About the composer
Julia Perry was an African American composer. She was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1924. She studied voice, piano and composition at the Westminster Choir College, came to prominence as a result of a scholarship to the Berkeshire Music Centre in 1951, where she was a student of Luigi Dallapiccola. She later went to Florence to continue her studies with the Italian composer and proceeded thereafter to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. After spending nearly a decade in Europe studying with several prominent composers, she returned to the United States in 1959 to become part of the music faculty at Florida A & M College (now University) and later took a teaching position at Atlanta University.
As an African-American woman Perry pushed the boundaries of race and gender during an era which saw few composers of her background gain recognition. Her career was severely hampered in 1970 when she had the first of several strokes, which left her paralyzed on the right side. She taught herself to write with her left hand and continued to compose in the 1970’s while in and out of the hospital and in declining health. She died in 1979 at age 55 in Akron, Ohio.
About the Stabat Mater
Contralto and String orchestra
Julia Perry composed her Stabat Mater in 1951 and dedicated it to her mother. It was the piece that launched her career. Although the cd-booklet says the piece is divided into ten sections, I could discover only eight divisions.
The "Analecta"-version of the text is used without any changes and without repetition. All stanzas are sung, including the final Amen.
Information about the recording
|NWCRL 133 Moore/Perry
The recording dates from 1959. I bought this on the internet in 2013.
|Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Makiko Asakura, mezzo-soprano
Douglas Moore: Symphony in A
|2013 PERR-01 (248)