|||The Writer (from Visions)

The Writer

Soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, viola, and piano

The Writer is the second movement of the larger work, Visions. It is based on Richard Wilbur’s narrative poem and concerns a young writer—the poet’s daughter—who is writing her first story. The setting and the poem capture the writing process, from the tapping of fitful typing to the frenzied attempts to express a thought to the lyrical soaring of clear expression.

Crossing the Meridian CD cover Crossing the Meridian is the title work on the CD Crossing the Meridian, which offers a collection of Ronald Perera’s works for chamber music with voice. It includes Crossing the Meridian, Three Poems of Günter Grass, Visions and Alternate Routes. Performed by the Boston Musica Viva. Soloists include Elsa Charlston, John Aler, Jane Bryden, and Karen Smith Emerson. On CRI.

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Composed: 1993
Duration: 6:00
Publisher: Pear Tree Press Music Publishing distributed by Subito Music
Catalog Number(s): Full Score, PTM 502


The Writer, . . . scored for soprano duet and large chamber ensemble, shows the lyrical tendencies in the first song of Crossing the Meridian fully in flower. Perera’s idiom by 1992 had blossomed fully into tonality, and the music fairly glows with warmth. The three songs all deal with artistic creation, normally a big yawn as a subject for artistic exploration so far as I am concerned, in interestingly oblique ways. The first and last songs, dealing with painting and sculpture respectively, have the voices more or less moving in parallel textures. The second song, The Writer, concerns the poet and her daughter, who is writing her first story. The mother is portrayed by the singers alternating lines, the daughter by the voices together. Interestingly enough, although neither singer has the vocal endowments of Elsa Charlston, the effect when they sing together is to cancel out the flaws in each voice to utterly ravishing effect.

John Story, Fanfare Magazine, January/February 1999