Conversations with Roger Sessions

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Only the first movement and the trio of the scherzo of the Violin Sonata, for example, employ a twelve-tone row strictly, the rest employing a scalar-constructed dissonant style. Some works received their first professional performance many years after completion. The Ninth Symphony , commissioned by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Frederik Prausnitz, was premiered on January 17, by the same orchestra conducted by Christopher Keene.


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Retrieved April 20, The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved December 3, Roger Sessions. Montezuma Sessions ' earliest music had been written in a lush, chromatic style. By the time of the Black Maskers, however, he had begun to favor a leaner, rather neo-Classical language.

Following his return to the States in Sessions accepted teaching positions at a number of American institutions including Boston University , Princeton , Berkeley , Princeton again from , and Juilliard from on. Beginning with the important Violin Concerto of , Sessions ' music became increasingly complex, and during the s he adopted serial compositional techniques, though he used them with great flexibility, always suiting the techniques to match his own highly unique compositional voice -- see, for instance, the remarkable Third Symphony of Sessions was awarded a special Pulitzer citation for lifetime achievement in , and in received an actual Pulitzer Prize for his magnificent Concerto for Orchestra.

No further works appeared after this remarkable musical achievement, and Sessions died in at the age of AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. Blues Classical Country.

Conversations With Roger Sessions

Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. It's a short one, but I don't think it could take much else. Magnus would go well with it. I'd be lucky, but I know what you mean. I don't think the audience could stand both of them. They're pretty strong stuff. He taught by asking penetrating questions and you really had to explain yourself.

Very quietly.


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  • Petrassi didn't let anything pass that was at all questionable. He was very, very strict. Even the doubling of a note when it could be slightly out of tune between two instruments, he'd say, "On the clarinet in that register, that is not going to be in tune with the bassoon, so change it. I was writing Taverner at the time and he was very helpful, very sympathetic.


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    • He was writing Montezuma at the same time, so we had a lot in common and we used to discuss our respective problems. That was just tremendously enlightening. The older man was very encouraging.

      Conversations with Roger Sessions

      It was an extraordinary piece and by hearing it I understood a great deal more about him than I did when he'd be talking about it in theory. Some people manage it in their lifetime - Mozart for example. I used it in some of the song pieces that I wrote when I was working with kids. You know the people involved and you know what they're capable of and you can have some say in the way that they improvise and help and guide it. But I'm not very interested in improvisation in an orchestral piece where you're working with hard-boiled professionals who, when they're going to improvise they're not going to have a clue as to how to improvise.

      Sessions PHCD [RB]: Classical CD Reviews - June MusicWeb-International

      They're probably going to do something very boring and out-of-style. I'd rather write the thing out so it comes off as an integrated part of my piece. Increasingly I tend not to because I find my own ideas - dare I say - too interesting to have that kind of interruption. I like working very much with real people.

      Conversations With Roger Sessions

      Also, in electronic studios you tend to have to work in cities, very often in rooms without windows. That I certainly wouldn't like. Why is there no resolution to the mystery? There are many possible solutions and I've suggested several in my piece. It just makes you wonder what if. When we did the first performances at the Edinburgh Festival, the BBC interviewed our three singers, and they all came up with a different solution.

      Sessions PHCD [RB]: Classical CD Reviews - June MusicWeb-International

      Hadn't discussed it with me, hadn't discussed it with each other, but they all had a different solution. I think what you are aware of is that something pretty catastrophic happens, but its exact nature, I think, depends on the perception of the viewer. Andrew Porter, writing in The New Yorker magazine said this came about through necessity. I was wondering if you found it actually worked better than if you'd been able to get a fourth actor?

      It's very dramatic. Quite a good idea, but it was forced on me and I had to think my way around this because we didn't have the money for a fourth singer.