Aria Organ Solo
This aria received its premier at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 4, 2005. The composer’s musical language is contemporary but completely satisfying. The lyricism and the beautiful formal elements are engaging to the player and the listener.
E. C. Schirmer Music Company
This organ solo was commissioned by and is dedicated to Carson Cooman, who gave the first performance in 2005. This publication incorporates a 2015 revision. It is a contemplative solo that calls for the use of solo reeds, flutes, and principal chorus. Suggested registrations are included on the score. This composition of medium difficulty is worth the effort to learn. Rubato is used throughout, with the tempo beginning as Adagio and moving up to a moderate tempo. This is a nice, well-written selection to add to any recital program. CrossAccent, Summer 2016
Organist Grant Moss gave Hymnos its premiere performance in a recital at Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts, on October 20, 2013.
The ancient Greek word “hymnos” gave us the Latin word “hymnus” and the English word “hymn.” Hymnos is replete with many well-known, well-loved hymn tunes including: MICHAEL, STAR IN THE EAST, ALL MY HOPE ON GOD IS FOUNDED, LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING (HYFRYDOL), AMAZING GRACE, JESUS SHALL REIGN WHERE’ER THE SUN, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, YE WATCHERS AND YE HOLY ONES, and JERUSALEM, MY HAPPY HOME.
Commissioned in honor of organist and choirmaster Peter Beardsley on his retirement from Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield, MA, this work comprises two movements. The first movement is based on Star in the East from South Harmony, and the second is based on Michael and Hyfrydol. These three main tunes are personal favorites of Beardsley and the composer. Portions of additional hymn tunes are stated throughout. Registrations and rhythmic groupings of septuplets and octuplets at times give an ethereal effect. Changing and irregular meters are prominent, as well as an array of dynamics. This music will be best served when presented on a well-voiced, three-manual instrument by an organist familiar with the instrument, as frequent registration changes are employed. It is suitable for recital, hymn festival introduction, or other special-presentation occasions.
CrossAccent, Spring 2015
Waypoints Piano Solo Waypoints for piano was written with intermediate to advanced piano students in mind. Each of the first eight little pieces exploits a particular pianistic and compositional technique, often making reference to classic works in the literature. The final set of variations has its own theme, but uses each of the previous eight pieces in turn as the basis for the variations. The title refers to the navigational points that satellite navigation systems use to guide us on a journey by land, sea, or air. In this case, the metaphorical journey passes points of reference that are at least somewhat familiar to every musician.
Pear Tree Press Music Publishers distributed by Subito Music Corp.
“Reverberations” is a sequence of continuous, large and small sections and gestures, sometimes repeating, that concentrate on one parameter, sound, or performance technique at a time…. Perera is to be commended for his clear, uncluttered score and simple, precise instructions…. Of all the organ and tape pieces discussed here, “Reverberations” offers the performer the greatest intellectual stimulation.
Jeanie Rebecca Little, Serial, Aleatoric, and Electronic Techniques in American Organ Music Published Between 1960 and 1972. (Ph.D. Thesis, University of Iowa, 1975)
Bright Angels For organ, percussion, and recorded audio Movements:
E. C. Schirmer Music Company
Score, 0244Electronic Media, 0244A
A challenging piece for an organ of at least two manuals, percussion, and tape. The first of the three movements, “Messengers,” begins with the organist cuing the tape, which produces what the score calls “crescendo and panning” as the percussionist effects a crescendo on the marimba. The organ’s entrance is quiet, building to an eventual thematic superimposition of simple triads in dissonant combinations. Quick flurries of notes follow, each ending in sustained clusters, a minor second, or a unison. The movement closes with a return to the sustained notes that marked the first appearance of the organ. Movement number two, “The Trumpet,” centers around a tonal cluster that is shuffled between the bass pedals and the lower manual, set against staccato bursts in the top manual and the percussion; the organ holds the final cluster beyond the end of the tape. The most conventional movement, “Hosannas,” follows, complete with key and time signature. The tape establishes a B flat tonal center as the organ, using the 8′ Trumpet stop, proclaims a series of fanfares in fourths and fifths. These figures accelerate to a cadential cluster, then as a triplet ostinato is established by the marimba, a rapid and hypnotic Phil Glass-like pattern begins in the manuals. Various new pitch centers fade in and out on the tape, the organ breaks into a series of short trills in fourths, and a majestic long chord, again based on juxtaposed triads, but this time held longest by the vibraphone, brings the work to an end.
Contemporary Keyboard, February 1980
This three-movement suite was commissioned by the AGO chapter in Berkshire, Massachusetts. The first movement, “L’Annunziazione,” is a large-scale fantasy, the second, “L’Adorazione,” is a short arioso, and the third, “L’Ascensione,” is a large toccata. The movements are neither too long nor too difficult, and the pieces could be used individually in services or recitals.
E. C. Schirmer Music Company
This suite was commissioned by the AGO chapter in Berkshire, Massachusetts, with funding from that and other chapters, organ builders, and individuals. “L’Annunziazione” is a large-scale fantasy, “L’Adorazione” is a beautiful short arioso, and “L’Ascensione” is a large toccata. All three of the movements are typical of those genres… The movements are neither too long nor too difficult, and the pieces could be used individually in services as well as in recitals. This is fine American organ music worthy of consideration.
The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians
This work was written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Berkshire (Mass.) AGO Chapter. Its three movements are entitled “L’Annunziazione,” “L’Adorazione,” and “L’Ascensione.”
The musical materials and fervent mood of each movement superbly match the sacred theme in each case, but the piece also stands up perfectly well as “absolute” music. “L’Annunziazione” is rhapsodic in character, and its three distinct themes flow naturally and inevitably into one another in a highly symmetrical (A-B-C-B-A) form. The frequently changing time signatures pose no problem since the rhythm arises out of the clearly expressed thematic ideas. “L’Adorazione” is a slow lullaby in which the composer takes a fresh look at classic melody and accompaniment in the key of C major. Some of the phraseology is Bachian in character (likewise some of the sequences in the middle section), and one could wish that Perera had introduced a proper variation instead of the simple return of the theme. “L’Ascensione” begins like a French toccata but without any well-marked theme in the pedal. The middle section features “open harmonies” in fourths and fifths, with a theme that is subsequently counterpointed against the toccata. This is a strongly expressive work of great formal clarity, written in an up-to-date tonal harmonic language. It is well conceived for the organ, but not technically demanding; the three-manual writing in the outer movements can easily be modified to suit smaller instruments.
The American Organist 5/98
Thanks are due to the Berkshire chapter of the American Guild of Organists, which commissioned this work to celebrate their 50th anniversay. Perera draws his inspiration from three significant moments in the story of Christ: the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Child, and the Ascension. The first movement poses dazzling flourishes in dialogue between manuals and pedal; elsewhere, the figuration alternates with chords on opposing manuals. In the second movement, a limpid flute melody soars above rocking chords to create an engaging, if rather active, lullaby. The work concludes with a flashy toccata in which the two hands frequently duplicate each other’s motions, as is true of the first movement. Spiced with chromaticism, the work remains tonal and would readily appeal to conservative audiences unaccustomed to pungent, glaring dissonances. Because so many of the manual gestures appear in unison at the octave, both together and in alternation, the outer movements may be mastered with relative ease; the middle movement requires a bit more coordination. Recommended for both church and concert performance.
The Diapason 11/99