||Solo Vocal/Song Cycles

Two Donne Songs


Two Donne Songs

Medium Voice and Piano

Written when the composer was twenty, these songs for medium voice and piano have a youthful exuberance and innocence that will be appealing to students as well as to mature singers.

Movements:

  1. Go, and catch a falling star
  2. Song (“Sweetest Love, I do not go”)
Composed: 1961, 1962
Duration: 6:30
Publisher: Pear Tree Press Music Publishing distributed by Subito Music
Catalog Number(s): PTM 161
Two Donne Songs for Viola and Piano



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Two Donne Songs 2017-10-03T00:10:54+00:00

Dove Sta Amore


Dove Sta Amore

Soprano Voice and Tape

Composers engraving of “Dove Sta Amore” for soprano and quadraphonic tape (two-channel version). Many complex markings allow for broad interpretations of the work.

Composed: 1969 (rev. 1971)
Duration: 7:00
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Catalog Number(s): 0149, Score
0149A, Electronic Media
Dove Sta Amore for Viola and Piano



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Dove Sta Amore 2017-10-03T00:10:54+00:00

Apollo Circling


Apollo Circling

High Voice and Piano

“Apollo Circling” contains four lyric songs for high voice and piano. Commissioned by the Paderewski Fund. Based on James Dickey’s commemorative poem “For the First Manned Moon Orbit.”

Movements:

  1. So Long
  2. The Moon Comes
  3. You Lean Back
  4. You Hang Mysteriously
Composed: 1972
Duration: 15:00
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Catalog Number(s): 0151


Reviews:

Spec. high voice (c1-c3); 14:30; titles are So Long; The Moon Comes; You Lean Back; You Hang Mysteriously; although Perera describes these as “four lyric songs,” there is considerable drama here; primarily declamatory, disjunct with many difficult high notes; technically, musically, and interpretively difficult; atonal, with tonal areas; stark and intense, with a cold, eerie opening and impassioned close; on the experience of the astronauts’visit to the moon; an evocative, unusual, powerful contemporary cycle; recorded by D’Armand.

A Singer’s Guide to the American Art Song 1870-1980
by Victoria Etnier Villamil (The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ & London, 1993)

Somehow, Ronald Perera has devised a set of songs, almost a cycle, that captures and conveys the cold, lonely, earth-longing, stream-of-thought text by James Dickey (“For the First Manned Moon Orbit,” 1969)…. The means by which Perera achieves success in setting Dickey’s text is a fascinating study in itself. He requires of the singer a two-octave range (from C to C2) with the flexibility to negotiate sometimes angular lines, sustained notes, and sudden sharply contrasting dynamic colors. In addition, he must meet the challenge of maintaining interest and bridging the gaps in the often-segmented melodic phrases. For the pianist there are long, stark single notes or chords sometimes interrupted by computer-like twittering rhythms, passages of pointillistic complexity, utilization of the entire scope and color spectrum of the keyboard, a marvelous interplay of the three pedals, and vital, driving ostinato figures that build to striking climaxes. The composer assists both artists with a generous supply of the usual musical road signs in Italian as well as with many evocative mood indications: cold, without expression, agitated, controlled, hushed, fantastic, languid, like drops, with tenderness, with controlled excitement, warm, lyric, passionately, etc. All of these reveal a song-writer of sensitive imagination, yet one who knows what he wants and how, by craft, to obtain it. This is music of calculated spontaneity that commands the listener’s attention… Congratulations are due Ronald Perera for his creation of a musical setting of a text that is both timely and timeless. He and James Dickey have given us a work that lyrically pinpoints an historical milestone in this country’s exploration of space and delves into the minds of the men who experienced that fabulous adventure.

Music Library Association, NOTES

Apollo Circling



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Apollo Circling 2017-10-03T00:10:54+00:00

Sleep Now


Sleep Now

High Voice and Piano

Winner of the 1990 NATS Art Song Competition. Five songs with text by James Joyce.

Movements:

  1. I hear an army
  2. Ecce Puer
  3. She weeps over Rahoon
  4. The twilight turns from amethyst
  5. Sleep now
Composed: 1985
Duration: 13:00
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Catalog Number(s): VAB 301


Reviews:

Ronald Perera’s “Sleep Now,” to poems of James Joyce, received its premiere performance. Written for Smith while Perera was on sabbatical leave in London during the fall of 1985, the five songs are written with exquisite sensitivity to the rhythms of speech, and indeed, resist any imposition of regular foot tapping. The melodic lines, which have a floating, modal flavor, are usually quite long — the last note of a phrase is often held longer than one might expect, as if the singer is to create a sense of unending resonance. The sustaining pedal of the piano, with a few exceptions, is in constant use, contributing to the dreaminess….Though the songs are simple and direct in their expression, there is nothing simple about the writing, and each subsequent performance will help release the music from the printed page. The performance Sunday night represented a good start for a composition that will hopefully have a long and fruitful life.

The Morning Union (Springfield, MA) 10/23/86

Sleep Now 2017-10-03T00:10:54+00:00

Shakespeare Songs


Shakespeare Songs

High Voice and Piano

Movements:

  1. Take, O take those lips away
  2. Hark, hark! The lark
  3. Full fathom five
  4. Where the bee sucks
  5. O mistress mine
Composed: 1985
Duration: 8:00
Publisher: Pear Tree Press Music Publishing distributed by Subito Music
Catalog Number(s): PTM 131


Reviews:

Perera has set five familiar Shakespearean song texts: “Take, O take those lips away;” “Hark, hark! the lark;” “Full fathom five;” “Where the bee sucks;” and “O mistress mine.” The settings are vivid and varied, yet simple in expression. Perera has successfully assimilated elements of the new neo-romantic style into his own expressive, eclectic style. The marriage of styles seems natural and inevitable.

Daily News, Springfield (MA) 3/3/87

The Perera songs are effectively written for the voice and piano and cover a number of styles; the most appealing were the first, in which an earlier setting of “Take, O take those lips away” melts into something more contemporary and the fourth, “Where the bee sucks,” set in a lively, jazzy way.

Boston Globe 6/3/87

Shakespeare Songs 2017-10-03T00:10:55+00:00

Five Summer Songs


Five Summer Songs

Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Ensemble
Harp, piano (doubling celesta), percussion (one player), and strings

Five songs on poems of Emily Dickinson. Arrangement of the 1972 songs for medium voice and piano (ECS Publishing #161). The poems included are New Feet Within My Garden Go, South Winds Jostle Them, I Know a Place, To Make a Prairie, and The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day.

This arrangement was commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.

Also available for Mezzo-soprano with piano accompaniment (E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Catalog No. 0161).

American Music CD cover Five Summer Songs is available on American Music for Flute, Voice, and Strings, a CD collection of American music by various composers. Performed by soprano Carole Wilson. On Albany Records, Troy 519.

Available on iTunes

Songs:

  1. New Feet Within My Garden Go
  2. South Winds Jostle Them
  3. I Know a Place Where Summer Strives
  4. To Make a Prairie
  5. The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day
Composed: 1993
Duration: 6:00
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Catalog Number(s): Piano/Vocal Score, 4836
Full score and parts on rental.



Reviews:

Rec. lyric medium voice (b-f#2); 12:00; titles are: New Feet Within My Garden Go; South Winds Jostle Them; I Know a Place; To Make a Prairie; The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day; best kept as a set; excellent variety of mood and color; atonal, but with a strong feeling of tonality throughout; gentle dissonances; not difficult for the voice, but the colorful piano writing is intricate and requires dexterity; elegant, lyrical, compelling songs.

A Singer’s Guide to the American Art Song 1870-1980
by Victoria Etnier Villamil (The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ & London, 1993)

]Perera’s thoroughly pleasing and admirably written set of songs would grace any singer’s repertory. The unadorned style and clarity of the musical language make the set an attractive proposition for a beginner to the field. The “Five Summer Songs” could be put with other Emily Dickinson settings. They would not seem out of place in a traditional recital programme because of their unpretentious and direct appeal. The set would form a good foil for late Romantic lieder with more exotic textures.

New Vocal Repertory
by Jane Manning (Taplinger, 1987)

With detailed instructions for both the singer and accompanist these songs are wonderful for an accomplished, artistic, sensitive singer.

NATS Bulletin 5/78

Five Summer Songs



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Five Summer Songs 2017-10-03T00:47:45+00:00

The White Whale


The White Whale

Baritone, flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, 2 clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet), bassoon, contrabassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano (doubling celesta), percussion (two players), strings

The White Whale is a musical projection of Ahab’s madness as revealed in fragments of soliloquy and dialogue from nine different chapters of Moby Dick. The four movements do not attempt to mirror Melville’s continous narrative. Instead, they reflect some of the novel’s greatest discontinuities by juxtaposing paradoxical aspects of Ahab’s character — aspects which are revealed one by one in non-successive chapters strung out like beads on a chain throughout the book — in a radically compressed time frame. The compression heightens awareness of the depth and complexity of Ahab’s personality and of his relationship to the whale while creating a particular dramatic tension of its own. The text of this work was adapted by the composer from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

Movements:

  1. The Prisoner
  2. In Nomine Diaboli
  3. The Symphony
  4. A Hump Like a Snow-Hill
Composed: 1981
Duration: 30:00
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Catalog Number(s): Piano/Vocal Score, 4098
Full score and parts available for rental.
The White Whale



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The White Whale 2017-10-03T00:11:11+00:00

Five Summer Songs


Five Summer Songs

Mezzo-soprano with Harp, piano (doubling celesta), percussion (one player), and strings

A chamber orchestra arrangement of five songs on poems of Emily Dickinson. Original version (1972) was composed for medium voice and piano (E. C. Schirmer Music Company #0161). This arrangement was commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.

Poems included:

  1. New Feet Within My Garden Go
  2. South Winds Jostle Them
  3. I Know a Place
  4. To Make a Prairie
  5. The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day.
American Music for Flute, Voice, and Strings CD cover American Music for Flute, Voice, and Strings: A collection of American music by various composers. Includes Ronald Perera’s Five Summer Songs performed by soprano Carole Wilson. On Albany Records, Troy519.

Available on:
Albany Records
iTunes

Composed: 1991
Duration: 12:00
Publisher: E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Catalog Number(s): Medium Voice, Piano Version, 0161
Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Ensemble Version, 4096


Reviews:

Rec. lyric medium voice (b-f#2); 12:00; titles are: New Feet Within My Garden Go; South Winds Jostle Them; I Know a Place; To Make a Prairie; The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day; best kept as a set; excellent variety of mood and color; atonal, but with a strong feeling of tonality throughout; gentle dissonances; not difficult for the voice, but the colorful piano writing is intricate and requires dexterity; elegant, lyrical, compelling songs.

A Singer’s Guide to the American Art Song 1870-1980by Victoria Etnier Villamil (The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ & London, 1993)

Perera’s thoroughly pleasing and admirably written set of songs would grace any singer’s repertory. The unadorned style and clarity of the musical language make the set an attractive proposition for a beginner to the field. The “Five Summer Songs” could be put with other Emily Dickinson settings. They would not seem out of place in a traditional recital program because of their unpretentious and direct appeal. The set would form a good foil for late Romantic lieder with more exotic textures.

New Vocal Repertory by Jane Manning (Taplinger, 1987)

With detailed instructions for both the singer and accompanist these songs are wonderful for an accomplished, artistic, sensitive singer.

NATS Bulletin 5/78

Five Summer Songs



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Five Summer Songs 2017-10-03T00:11:11+00:00