Piccolo (doubling flute), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion (three players), celesta, harp, accordion, strings
Chanteys, a celebration of ships and the sea, was inspired by the 1976 gathering of tall windships from around the world in honor of the U.S. bicentennial. Supported by a grant from the NEA.
The piece consists of two movements. The first is a fantasy on the beautiful capstan chantey Lowlands, while the second introduces four short-drag chanteys, develops them independently, and then combines them in a quodlibet finale.
The final program of the ASUC (American Society of University Composers) conference presented the LSU (Louisiana State University) Symphony Orchestra in a program as varied stylistically as any we could have heard that weekend…. The most convincing works of the concert, however, were a taut, angular oboe concerto by Ursula Mamlock and a remarkably eclectic, coloristic study by Ronald Perera called Chanteys — integrating folk melody, minimalist repetition, many unsettling dramatic thrusts, and a sure hand for orchestration (including, appropriately, an accordion) into a satisfying whole.
Musical America 7/83