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Persichetti: Harpsichord Sonatas Nos. 1, 3, 5, 8 & 9 / Lewis


Release Date: 07/14/2017 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559843  
Composer:  Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Listen to the Naxos Podcast to learn more about this release

The contribution of the American composer, teaching and pianist Vincent Persichetti to the harpsichord repertoire is unique among 20th century composers. He wrote a diverse selection of music, including an opera and nine symphonies, while his substantial output for harpsichord offers a vivid and rich variety of expression. The ingenious contrapuntal writing alludes to baroque ornamentation while remaining firmly rooted in the contemporary idiom. Lyrical passages and technical brilliance abound vitality and inventiveness.
Listen to the Naxos Podcast to learn more about this release

The contribution of the American composer, teaching and pianist Vincent Persichetti to the harpsichord repertoire is unique among 20th century composers. He wrote a diverse selection of music, including an opera and nine symphonies, while his substantial output for harpsichord offers a vivid and rich variety of expression. The ingenious contrapuntal writing alludes to baroque ornamentation while remaining firmly rooted in the contemporary idiom. Lyrical passages and technical brilliance abound vitality and inventiveness. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Harpsichord no 1, Op. 52 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; United States 
2.
Sonata for Harpsichord no 3 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981-1982; United States 
3.
Sonata for Harpsichord no 5 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981-1982; United States 
4.
Sonata for Harpsichord No. 8, Op. 158 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; United States 
5.
Sonata for Harpsichord No. 9, Op. 163 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; United States 
6.
Serenade for Harpsichord no 15, Op. 161 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Christopher D. Lewis (Harpsichord)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; United States 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Thoroughly enjoyable October 5, 2017 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "If you only know the harpsichord as a 18th-century instrument, Persichetti's sonatas can be a little disorienting. The harmonies, the counterpoint, and the melodies are all mid-20th century. It sounds nothing like Bach. And yet Persichetti managed to write music that's thoroughly idiomatic to the instrument. And Christopher D. Lewis, a specialist in modern harpsichord literature, gets the most out of that music. The album includes five of Persichetti's nine sonatas written for the instrument (plus a serenade). The first sonata was composed in 1951. The others -- nos. 3, 5, 8, and 9 -- date from the 1980s. These works from Persichetti's final decade are finely-crafted, indeed. Persichetti uses layered textures instead of volume to add emphasis. Chromatic melodies may have a tonal base, but not necessarily triadic. Pan-diatonic chords and polytonality create textures at odds with the harpsichord's Baroque heritage. Nevertheless, it works. Lewis' phrasing and precise execution bring out the best in these works, clearly outlining Persichetti's musical structures. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of thoroughly modern harpsichord music" Report Abuse
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