A Purse of Spaghetti
The late composer David Maslanka treasured his relationship towards the music of J.S. Bach, incorporating the master’s work into his compositional warmup routines and frequently his own compositions. Moreover, Maslanka had absolutely no quandary with making this known, often describing his compositional processes to any who would inquire (myself included) and in the process revealing how Bach’s music found its way into every corner of Maslanka’s own unique compositional identity. In much a similar way, I have discovered a deep respect and fascination with the music of Vincent Persichetti. As an oboist I performed his solo parables for oboe and english horn and a handful of his works for band throughout my high school and undergraduate experiences, and as a *very* amateur pianist his piano works (sets of sonatas and sonatinas, the 7th Serenade, etc.) often found their way onto my keyboards, and his Hymns and Responses for the Church Year have become for me the modern equivalent of Bach’s 371 chorales. Persichetti’s work is impossibly diverse in style, yet always recognizable through a deep understanding of counterpoint and musical architecture, large and small, alongside his trademark harmonic fluidity. All this to say, this short, fleet-footed work is my first formal recognition of the debt I owe to Persichetti as I discover my own musical languages and mannerisms. And in case you don’t see it, say the title and Persichetti over and over again.
- July 30, 2018