Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Better Know a Composer: Wallingford Riegger (Part II)

In addition to Dichotomy, it's important to mention the piece that made Riegger's name, Study in Sonority. He wrote it in 1927 for his Ithaca Conservatory summer-term orchestra; the group had mostly violins, so he wrote for 10 violinists. At Eastman, Howard Hanson programmed the work before Stokowski got a hold of it and performed it with the Philadelphia Orchestra strings in 1929 at Carnegie Hall and in their home city.

The New York Philharmonic played the piece a couple of times in the 1960s, and in 1994 at the American Eccentrics festival. There's nary a commercial recording to be had, but you can view the score on the New York Philharmonic's digital archives.