Third Symphony

Third Symphony

Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller

Last year in Philadelphia I was delighted to discover a plaque dedicated to Vincent Persichetti, who in my book is one of the most under-rated of American composers. One of the few composers to write substantive music for beginning and mid-level pianists, Persichetti has found a niche in the hearts of many a beginning musician. (I wrote him a fan letter when I was in high school.) But Persichetti also penned more imposing works which are finally getting some circulation. Earlier this year, the always seminal First Edition Music re-issued the Louisville Symphony’s historic recordings of his 5th and 8th symphonies, and now comes David Alan Miller’s commanding performances of the 3rd, 4th, and 7th, making all the symphonies he acknowledged later in life available on commercial recordings. (Though to the best of my knowledge, the 9th, performed with pride and gusto by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy for RCA has yet to make it to CD. Wake up BMG!)

The finale of the 3rd, appropriately marked “fast and brilliant” is an appropriately soaring conclusion to Persichetti’s euphoric end-of-World War II statement, the long lost cousin of the equally celebratory Copland 3rd.


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