Roger Sessions: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR573     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Japan Philharmonic Orchestra; Akeo Watanabe, Conductor; New York Philharmonic; Dimitri Mitropoulos, Conductor; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Igor Buketoff, Conductor


Roger Sessions was born in Brooklyn on December 28, 1896 and died in Princeton on March 16, 1985. He began taking piano lessons at the age of five. By the time he was thirteen, he had completed an opera, Idylls of the King, based on Tennyson. He entered Harvard at the age of fourteen, where he studied music under Edward Burlingame Hill. In 1913, he made his first contact with “modern” music through some of Schoenberg’s piano pieces (which he learned to play) and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, which had a profound effect on him.

At the age of eighteen, he graduated from Harvard and enrolled at Yale, where he studied composition with Horatio Parker, who had previously taught Charles Ives. However, the teacher whom Sessions credited with influencing him most was the Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch, with whom he studied and whose assistant he became at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1921.

Sessions’s earliest music is written in a chromatic idiom that owes much to German romanticism. The composer then passed through a wry, neo-Classical phase in the 20s and 30s before adopting the complicated, densely contrapuntal language that would characterize most of his later work.

He was often referred to as a “difficult” composer. Nicholas Kenyon, reviewing the premiere of the ninth symphony for the New Yorker observed that it was a “tough, dense score and, as with so much of Sessions’s music, difficult to like at first hearing. But, something compels one to listen and to listen hard.... The most striking aspect of the music is its constant state of flux, its perturbed restlessness.”
—Tim Page


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Roger Sessions: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, 3

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Symphony No. 1: I. Giusto
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Symphony No. 1: II. Largo
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 1: III. Allegro Vivace
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 2: I. Molto agitato - Tranquillo e misterioso
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 2: II. Allegretto capriccioso
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 2: III. Adagio tranquillo ed espressivo
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 2: IV. Allegramente
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 3: I. Allegro grazioso e con fuoco
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 3: II. Allegro, un poco ruvido
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 3: III. Andante sostenuto e con affetto
Roger Sessions
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Symphony No. 3: IV. Allegro con fuoco
Roger Sessions
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