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Roger Sessions (1896-1985)

Roger Sessions, composerRoger Sessions is one of the musical giants of the 20th century, a composer of profound emotion, uncompromising honesty, and consummate craftsmanship. His works have been performed by most of the world’s major musical organizations, and have earned him universal admiration and respect. His first big success was the 1928 The Black Maskers: Suite. His style subsequently evolved through the open intervals of the Symphony No. 1 to the more chromatic Violin Concerto of 1935. Later works in the 1950s used the 12-note technique, as exemplified by works such as the Symphony No. 3. Sessions was associated with a number of institutions, including the University of California, Princeton University, and the Juilliard School of Music. His honors include several Guggenheim Fellowships, a Carnegie Fellowship, a Prix de Rome, an honorary doctorate from Harvard, and membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the International Society for Contemporary Music, among many others. In addition to a special Pulitzer citation bestowed for his life’s work in 1974, Mr. Sessions was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Concerto for Orchestra in 1982.
- Theodore Presser website

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Sessions Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Lancelot and Elaine, opera (c. 1910) [unpublished]
Romauldo's Song, voice and piano (1923)
The Black Maskers (incidental music, 1923; orchestral suite, 1928)
Three Chorale Preludes, organ (1924)
The Fall of the House of Usher, opera (c. 1925, incomplete)
Symphony No.1 (1927)
Piano Sonata No.1 (1927-30)
On the Beach at Fontana, voice and piano (1930)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1935)
Four Pieces for Children, piano (1935)
String Quartet No.1 (1936)
Chorale, organ (1938)
From my Diary (1937-39)
Duo for Violin and Piano (1942)
Turn, O Libertad, chorus and orchestra (1943)
Piano Sonata No.2 (1946)
Symphony No.2 (1946)
The Trial of Lucullus, opera (1947)
String Quartet No.2 (1951)
Sonata for Solo Violin (1953)
Idyll of Theocritus, monodrama (1954)
Mass, unison chorus and organ (1956)
Piano Concerto (1956)
Symphony No.3 (1957)
Symphony No.4 (1958)
String Quintet (1958)
Divertimento for Orchestra (1959)
Montezuma, opera (1935-1963)
Psalm 140, soprano and orchestra (1963)
Symphony No.5 (1964)
Piano Sonata No.3 (1964-65)
Six Pieces for Violoncello (1966)
Symphony No.6 (1966)
Symphony No.7 (1967)
Symphony No.8 (1968)
Rhapsody for Orchestra (1970)
Concerto for Violin, Violoncello, and Orchestra (1971)
Three Choruses on Biblical Texts, chorus and chamber orchestra (1971)
Canons (to the memory of Igor Stravinsky), string quartet (1971)
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, cantata, soloists, chorus and orchestra (1964-1970)
Concertino for Chamber Orchestra (1972)
Five Pieces for Piano (1974-75)
Waltz, piano (1977-78)
Symphony No.9 (1978)
Concerto for Orchestra (1981) [winner of the Pulitzer Prize]
Duo for Violin and Violoncello (1981, incomplete - first movement extant)
The Emperor's New Clothes, opera [incomplete]


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Sessions Links     ~ top of page ~
Dramatic/Theater
Lancelot and Elaine, opera (c. 1910) [unpublished]
The Fall of the House of Usher, opera (c. 1925, incomplete)
The Trial of Lucullus, opera (1947)
Idyll of Theocritus, monodrama, soprano and orchestra (1954)
Montezuma, opera (1935-1963)
The Emperor's New Clothes, opera [incomplete]

Orchestra
The Black Maskers (incidental music, 1923; orchestral suite, 1928)
Symphony No.1 (1927)
Symphony No.2 (1946)
Symphony No.3 (1957)
Symphony No.4 (1958)
Divertimento for Orchestra (1959)
Symphony No.5 (1964)
Symphony No.6 (1966)
Symphony No.7 (1967)
Symphony No.8 (1968)
Rhapsody for Orchestra (1970)
Concertino for Chamber Orchestra (1972)
Symphony No.9 (1978)
Concerto for Orchestra (1981) [winner of the Pulitzer Prize]

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1935)
Piano Concerto (1956)
Concerto for Violin, Violoncello, and Orchestra (1971)

Chorus w/Orchestra
Turn, O Libertad, chorus and orchestra (1943)
When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, cantata, soloists, chorus and orchestra (1964-1970)
Three Choruses on Biblical Texts, chorus and chamber orchestra (1971)

Choral
Mass, unison chorus and organ (1956)

Chamber
String Quartet No.1 (1936)
Duo for Violin and Piano (1942)
String Quartet No.2 (1951)
String Quintet (1958)
Canons (to the memory of Igor Stravinsky), string quartet (1971)
Duo for Violin and Violoncello (1981, incomplete - first movement extant)

Solo Instrument
Sonata for Solo Violin (1953)
Six Pieces for Violoncello (1966)

Piano/Organ
Three Chorale Preludes, organ (1924)
Piano Sonata No.1 (1927-30)
Four Pieces for Children, piano (1935)
Chorale, organ (1938)
From my Diary (1937-39)
Piano Sonata No.2 (1946)
Piano Sonata No.3 (1964-65)
Five Pieces for Piano (1974-75)
Waltz, piano (1977-78)

Vocal
Romauldo's Song, voice and piano (1923)
On the Beach at Fontana, voice and piano (1930)
Idyll of Theocritus, monodrama, soprano and orchestra (1954)
Psalm 140, soprano and orchestra (1963)

Incidental/Film
The Black Maskers (incidental music, 1923; orchestral suite, 1928)


SESSIONS  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
The Problem with Sessions (Kyle Gann, PostClassic)
Roger Sessions and the Dilemma of Contemporary Classical Music (Charles Hamm, NewMusicBox)

The Roger Sessions Society

Sessions @ Wikipedia
Sessions @ American Classical Music Hall of Fame
Sessions @ Andrea Olmstead
Sessions @ Answers.com
Sessions @ Art of the States
Sessions @ Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Sessions @ Classical Archives
Sessions @ Classical Composer's Database
Sessions @ ClassicsToday.com (CD Reviews)
Sessions @ composition:today
Sessions @ Dr. Estrella's Incredibly Abridged Dictionary of Composers
Sessions @ Hubert Howe/Queens Colleges
Sessions @ Infography
Sessions @ MSM Encarta
Sessions @ MusicWeb International
Sessions @ NationMaster
Sessions @ NET Television (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Television)
Sessions @ The New York Times
Sessions @ Pandora Internet Radio
Sessions @ Perspectives of New Music (volume index only)
Sessions @ REC Music Foundation /The Lied and Art Song Texts Page
Session @ Robert Helps Web Monument
Sessions @ Theodore Presser Company
Sessions @ US Opera
Sessions @ UXL Newsmakers/findarticles.com

Streaming Audio
Sessions @ American Classical Music Hall of Fame
Sessions @ Classical Music Archives
Sessions @ last.fm
Sessions @ radiOM.org    Ode to Gravity    and    String Quartet No. 2
Sessions @ Rhapsody

Recordings
Sessions @ Albany Records
Sessions @ ArkivMusic
Sessions @ ClassicsOnline
Sessions @ New World Records

Sessions @ YouTube

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