THIRD ALBUM TO BE RECORDED THIS FALL
This September, conductor Brett Judson, organist Tom Mueller, and singers and instrumentalists from the Los Angeles area will join forces to record the first full-length album of Scott’s sacred choral music, including his multi-movement work A New England Requiem. The CD will be released by Gothic Records in 2020.
E. C. Schirmer, a division of ESC Publishing, recently released three of Scott’s works for publication: Instruments, The Lord’s Prayer, and When You Are Old. The last of these was released on Scott’s debut album, “The Stolen Child: Choral Works of Scott Perkins,” and The Lord’s Prayer will be recorded for Scott’s third album this September (see above).
Augsburg Fortress, the publisher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recently released its fifth and sixth anthems by Scott: Blessed Rest and You, God, Are My Light. The publisher describes Blessed Rest as a “flowing, lyrical anthem appropriate for All Saints, funerals, or any time of remembrance. Unison passages balance beautiful harmonic progressions, providing an accessible work for most choirs.” Of You, God, Are My Light, Augsburg writes: “Choirs will enjoy singing this setting of Psalm 27, but organists especially will delight in the colorful and imaginative accompaniment that sparkles with jubilant energy.” Listen to audio samples and order your copy on Augsburg’s website.
Scott also began a relationship with Paraclete Press, which published his The Wonders of Thy Grace in January.
Earlier this year, Scott was selected to take part in the Shastra Summer Collaborative. This June, he will be paired with a Hindustani vocalist to write a work for the singer and string quartet. The piece will be read and recorded in Los Angeles in August.
Scott was commissioned by the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra to write a new work for choir and organ for performance on its Stained Glass concert in October. Titled A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day and using text by John Dryden, the piece will be part of a concert of works celebrating St. Cecilia.
Scott recently completed the third volume of his Invisible Cities for organ solo. Each summer for nine years, beginning in 2017, Scott will compose a set of miniatures after the imaginary cities Marco Polo describes to the Kublai Khan in Italo Calvino’s eponymous book. Books 2, 5, and 8 are complete. The project began as part of a festschrift for the noted organist David Higgs on the occasion of his 60th birthday: Scott joined a list of distinguished composers commissioned to contribute works, including Byron Adams, Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, David Conte, Jürgen Essl, Martin Herchenroeder, Stephen Kennedy, Robert Kyr, Nico Muhly, Craig Phillips, and Zachary Wadsworth.
Scott recently received a grant to continue working on an opera, Pierce, with playwright/librettist Nat Cassidy. Pierce tells the tragic and horrifying story of the United States’s most obscure leader, Franklin Pierce, haunted beyond comprehension and driven desperately to distraction, as his country descends into civil war. Scott and Nat have already collaborated on a short opera: Charon was commissioned by the Washington National Opera and premiered at the Kennedy Center in 2012.
PRIZES AND ACCLAIM
Scott won second place for The American Prize in Choral Music in 2018 for three of his large choral works: A Word Out of The Sea, The Stolen Child, and The World of Dream. His Whispers of Heavenly Death was a finalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s 2018 Art Song Composition Award.
Textura Magazine named “The Stolen Child: Choral Works of Scott Perkins” its choice for the third-best classical album of 2017. Released this past January by Navona Records, “The Stolen Child” is Scott’s debut full-length release. Read texture’s article here.
“WHISPERS OF HEAVENLY DEATH”
Scott’s second CD was released by Navona Records on November 9, 2018. “Whispers of Heavenly Death” features eight sets of songs Scott wrote between June 2001 and February 2017. Featured artists include pianist Éric Trudel, soprano Jamie Jordan, mezzo-soprano Julia Mintzer, tenor Zachary Wilder, baritone Dashon Burton, and flutist Helen Park. The contents include Scott’s Spring and All (2001–2005), Holy Sonnets of John Donne (2005–2016), Dogen Songs (2006), Riddle Songs (2007–2008), Three Songs for Autumn (2009), Soir d’Hiver (2016), Three Songs for Summer (2016), and Whispers of Heavenly Death (2016–2017).
“THE STOLEN CHILD: CHORAL WORKS of SCOTT PERKINS”
On January 13, 2017, Navona Records released Scott’s debut full-length CD, “The Stolen Child: Choral Works of Scott Perkins.” The disc features performances by Audivi of three of Scott’s large choral works: A Word Out of the Sea, The Stolen Child, and The World of Dream. Pick up or download your copy today through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ArkivMusic, or iTunes; or listen on Spotify. Previews are available on Scott’s audio page and on Navona’s website.
Read what critics are writing:
“[Perkins’s] material exudes an ethereal character, especially in the title piece, that leaves an indelible imprint. . . . Especially haunting is the six-movement title work (2006), in which a magical being attempts to protect a child from future sorrows by spiriting it off to the natural world. . . . There’s a sultriness to Perkins’ melodies that’s potent enough to seduce an adult, let alone a less worldly child, and one repeatedly basks in the glorious effect of the cascading vocal melodies, regardless of whether the movement’s character expresses the liveliness of youth (“To a Child Dancing in the Wind I”) or the wistfulness that sets in as the end draws near (“When You are Old”). Structurally the work impresses, too, with Yeats’s title poem framing the four inner movements, which constitute a life cycle, with prologue and epilogue treatments. . . . Each of the three settings feels modern in its compositional design yet at the same time very much connected to the longstanding traditions of choral music. Though there’s a natural fluidity to the vocalizing that ties it to writing of the past, Perkins’ beautiful settings never feel anything less than contemporary.” —Textura
“Perkins’s “neo-modal” language is balanced and fluid. His compositional technique is exquisite. . . . His music is saturated with images and he succeeds in maintaining a scrupulous respect for the word. . . . Perkins captures musically an emotional portrait that reflects the aspirations of these three poets with great expressive power.” —Sonograma Magazine (translated from the original Catalan)
“Scott Perkins builds an intricate world with his choral collection The Stolen Child. . . . These are three very different works which [complement] each other beautifully. [A] Word Out of The Sea is arguably this album’s most haunting inclusion, whilst The World of Dream represents a collection of dreamy, floaty pieces. For me The Stolen Child is easily the most beautiful and pleasing segment. This is an incredible choral work that delivers more intimate themes the more you listen to it. 10 [of 10].” —Darren Rea, Review Graveyard
“The textures of Perkins’ choral music are clearly contemporary, and some of his techniques (such as his elaboration of the sound of a single letter) are quite modern; yet his vocal colors, frequent use of modal language, and direct expressiveness recall the old a cappella tradition. . . . The vocal writing is assured and well- designed throughout all these works. . . .” —Infodad
“All three works are similar in that the emphasis seems to be on the higher voices and everything blending into a conversational, murmury, shimmering sort of sound. It’s hypnotic and intriguing. . . .” —operaramblings