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Peermusic Classical
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Orchestra
ADAGIO for Orchestra (1992) ..................................................................................... Schott 8:15
2Picc–2Fl–3Ob,EH–3Cl,BCl–3Bsn,Cbsn / 4–4–4–1 / Timp, Cel, Hp, / Strings
First performance April 13, 1993, New York: Baltimore Symphony, cond. David Zinman
Albany CD, Troy #292 (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)


“George Perle’s Adagio, played in honor of the composer’s 80th birthday, stands in the tradition of
Bruckner and Mahler. the difference lies in attitudes toward the long line: Perle’s line is created out of
poignantly halting, yearning, aspiring gestures that constantly regroup to ask still further questions instead of finding resolutions — a process, the piece tells us, that is more important than arriving at answers. This is a masterly work.” — Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, Aug. 12, 1995


“Mr. Perle has long been among the more lyrical advocates of post-tonal writing, and with every new
score his language seems warmer and more lovingly poetic.”
— Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, August 16, 1995

“Perle is among our most accomplished and reliable composers. …Like much of Perle’s work, the
Adagio is chromatic, ‘accessible’ in its appeal to a general audience (but never condescendingly populist in
the way it directs that appeal), beautifully constructed and tenderly, almost deferentially, rueful.”
— Tim Page, New York Newsday, April 15, 1993

“The concert opened with George Perle’s Adagio for Orchestra, …eight minutes of music by one of our
best composers that made a superb introduction to the 80-minute Mahler symphony. With a rich Berg-like
expressiveness in the lower strings and sinuous lines and keening by the high brass, Perle evoked the night
in which the Mahler Seventh resides.” — Stephen Wigler, The Baltimore Sun, June 17, 1994
CONCERTINO for Piano, Winds, and Timpani (1979) .............................................Schott 9’
2–2–2–2 / 2–2–2–0 / Timp.
First performance April 20, 1979, Chicago: Morey Ritt, Contemporary Chamber Players
of the University of Chicago, cond. Ralph Shapey
Nonesuch CD #79108 (Goode, Schwarz)
CONCERTO for Cello and Orchestra (1966) ............................................................. Presser 17’
2(Picc)–2–2–2 / 4–3–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp / Strings
First performance Nov. 14, 15, 1987, New York City: André Emelianoff and the New
York Chamber Symphony, cond. Gerard Schwarz
CONCERTO NO. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (1990) ................................................. Schott 25’
4(Picc)–3,EH–4(BsCl)–4(Cbsn) / 4–4–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp / Strings
First performance Jan. 24, 25, 26, 1991, San Francisco: Richard Goode and the
San Francisco Symphony, cond. David Zinman
Albany CD, Troy #292 (Seattle Symphony, Boriskin, Schwarz)

“… [A] fine new piano concerto, full of grace, color and appealing personal qualities… Here is a work
with a fresh sound, a direct manner that draws the listener along with a surprising ease and graciousness.
Perle uses a large orchestra but as a discrete palette, not an arsenal. A subtle craft serves an imagination
that is as artful as it is lively. …The heartland and the surprise is the Adagio. There the piano establishes a
warm and highly personal…revery, and in a most unexpected manner. It comes from the realm of fine
modern jazz, something of the feeling of the late Bill Evans. …Not the jazz style as such, for Perle’s language
is far richer and more sophisticated, but it is in that spirit and the jazz way of comfortable keyboard speakingsinging. The finale sparkles. It was in the best sense, the composer at play, not pursuing a process game and not showing off, but just letting the music dance.”
— Robert Commanday, The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 26, 1991.

“…George Perle’s Piano Concerto emerged on first hearing a scintillating 25-minute opus, a frisky
showpiece for soloist and orchestra, audible proof of the composer’s love affair with the keyboard and an
affirmation of his flirtation with what he considers a humane atonalism. …The complexity of the four-movement concerto, its intricate piano part and the remarkably adroit orchestration, invite close scrutiny. But there’s no doubt that Perle’s purpose is bedazzlement. Ears that yield to the piece’s antic spirit should be captivated. …The wonder of the work is the enormous size of the orchestra (especially in the triple and quadruple winds) and the calculated modesty with which Perle deploys these forces. Yet the various dialogues, off-side commentaries and conference calls between piano and orchestra, and the sheer speed and vivacity of the exchange prove both challenging and diverting. …Every page seems to bring a new exchange, a refinement and restatement of thought, much like what happens when a new participant enters a group conversation, inevitably altering the progress of the discourse. The epigrammatic skill shown by Perle in his piano etudes is extended here on a broader scale. …The lyrical center of the concerto comes with the Adagio, as the pianist intones a ravishing melody with curiously bluesy inflections. The final Allegro provides pyrotechnics aplenty amid the shifting rhythms and cascading arpeggios.”
— Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Examiner, January 25, 1991

“…The Perle Concerto, played by pianist Michael Boriskin, was the revelation of the afternoon. Written
in 1990 by the genius-award MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner, it is a genuine masterpiece. The
Allegro first movement is astonishingly long, as long as the other three movements added together. The
perky, sprightly piano and the huge orchestra (four of every woodwind and brass, etc.) create an antiphony of questions and answers, answers and questions, sardonic mockings where each imitates the other. It ends with a plaintive sigh from the English horn. The scampering Scherzo is held together by ligaments of iron and sinews of steel. The Adagio begins with a long piano solo, as moving and as beautiful as anything in contemporary music, and ends with another contemplative piano solo that brings tears to the eyes. The final Allegro, a grand summation, is as show-offy as a circus gallop. Here’s another cadenza and a shorter, mini-cadenza, and an absolutely surprising ending that reaches out and grabs you by the throat. George Perle is an original. No one writes like him…” — Faubion Bowers, American Record Guide, Jan./Feb., 1999
CONCERTO NO. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (1992) ................................................. Schott 18’
2(Picc)–2–2–2 / 4–2–0–0 / Timp, 2 Perc / Strings
First performance Jan. 28, 29, 1993, Columbus, OH: Michael Boriskin, Columbus
Symphony, cond. Joseph Silverstein
Harmonia Mundi CD # 907124 (Utah Symphony, Boriskin, Silverstein)

“Perle’s Concerto manifests many familiar structural and compositional techniques. In form and scale, it
is a traditional classical concerto: three movements in the fast-slow-fast tempo pattern, and the outer
movements offer the soloist grand cadenzas for dramatic and technical display. Perle’s clear manner of
motivic and thematic development, and the continual conversational ensemble between orchestra and
soloist, can’t help but win one’s admiration. It was obvious, even on first hearing, that this concerto is
wonderfully crafted music. In particular, the first movement, with its raucous main theme, gives the soloist many moments with flair and humor.” — Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch, January 30, 1993

“With music director Joseph Silverstein helming the [Utah Symphony] and Perle specialist Michael
Boriskin at the keyboard, the result Friday was an appealing example of what Perle calls his ‘12-tone tonality,’ sprightly and playful in the outer movements yet remarkably evocative , a la Webern, in the central Adagio. …In short, it is witty and imaginative.” — William S. Goodfellow, Deseret News (Utah), Feb. 6, 1993
DANCE FANTASY (formerly “Dance Overture”) (1986) ............................................. Schott 10’
3(Picc)–3(EH)–3–2,Cbsn / 4–3–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp / Strings
First performance May 16, 17, 18, 1987, Houston, TX: Houston Symphony Orchestra,
cond. Sergiu Comissiona

“A cogent, lavishly orchestrated work that has the sound, character and drive of a ballet score, offered
in miniature.” — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, April 13, 1989

“The Perle is all playfulness and delicate colors. …The music shatters dance meters into fragments,
creating dances glimpsed, dances partly remembered. The elusiveness formulates into a powerful coda of
repeated notes that comes fairly near to frenzy.” — Bernard Holland, The New York Times, March 12, 1992

“The Perle … is a work of bubbling rhythmic wit and ingenuity. …Wonderfully lyrical. Here he breaks the
melodic lines into fragments and parcels them out among the instruments like mosaic tiles. Under Schwarz’
baton one heard all the humor and vitality, as well as sudden moments of tenderness. It was delightful.”
— Peter Goodman, New York Newsday, March 12, 1992

“Perle cast his 11-minute Dance Fantasy (premiered by the Houston Symphony in 1987) in the shape
of introduction, variations, scherzo and moto perpetuo. It’s full of homages (to Stravinsky and Debussy’s
Jeux, among others), yet sustains a high level of rhythmic invention. Balanchine might have loved it and he might have relished Blomstedt’s conducting, too.”
— Allan Ulrich, The San Francisco Examiner, Sept. 12, 1991
NEW FANFARES for Brass Ensemble (1987) ...........................................................Schott 2’
4–3–3–0
First performance August 1, 1987, Tanglewood: Contemporary Music Festival
A SHORT SYMPHONY (1980) ..................................................................................... Schott 15’
3(Picc.)–3(EH)–2–2,Cbsn / 4–2–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp / Strings.
First performance August 16, 1980, Tanglewood: Boston Symphony Orchestra, cond. Seiji Ozawa

[The Short Symphony] is a work of great formal ingenuity, ending exactly where it began, dramatizing
and reconciling music of different tempos and different characters. But formal ingenuity isn’t the point, any more than it is the point in the music of Alban Berg, the subject of Perle’s lifelong study. Above all, this is expressive music, not ‘expressionistic,’ like Berg’s, but full of sensitivity and imagination, and seeing no need to parade its feelings, which are no less profound because they remain so intimately private. The short symphony is also exceptionally beautiful to listen to because of the lucidity of the argument and Perle’s ear for textures at once transparent and glistening. On its own scale, it is as much a Concerto for Orchestra as Bartok’s blazing work heard last week; one of the pleasures of hearing it is that Perle obviously conceived the work in spatial terms. the music moves around the orchestra in a delightful way, but it never loses its hold on the listener.” — Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, March 4, 1994
SINFONIETTA I (1987) ............................................................................................... Schott 14’
1–2–1–2 / 2–1–0–0 / Timp, Xyl / Strings.
First performance Jan. 29, 30, 1988, Saint Paul, MN: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, cond. David Zinman

“The Sinfonietta draws on the symphony of the 18th century for its form: three movements in the fast-slow- fast pattern. …The outer movements are essentially cheerful in tone, while the slow movement, with its caressing phrases for solo oboe and clarinet, strikes a note of grave melancholy. At times the work’s harmonic language evokes the 18th century. But the music’s darker colorings make it clear that this is a work of our own time — a sophisticated mind referring to the 18th century, not imitating it. …In all, it’s a pleasing, thoughtful work that surely will take its place in the modern chamber-orchestra repertoire.”
— Michael Anthony, Saint Paul (MN) Star Tribune, Feb. 1, 1988

“It is high praise, then, to say that George Perle’s Sinfonietta…made an agreeable pair with Mozart’s
Piano Concerto in F Major (K. 459). …The Sinfonietta is lucidly put together. The slow movement, a songful conversation between the woodwind soloists, with strings in the background, is the most accessible of the three. The first movement is a work of Mozartean elegance, its spiky harmonies notwithstanding. And the last is filled with gentle humor, not the least in its valedictory reference to the music of the opening movement. Here as elsewhere, Perle works with a sure, light, hand.”
— Michael Fleming, St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press Dispatch, January 30, 1989

“On paper, George Perle’s new Sinfonietta has the look of the 18th century. There is the same uncomplicated instrumentation, the clarity of texture and the appearance, as well, of lightfooted Rococo elegance. At Saturday night’s concert by the New York Chamber Symphony at the 92nd Street Y, the ear confirmed all these qualities even if, in the hearing, Mr. Perle’s slow movement offers dark clarinet colors that clearly go past Mozart to occupy the more recent world of Alban Berg. …Mr. Perle’s music is by him and of his world, but it traces its ancestry with clarity. — Bernard Holland, The New York Times, March 14, 1989
SINFONIETTA II (1990) ............................................................................................. Schott 15’
2(2Picc)–2(EH)–2(PiccCl)–2(Cbsn) / 2–2–1–0 / Timp, Perc, Hp / Strings
First performance Feb. 19, 20, 21, 22, 1991, San Francisco: San Francisco Symphony,
cond. Herbert Blomstedt
Albany CD, Troy #292 (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

“The 16-minute Sinfonietta II is disarmingly communicative… The architecture of the work, with two
Scherzos framing the central slow movement, reveals Perle’s typical daring within a typically conservative
framework. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Sinfonietta is its constant feeling of destination. Even
though it flaunts its mild dissonances and revels in its ceaseless activity, the piece is always going somewhere. The slight lilting quality in the opening subject spreads rapidly through the string sections, as the vibraphone hammers out a contrasting tune. Dramatic climbs and descents of the scale predominate. The winds assume a playfully stalking role. Chorales and Diversions, the piece’s quasi-rondo shows of Perle’s gifts as orchestrator. He offers a contrast to the rumblings of trombone and bassoon with flute interjections and comments from the first violin, and derives tension from sudden silences. Scherzo II caps the cheery mood with jazzy syncopations, blue notes and even what sounded Tuesday like a quote from Aaron Copland. The quiet flourish at the end brings us up short; the surprise is pleasurable.”
— Allan Ulrich, The San Francisco Examiner, February 20, 1991

“If you had to characterize George Perle’s new Sinfonietta II in a word, you could call it 'happy.' The word
would have several reverberations: the music sounds happy; its world premiere by the San Francisco
Symphony was a great success Tuesday night; and it seems to reflect the present personal state of one of
America’s most eminent composers… If contemporary ‘classical’ music can be said to have a hot property,
he’s it.” — William Glackin, The Sacramento Bee, February, 1991

“We should be grateful for premieres such as Perle brought into the world Tuesday night, with great
help from music director Herbert Blomstedt. In his 17-minute Sinfonietta II Perle is full of wit and sparkle, as if he were a musical heir of ‘the Six’ (Milhaud, Honegger, et al.), composers in the French tradition. …Short musical sentences flow back and forth between the strings and winds, like bright dialogue in a hit play. …Nothing is trite; nothing is a rerun; nothing panders to popular taste.
— Paul Hertelendy, The San Jose Mercury News, February 27, 1991
SIX BAGATELLES (1965) ........................................................................................... Presser 6’
2,Picc–2(EH)–2,Bcl–2,Cbsn / 4–3–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp / Strings
First performance Nov. 18, 1977, Riverhead, NY: Long Island Symphony, cond. Seymour Lipkin.
SONGS OF PRAISE AND LAMENTATION (1974) ................................................... Schott 40’
I. FROM THE 18TH PSALM for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
4(Picc)–2,EH–2,Bcl–2,Cbsn / 4–2–4–1 / Timp, Per, Hp / Strings
II. SONNETS TO ORPHEUS for Mixed Chorus a cappella
III. IN EIUS MEMORIAM for Soli, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
2–2–2–2 / 4–2–4–0 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp, Piano / Strings (no basses)
First performance Feb. 18, 1975, Carnegie Hall, New York: Dessoff Choirs and the
National Orchestral Association, cond. Michael Hammond
THREE MOVEMENTS FOR ORCHESTRA (1960) ................................................ Presser 16’
3,Picc–3–2,Bcl–2 / 4–3–3–1 / Timp, Perc, Cel, Hp, Piano / Strings
First performance June 14, 1963, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (ISCM Festival):
Hilversum Radio Orchestra, cond. Roelof Krol
Albany CD, Troy #292 (Royal Philharmonic, Epstein)
TRANSCENDENTAL MODULATIONS (1993) ........................................................ Schott 21’
4(2Picc, AFl)–3,EH–3(PiccCl,BCl)–4(Cbsn) / 4–4–4–1 / Timp,3 Perc,Cel,Hp,Pno / Strings
First perf. Nov. 21–26, 1996, New York: New York Philharmonic, cond. Jahja Ling

“The work’s title, a musical twisting of Transcendental Meditation, suggests that its main business might
be moving from key to key. That is an element, certainly: themes introduced at the start of the 25-minute
piece return transposed, both in new keys and for different instrumental combinations. But the score’s
metamorphosis runs deeper than that. Using a mildly astringent language reminiscent of late Stravinsky, but with heart, Mr. Perle presents a stream of subtle contrasts: assertive solo lines against sumptuous ensemble work; intricate wind figures against lush string scoring; fleeting moments of lightheartedness against a pervasively melancholy introspectiveness. Throughout, Mr. Perle speaks with an almost Neo-classical restraint. — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, November 26, 1996
Top
Concert Band
NEW FANFARES (see above)
SOLEMN PROCESSION (1947) ................................................................................. Presser 5’
Kosei CD #KOCD-3571 (Fennell)
Top
Large Chamber Ensemble
LYRIC INTERMEZZO for Fifteen Players (1987) .................................................... Schott 16’
1–EH–1–1 / 1–1–1–1 / Cel/Perc, HP / 2Vln–2Vla–Vcl–Cb
First performance November 8, 1987, Seattle, Washington: Seattle Symphony, cond.
Gerard Schwarz
Albany CD, Troy #342 (Cleveland Chamber Symphony, London)
SERENADE NO. 1 for Viola and Chamber Orchestra (1962) .................................. Schott 13’
1–1–1–AltoSax–1 / 1–1–1–0 / Cb / Perc
First performance May 10, 1962, New York: Walter Trampler, cond. Arthur Weisberg
SERENADE NO. 2 for Eleven Players (1968) ............................................................. Presser 15’
1–1–1–TenSax–1 / Tpt / Perc / Piano / Vln–Vla–Vcl
First performance Feb. 28, 1969, Washington, D.C.: Contemporary Chamber Ensemble,
cond. Arthur Weisberg
SERENADE NO. 3 for Piano and Chamber Ensemble (1983) .................................. Schott 20’
1–1–1–Sop(Alto) Sax–1 / Hn–Tpt / Perc / Vln–Vcl
First performance Dec. 14, 1983, New York: Richard Goode, Music Today Ensemble,
cond. Gerard Schwarz
Nonesuch CD #79108 (Goode, Schwarz)
Top
Solo and Chamber Music
Sextets
CRITICAL MOMENTS (1996) ................................................................................... Schott 7’
Flute (Picc.), Clarinet in B-flat (E-flat Picc., Bass Clarinet), Violin, Violoncello, Piano, Percussion
First performance April 14, 1997, New York: New York New Music Ensemble, cond. David Gilbert

CRITICAL MOMENTS 2 (in nine movements) (2001)............................................... Schott 12'
Flute, Clarinet in B flat, Violin, Violoncello, Piano, Percussion
First performance March 5, 2002, eighth blackbird, New York, Alice Tully Hall
Cedille Records CDR90000 067 (eighth blackbird)

George Perle rarely writes music with words; his compositions are exquisitely formulated solutions to musical problems that are best confronted in their abstract state. (A lovely exception to the rule is the composer’s “Thirteen Dickinson Songs,” from 1978, which were sung by Lucy Shelton on a recent New York concert celebrating Perle’s ninetieth birthday.) Of all the American modernist composers to emerge after World War II, he has proved to be the most delectable craftsman; he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1986 for his Wind Quintet No. 4. He has also authored definitive texts on the music of Schoenberg, Webern, Scriabin, Bartok, and, especially, Berg. The eminence of George Perle the expositor and theorist is so high that it may have diverted some attention away from his own compositional output. To miss the music, though, would be a mistake, according to the critic Andrew Porter, who lauds “the vividness of [Perle’s] melodic gestures, the lively rhythmic sense, the clarity and shapeliness of his discourse and, quite simply, the charm and grace of his utterance.”

Critical Moments 2 (2001) is a fine showcase for these qualities. As Perle describes it, “The instrumentation of these nine short, self-contained, and strikingly individual movements for six players corresponds to that of Pierrot Lunaire, except for the substitution of a percussion part for the quasi-spoken (Sprechstimme) vocal part of Schoenberg’s work. I had taken much pleasure in the composition of a set of six such pieces in 1995-96, and was already strongly inclined to undertake such a project again when an unexpected commission from the Naumburg Foundation gave me an opportunity to do exactly that for [the group] eighth blackbird.”

Before listening to this fetching piece, we might dwell on the double implications of its title. On the face of it, “critical moments” refers to especially intense episodes of experience—and each one of Perle’s little movements—as the air of a denouement, however quiet and subtle its atmosphere may be. But “critical” also implies the acts of evaluation and examination, and as such may be a door, however modest, into the composer’s Lilliputian formal strategies. A number of the “Moments” state a strong idea at the outset—enunciated by one player or by a group of instruments—and return to it in altered form after a diversionary idea quickly counters the first one; a general discussion of these elements follows, with the initial ideas retaining their recognizable shapes. (Some ideas, like the snare drum roll in No. 5, are dramatic devices; they undergo no change at all.) It seems like an echo of the so-called “stratification-interlock-synthesis” technique which American theorists evinced in the later work of Stravinsky, a composer also recalled in Perle’s deft and nimble rhythmic play. (The piece cries out for choreography.)

In a famous quip, Olivier Messiaen, looking over the avant-garde scene of his heyday, harrumphed about the “international grey on grey” sound-palette that infected so much postwar serialist music. But Perle, with his unique system of “twelve-tone tonality” (which readers can further explore in Paul Lansky’s essay on the composer ), never succumbed to that school. Throughout these “Moments”—as in many of his other works—there is a remarkable, and rewarding, correlation between the flow of consonance and dissonance and the expressive intentions of Perle’s ingratiating musical gestures.

—Russell Platt

FOR PIANO AND WINDS (1988) ............................................................................... Schott 7’
Flute, English Horn, Clarinet in A, Bassoon, French Horn, Piano
First performance March 19, 21, 1989, New York: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Top
Quintets
NIGHTSONG (formerly “Andante tranquillo”) (1988) ................................................. Schott 5’
Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, Piano
First performance March 7, 1991, New York: Da Capo Chamber Players
DUOS (1995) ...................................................................................................................... Schott 15’
French Horn and String Quartet
First performance July 10, 11, 1996, Kalamazoo, MI: David Jolley, Fontana Concert Society
QUINTET FOR STRINGS (1958) ......................................................................................Schott 25’
2 Violins, 2 Violas, Violoncello
First performance Feb. 19, 1960, San Francisco: The Composers Forum
SONATA A CINQUE (1986) ................................................................................ .............Schott 15’
Bass Trombone, Clarinet in A (E-flatPicc.)(Bass Clarinet), Violin, Violoncello, Piano
First performance Feb. 28, 1987, New York: David Taylor et al., 92nd St. Y
WIND QUINTET NO. 1 (1959) ....................................................................................... Presser 11’
First performance April 8, 1959, Berkeley, California: California Wind Quintet
New World CD #359-2 (Dorian Wind Quintet)
WIND QUINTET NO. 2 (1960) ....................................................................................... Schott 10’
First performance May 6, 1962, New York: New York Wind Quintet
New World CD #359-2 (Dorian Wind Quintet)
WIND QUINTET NO. 3 (1967) ........................................................................................Schott 13’
First plerformance April 5, 1968, Chicago: Chicago Symphony Wind Quintet
New World CD #359-2 (Dorian Wind Quintet)
WIND QUINTET NO. 4 (1984) (Pulitzer Prize) .............................................................. Schott 18’
First performance Oct. 2, 1985, New York: Dorian Wind Quintet
New world CD #359-2 (Dorian Wind Quintet)
Top
Quartets
Molto Adagio for String Quartet (1938) ........................................................ .................. Schott 11'30"
SONATA A QUATTRO (1982).......................................................................................... Schottt 19’
Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello
First performance May 17, 1982, New York: Da Capo Chamber Players
GM CD # 2020 (Da Capo Chamber Players)
STRING QUARTET NO. 5 (1960, rev. 1967) ...................................................................Presser 13’
First performance Aug. 13, 1967, Tanglewood
Nonesuch LP #H-71280
STRING QUARTET NO. 7 (1973) .................................................................................... Schott 22’
First performance March 19, 1974, Buffalo, NY: Cleveland Quartet
CRI LP #S-387, Cassette #ACS-6015
WINDOWS OF ORDER (String Quartet No. 8) (1988) ................................................. Schott 17’
First performance April 6, 7, 1989, Washington, D.C., Juilliard Quartet
BRIEF ENCOUNTERS (String Quartet No. 9) (1998) ................................................. Schott 30’
First performance May 14, 1999, Chicago: Chicago String Quartet
Top
Duets
LYRIC PIECE for Cello and Piano (1946)..................................................................... Schott 4’
Paradox LP # PL 10001-A (Barab, Masselos)
GM CD # 2020 (Emelianoff, Rothenberg)
SONATA for Cello and Piano (1985)............................................................................Schott 17’
First performance April 13, 1985, New York: Emelianoff, McDermott
GM CD #2020 (Emelianoff, McDermott)
SONATA QUASI UNA FANTASIA for Clarinet and Piano (1972)........................... Presser 11’
First performance March 19, 1972, Buffalo, NY: Laneri, Perle
TRIPTYCH for Solo Violin and Piano (2003)............................................................Schott 10'
First performance Jan. 27, 2003, New York: Curtis Macomber and
Christopher Oldfather
Top
Solos for Piano
BALLADE (1981) ............................................................................................................. Peters 9’
First performance Feb. 17, 1982, New York: Richard Goode
CHANSONS CACHÉES (1997) ...................................................................................... Schott 15’
First performance Dec. 8, 1997, Boston: Martin Amlin
CLASSIC SUITE (1938) ................................................................................................. Schott
First performance 1951, Louisville, KY: George Perle
FANTASY VARIATIONS (1971) .................................................................................. Schott 7’
First performance Nov. 6, 1986, Sacramento, CA: Michael Boriskin
New World CD #NW342-2 (Boriskin)
LITTLE SUITE (1939) ....................................................................................................... MS 3’
First performance Oct.22, 1939, Chicago: Jacobeth Kerr
LYRIC INTERMEZZO (1987) .....................................................................................Schott 16’
First performance Nov. 7, 1987, Seattle, WA: Shirley Rhoads
New World CD #NW380-2 (Boriskin)
MODAL SUITE for Piano Solo (1940).........................................................................Schott 3'
New World CD #80590-2 (Arzuni)
MUSICAL OFFERINGS for left hand alone (1998) ..................................................Schott 9’
First performance December 6, 1999, New York: Leon Fleisher
NINE BAGATELLES (1999).........................................................................................Schott 8'
First performance March 2, 2002, Rockford, IL: Guttiérrez
PANTOMIME, INTERLUDE, AND FUGUE (1937) .....................................................Schott 4’
First performance Feb. 27, 1982, New York: Shirley Rhoads
New World CD #342-2 (Boriskin)

PHANTASYPLAY (1995).............................................................................................. Schott 8’
First performance April 2, 1997, New York: Bruce Levingston

“The title Phantasyplay, derived from the German word Phantasiespiel, was chosen by Mr. Perle to
reflect the music’s spirit of ‘dual citizenship’ as well as its character, which is, indeed, both fantastic and
playful (and not unlike some of the multi-faceted fantasies of Schumann’s Kreisleriana). Immensely concentrated and certainly difficult (at least for the player), this eight-minute work essentially falls into five sections:
      (1) an impetuous, cross-rhythmic opening with daring leaps and chords, delicate double-note passages,              and jagged octaves;
      ( 2) a tender Andante in which questioning, arching intervals portend deeper developments;
      (3) a mischievous scherzando with teasing syncopations and humorous, graceful arabesques;
      (4) a haunting, dark-hued Adagio in which earlier motifs are brought to their full lyrical bloom;
      (5) a recapitulation of the opening material with a subtle, Puckish reordering of events that leads to an unexpectedly brief but explosive coda. The final clarion chord is classic Perle: restrained, yet ecstatic.”
— Bruce Levingston, program notes for the world premiere

SHORT SONATA (1964) ............................................................................................... Presser 8’
First performance May 5 1965, New York: Robert Miller
New World CD #NW342-2 (Boriskin)
SIX CELEBRATORY INVENTIONS (1995) ................................................................. Schott 8’
First performance Jan. 17, 1997, Boston: Russell Sherman
GM Recordings 2071CD (Sherman)

“Perle’s pieces, contrapuntal birthday greetings for six friends, are chips from the master’s workbench.
They depend for their effect on Perle’s powerful insight into the tonal anchors of atonality, and they display the elegant and inevitable finish of detail that characterizes all his music. Has anybody ever known how and when to end a piece any better? Two of the most striking ‘Inventions’ are the plangently lyrical tribute to Gunther Schuller on his 70th birthday (Schuller was in the audience) and a gift for Leonard Bernstein composed for his 70th birthday and wittily incorporating elements of his style. In fact, each of these greetings is also a musical portrait of its recipient. Sherman”s performances were deft and as deceptively transparent as the music.” —Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, January 18, 1997

“Each of the six Perle Inventions marks a milestone birthday of a composing colleague. The first,
written in 1981 for Ernst Krenek at 85, has a let-’er-rip energy… The lyrically chameleonic Henri Dutilleux at 80 inspired a delicate movement, and the 40th birthday of Oliver Knussen lit musical candles that burn
brightly and peppily. There’s gentleness for Gunther Schuller at 70, and a piece mainly swift and loud but
ending softly for Richard Swift at 60. For Leonard Bernstein’s hectic, sprawling, very happy 70th birthday
celebrations at Tanglewood in 1970 there’s lots of syncopation, brawling octaves, a bit of good jazz, and a
fortissimo final sprint that suddenly hits the deck pianissimo.”
— Leighton Kerner, The Village Voice, March 18, 1997
SIX ETUDES (1976) .......................................................................................................Schott 10’
First performance October 29, 1976, Boston: Morey Ritt
New World CD #80304-2 (Gowen); Harmonia mundi CD #907124 (Boriskin)
Centaur CD #CRC231 (Renzi)
SIX NEW ETUDES (1984) ............................................................................................. Schott 10’
First performance May 7, 1984, Beijing, China: Shirley Ann Seguin
New World CD # NW342-2 (Boriskin)
SIX PRELUDES (1946) ..................................................................................................... Schott 4’
First performance July, 1953, Belem, Brazil: Robert Below
CRI LP #SD-288 (Helps)
SONATA (1950) ................................................................................................... Peer-Southern 4’
First performance Feb. 11, 1951, New York: George Perle
SONATINA (1986) ......................................................................................................... Schott 5’
First performance Nov. 6, 1986, Sacramento, CA: Michael Boriskin
New World CD #NW380-2 (Boriskin)
SUITE IN C (1970) ........................................................................................................ Schott 13’
First performance April 29, 1987, Washington, D.C.: Michael Boriskin
New World CD #NW342-2 (Boriskin)
TOCCATA (1969)........................................................................................................... Presser 6’
First performance Nov. 20, 1972, New York: Robert Miller
New World CD #NW342-2 (Boriskin)
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Solos for Winds
BASSOONMUSIC for Solo Bassoon (2004)...............................................................Schott 6'
First performance 2009, Merkin Hall, New York: Steven Dibner
MONODY I for Solo Flute (1960) ................................................................................ Presser 6’
First performance May 10, 1962, New York: Samuel Baron
CRI LP #ST-212 (Baron)
Neuma CD #450-88 (Spencer)
THREE INVENTIONS for Solo Bassoon (1962) ........................................................ Presser 5’
First performance March 26, 1963, New York: William Scribner
Coronet LP #2741 (Grossman)
Orion LP #ORS77269 (Cordle)
THREE SONATAS for Solo Clarinet (1943) ............................................................... Presser 13’
First performance Aug. 7, 1955, Chicago: Helen Joyce
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Solos for Strings
HEBREW MELODIES for Solo Cello (1945) ................................................................ Presser 4’
First performance Jan. 24, 1947, New York: Seymour Barab
DACO CD #102 (Von Albrecht) Albany CD, Troy #157 (Honigberg)
DG CD #453417-2GH (Haimovitz)
MONODY II for Solo Bass (1962) ................................................................................. Presser 4’
First performance Nov. 2, 1962, New Paltz, NY: Bertram Turetzky
Titanic CD, Ti-255 (Lawrence Wolfe)
SOLO PARTITA for Violin and Viola (1 [or2] players) (1965) ................................... Schott 12’
First performance April 23, 1965, Chicago: Irving Ilmer
SONATA for Solo Viola (1942)........................................................................... Peer-Southern 9’
SONATA for Solo Cello (1947) ..................................................................................... Schott 12’
First performance Feb. 22, 1949, New York: Seymour Barab
SONATA NO. 1 for Solo Violin (1959) ........................................................................... Schott 8’
First performance March 13, 1960, Davis, CA: Robert Bloch
SONATA NO. 2 for Solo Violin (1963) ......................................................................... Schott 18’
First performance Feb. 20, 1966, Boston: Matthew Raimondi
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Voice and Piano
THIRTEEN DICKINSON SONGS (1978) ..................................................................... Schott 37’
First perf. June 19, 1978, Princeton, NJ: Bethany Beardslee, Morey Ritt
CRI CD #724 (Beardslee, Ritt)
TWO RILKE SONGS (1941) ............................................................................................. Schott 3’
First performance May 6, 1949, New York: Shirley Wilker, George Perle
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Chorus
SONGS OF PRAISE AND LAMENTATION (see under ORCHESTRA)
SONNETS TO ORPHEUS (from SONGS OF PRAISE AND
LAMENTATION
) for Chorus a cappella ........................................................................ Schott 12’
First performance Feb. 18, 1975, Carnegie Hall, New York: Dessoff Choirs, cond. Michael Hammond
CRI CD #615 (New York Virtuoso Singers)
TWO FRENCH CHRISTMAS CAROLS arr. for mixed Chorus a cappella
1. “Christ is Born Today” ........................................................................................... Schott 2’
2. “The Miracle of St. Nicholas” ................................................................................ Schott 3’
“AND SO THE SWANS” from “The Birds” of Aristophanes (see THEATER
MUSIC) (1961)................................................................................................................ Presser 2’
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Theater Music
“THE BIRDS” of Aristophanes (trans. Arrowsmith), incidental music for
Chorus, Soloists, and Seven-Piece Band (1961) ................................................................ Presser
Flute(Piccolo) / Clarinet in E-flat(Baritone Saxophone) / Trumpet /
Trombone / Viola / Celesta,(Harpsichord)(Harmonium)(Piano) / Percussion
First performance Sept. 28, 1961, U. of California, Berkeley: cond. Robert Commanday
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© 2012 George Perle. All rights reserved.