program notes by composition > P > Pageant


Vincent Persichetti

Pageant was first performed at the American Bandmasters Association Convention in 1953 by the University of Miami Band with the composer conducting.

Composed in two major sections, it opens with a pensive French horn solo that establishes the pitch and interval content for the entire work, even to the last chord. The opening slow section develops the initial theme by juxtaposing simple, open instrumentations using small forces, with lush, full chordal sounds involving the entire ensemble. A percussion break bridges the slow section to a fast Allegro section which continues to develop the themes heard previously. This section features a number of contrasts in articulation, instrumentation and style. Themes are heard first one at a time and then on top of one another, and in the final portion of the work, the two principal subjects are developed simultaneously to a lively climax.

Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) was born in Philadelphia. He was a virtuoso key- board performer, scholar, author, and energetic teacher. Even as a youth he worked as an accompanist, radio staff pianist, orchestra member, church organist and composer. He studied at Combs College of Music, Curtis Institute and Philadelphia Conservatory. He became a faculty member at Juilliard and Editorial Director at a music publisher. He composed for nearly every musical medium, and particularly for wind band, with over 120 works published. The influence of his musical mind is widely felt, thanks to his expert teaching and his book on harmonic practices in contemporary music.

Last updated on April 4, 2012 by Palatine Concert Band