“THE STOLEN CHILD” NAMED TOP-10 CLASSICAL ALBUM OF 2017
Textura Magazine has 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.
SECOND CD TO BE RELEASED IN 2019
Recordings were recently completed for Scott’s second CD! “Whispers of Heavenly Death” will feature 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 will 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).
Three of Scott’s choral works—A Word Out of The Sea, The Stolen Child, and The World of Dream—have been named finalist entries for The American Prize in choral music. Follow the results of The American Prize competitions on its blog here.
Scott’s song set for mezzo-soprano Whispers of Heavenly Death was a finalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s Art Song Composition Award.
NEW PUBLICATION BY AUGSBURG FORTRESS
Augsburg Fortress, the publisher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has just released its fifth anthem by Scott, Blessed Rest. The publisher describes the piece 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.” Listen to an audio sample and order your copy here.
On April 7 at 2:00 p.m., soprano Maureen Bailey will perform Summer Songs on her master's degree recital at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The program will also include works by John Boggs, John Corigliano, and Yoshinao Nakada.
The Ars Nova Singers will perform The Stolen Child on April 27 (Bethany Lutheran Church, Denver, CO) and April 28 (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Boulder, CO). The Boulder-based ensemble is led by Thomas Edward Morgan.
On April 29 at 7:00 p.m., the Highland Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir in Winston-Salem, NC, will perform Scott’s A New England Requiem. Director of Music Nate Zullinger will lead the choir and orchestra. The work pairs texts from the requiem mass with poems by New England authors Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Lydia Sigourney.
Scott recently wrote his first work for wind ensemble. Commissioned by the Plainville (CT) Wind Ensemble in celebration of the ensemble’s 30th anniversary, A Connecticut Fanfare will be premiered on May 20, 2018, under the direction of Ken Bagley. The piece will also be performed at the Association of Concert Bands’s 40th annual national convention in Buffalo, NY, in May.
Also on May 20, the West Village Chorale, under the direction of Colin Britt, will perform “When You are Old,” from The Stolen Child. The program, called “Contemporary Choral Gems,” will also include works by Betinis, Britt, Ešenvald, Gjeilo, Olson, Trumbore, Szymko, and Whitacre. The performance will take place at 5:00 p.m. at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, in New York City.
On July 29, organists Mark Thallander and Andrew McKeon will premiere Variations on “Coronation,” which Thallander commissioned. The premiere will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York, NY), with subsequent performances at Boardwalk Hall (Atlantic City, NJ) on August 15 and Trinity Church (Boston, MA) on a date to be determined.
Scott recently joined a list of distinguished composers contributing new works for organ to a Festschrift for the noted organist David Higgs. Other composers include Byron Adams, Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, David Conte, Jürgen Essl, Martin Herchenroeder, Stephen Kennedy, Robert Kyr, Nico Muhly, Craig Phillips, and Zachary Wadsworth. Scholar-artists Bernhard Haas, Kerala Snyder, and Joel Speerstra will add articles to this celebratory anthology. There will be performances and a recording of these works in the coming months.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
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. Scott’s grant, awarded by the College of Arts and Letters at Sacramento State, will allow him additional time to work on a set of five arias to be recorded later this year.
Also in progress is a multimedia chamber work based on fairy tales by Angela Carter, adapted by Charles Ogilvie. The work will be scored for a small group of vocalists and instrumentalists to include mezzo-soprano Julia Mintzer.
“THE STOLEN CHILD: CHORAL WORKS of SCOTT PERKINS”
On January 13, 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
NEW CHORAL RELEASES BY AUGSBURG FORTRESS AND PARACLETE PRESS
In 2018 Augsburg Fortress, the publisher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will release its sixth anthem by Scott, You, God, Are My Light. Scott will also begin a relationship with Paraclete Press, which will publish his The Wonders of Thy Grace in late Fall. Until then, the anthems are available for purchase through Encore Music Creations. To order, email Encore@EncoreMusicCreations.com.