he courageously exposed the tenderness and vulnerability of his artistic soul. In this music there is often a strain of sadness, but a sweetness and a sense of security as well. Dover Beach, Barber’s first work of true greatness, composed when he was 21, is atypical and precocious in the wholehearted conviction with which it embraces Matthew Arnold’s bitterness, despair, and yearning for the security of the past. In its emotional content, Dover Beach anticipates the psychological and emotional themes — made explicit in the texts that he chose — that Barber developed more fully during his maturity.

In the music he composed during his twenties, Barber also gave voice to spiritual sentiments, but always within a humanistic context. As Mellers acutely observes, “The texts he set were seldom overtly religious, though they often celebrated the presumptive innocence of child or peasant… . Barber was on the mark in believing that the truth of his religious sensibility was inseparable from his awareness of the common heart of humanity.” An example of this is his setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur,” which Barber chose not to include among his numbered works. Written at about the same time as the three Reincarnations, it contains a musical device that also appears in “Anthony O’Daly.” Although not without its magical moments, God’s Grandeur does not impress me as achieving the same consistency of inspiration as does the contemporaneous triptych, although Mellers considers it to be Barber’s finest choral work,

Barber’s creative gift was so literary in nature, so focused on mood and emotion, that he seemed almost incapable of mastering the techniques of organic growth essential in constructing large works of absolute music, unless guided in some way by a literary point of reference. In fact, few of Barber’s totally abstract works can be considered fully successful artistically (a notable exception is the Symphony No. 1), although the irresistible appeal of his melodic ideas often compensated for compositional weaknesses, enabling such works to achieve considerable popular success. Two clear examples are the String Quartet and the Violin Concerto. In these works Barber seems to be floundering out of his element, as lovely lyrical ideas are linked together seemingly arbitrarily, in search of a plausible formal design. Such pieces would be unacceptable were it not for the appeal of the material itself. Unacceptable seemed to have been Barber’s own verdict for the two Interludes for piano, composed right after Dover Beach, and recorded here for the first time. Perhaps their unmistakable roots in the Brahms Intermezzi made him feel that they did not qualify as fully mature compositions. I suppose this is true, but the first of the two– more than three times as long as the second– is, as Martin Anderson observes, “Brahms seen through Barber’s eyes,” and makes a strong, lasting impression.

During his early thirties, perhaps moved to self-doubt by criticisms that he was overlooking compositional trends then engaging the attention of others, Barber began to explore some of
these musical languages, deviating considerably from the elegiac romanticism that characterized most of his previous work. Perhaps the most notable success from this period is Knoxville: Summer of 1915, in which the quintessentially Barberian theme of nostalgic longing for the sweetness and innocence of childhood is articulated through the more harmonically acerbic language of Stravinsky-as-Americanized-by-Copland. But many of these pieces — the Excursions for piano, the Capricorn Concerto, the Cello Concerto (which followed each other in sequence) — lack the very individuality, conviction, and sincerity that so distinguished Barber’s earlier work, although each displays the composer’s impeccable refinement and sensitivity to nuance. Even the highly-touted Piano Sonata of 1949, played with an extraordinary combination of both power and delicacy by Lilia Boyadjieva in one of the finest readings on record, remains an ultimately unsatisfying work, the artistic whole of which is less than the sum of its rather incongruous parts.

Then, during the early 1950s, Barber found himself again, integrating an angular chromaticism retained from his recent explorations into a more authentic, expressive, and mature personal language. In these later works, the tenderness and vulnerability return, but more and more often expressed with irony, defensiveness, even decadence and self-pity, as it became increasingly clear during the unsentimental, self-consciously modernistic 1960s that the very success he had won at such a young age now made Barber seem like an overgrown, spoiled child. Yet, perversely, the bitterness and disappointment of his later years lent the best works from this period — Andromache’s Farewell, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Lovers— an emotional complexity and ambiguity missing from the works that made him famous. These are probably Barber’s least understood masterpieces. In an interview, Barber made a comment that seems from today’s vantage point to reflect with some poignancy the way he saw himself at that time: “It is said that I have no style at all but that doesn’t matter. I just go on doing, as they say, my thing. I believe this takes a certain courage.”

Unfortunately, during his final years, self-doubt and self-pity seem to have destroyed Barber’s creative impetus, so that his last pieces, such as the Ballade for piano, a nocturnal reflection in the manner of Scriabin and Bloch, seem unable to take flight at all. Boyadjieva does her best to imbue the Ballade with some intensity, but to no avail. In Martin Anderson’s words, the work “ends, as Barber’s life did, in unemphatic, quiet pain.”

It is unlikely that Barber could have foreseen the revival of interest in his music that followed almost immediately upon his passing. Somehow, a composer’s death seems to neutralize much of the nastiness that surrounds him while still among the living, so that the music itself can then achieve a clearer profile than the person, rather than the other way around. Today, Barber’s entire oeuvre is available on recordings, many of the highest artistic caliber. Of how many other 20th-century composers can this be said? Many of his works have entered the active repertoire, a process that appears to be continuing. Today there are at least a dozen recordings of the Violin Concerto, about ten of the Overture to the School for Scandal, about eight of Knoxville. It will be fascinating to watch the evolution of critical and popular opinion as more and more of his works achieve broader exposure.

BARBER: Three Sketches. Fresh from West Chester. Interludes I and II. Four Excursions. Sonata for Piano. Nocturne. After the Concert. Ballade. Lilia Boyadjieva,
piano. SOLSTICE SOCD-145 [DDD]; 65:29. Produced by Yvette Carbou. (Fax: (33) 4 68 48 55 41)

BARBER: Serenade for String Quartet, Op. 1. Three Songs, Op. 2. Dover Beach, Op. 3. Three Songs, Op. 10. String Quartet, Op. 11. Three Songs, Op. 45. Misc. Songs
(see below). Thomas Allen, baritone; Roger Vignoles, piano; Endellion String Quartet. VIRGIN CLASSICS 7243 5 45033 2 [DDD]; 63:35. Produced by Andrew Keener.
Misc. Songs: Sure on This Shining Night, Op. 13, No. 3; Nocturne, Op. 13, No. 4; Solitary Hotel, Op. 41, No. 4.

BARBER: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.  Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. Capricorn Concerto. Leonard Slatkin conducting the Saint Louis Symphony
Orchestra; Kyoko Takezawa, violin; Steven Isserlis, cello; Jacob Berb, flute; Peter Bowman, oboe; Susan Slaughter, trumpet. RCA VICTOR
09026-68283-2 [DDD]; 64:42. Produced by Joanna Nickrenz.

BARBER: Two Choruses, Op. 8. Agnus Dei. God’s Grandeur, Reincarnations, Op. 16. Two Choruses, Op. 42. Misc. Choral Settings (see below). W. SCHUMAN: Mail
Order Madrigals . Perceptions
. Peter Broadbent conducting the Joyful Company of Singers. ASV CD-DCA-939 [DDD]; 66:23. Produced by John H. West. Misc. Choral
Settings: Heaven-Haven, Op. 13, No. 1; Sure on This Shining Night, Op. 13, No. 2; The Monk and his Cat, Op. 29, No. 8.

BARBER: Souvenirs. BERNSTEIN: Five Anniversaries. Thirteen Anniversaries. COPLAND: Night Thoughts. Four Piano Blues. Dorella Sarlo, piano. NUOVA ERA
7195 [DDD]; 71:58. Produced by Luciano Stella (Audium)