Black Maskers Suite

Catalog numbers: 

EBM EBM0610093/ HL 45061

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
3343 4431 Timp Pc Pno Str
Throughout most of his career, Roger Sessions was known for absolute music in a style that is usually complex and intellectually rigorous, yet marked by a considerable emotional undercurrent. Sessions' incidental music for The Black Maskers (1923) reflects the vigorous, more clearly American voice of the composer's early music. Sessions wrote the original score of The Black Maskers for a senior production of of Leonid Andreyev's Symbolist drama at Smith College. As a group, the Symbolists (whether Russian or French) found particular inspiration in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most popular of the composer's works, The Black Maskers has enjoyed an active life in America; it is also much favored in Russia, no doubt largely a result of the work's literary origins. In 1928, Sessions arranged the incidental score into an orchestral suite of four movements, the version which is most familiar to concert audiences today. -Description by Joseph Stevenson