Reviews for Orchestra / Chamber Orchestra

  Chanteys  (1976, rev. 1979)       Audio excerpt  :::  Score excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
The final program of the ASUC (American Society of University Composers) conference presented the LSU (Louisiana State University) Symphony Orchestra in a program as varied stylistically as any we could have heard that weekend.... The most convincing works of the concert, however, were a taut, angular oboe concerto by Ursula Mamlock and a remarkably eclectic, coloristic study by Ronald Perera called Chanteys — integrating folk melody, minimalist repetition, many unsettling dramatic thrusts, and a sure hand for orchestration (including, appropriately, an accordion) into a satisfying whole.
Musical America 7/83
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  Chamber Concerto  (1983)       Audio excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
Perera's "Chamber Concerto" received its premiere Wednesday night. At 21 minutes it was by far the longest work on the program. It is actually a set of seven variations in which a brass quintet (The Empire) coexists, contentedly and otherwise, with an orchestra of woodwinds and percussion. Perera has an acute ear for sonority. There was a gripping opening dialogue between on and off-stage trumpets, vivid use of various mutes, some stirring bell sounds (Boris Godunov came to mind), wildly swirling wind writing, and floor-shaking bass. Despite a lack of subtlety (at least in this performance), and emphasis on sound per se, Perera's instantly accessible music compels attention through its sheer visceral impact.
Boston Globe 3/21/84
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  Music for Flute and Orchestra  (1991)       Audio excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
A single movement sandwiching some delicate, contemplative "night music" between sections driven by rambunctious, angular motivic hijinks, Perera's colorfully scored, tightly conceived work gave the orchestra an opportunity to enjoy greater extremes of expression than Mozart would allow. It also called into play a modestly sized but deftly employed percussion section, punctuating the musical conversation between flute and orchestra with a tam-tam stroke here, the pearly note of a crotale there, and carefully placed cymbal crashes of varying intensity. Smith and the SSO gave the Perera an enthusiastic, incisive reading. Its calculatedly capricious meter changes seemed well assimilated by conductor and orchestra, and the whole flowed with admirable organic smoothness.
Springfield (MA) Union-News 2/8/99

Perera treats the flute as a seductive and temperamental protagonist, sending the soloist on fanciful flights and tuneful adventures that complement the sometimes grand rhetoric of the orchestra.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer 4/16/97
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  Five Summer Songs  (1972)       Audio excerpt  :::  Reviews  :::  Ordering information
Rec. lyric medium voice (b-f#2); 12:00; titles are: New Feet Within My Garden Go; South Winds Jostle Them; I Know a Place; To Make a Prairie; The One That Could Repeat the Summer Day; best kept as a set; excellent variety of mood and color; atonal, but with a strong feeling of tonality throughout; gentle dissonances; not difficult for the voice, but the colorful piano writing is intricate and requires dexterity; elegant, lyrical, compelling songs.
A Singer's Guide to the American Art Song 1870-1980
by Victoria Etnier Villamil (The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ & London, 1993)

Perera's thoroughly pleasing and admirably written set of songs would grace any singer's repertory. The unadorned style and clarity of the musical language make the set an attractive proposition for a beginner to the field. The "Five Summer Songs" could be put with other Emily Dickinson settings. They would not seem out of place in a traditional recital programme because of their unpretentious and direct appeal. The set would form a good foil for late Romantic lieder with more exotic textures.
New Vocal Repertory by Jane Manning (Taplinger, 1987)

With detailed instructions for both the singer and accompanist these songs are wonderful for an accomplished, artistic, sensitive singer.
NATS Bulletin 5/78
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