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Music for Budding Artists, Music Educators, Accomplished Amateurs, and Professional Musicians Alike

Welcome to Wiscasset Music Publishing Company. Our first publication was a book of Bach Chorales, printed one below the other, to compare different harmonies of the same chorale. Following this tribute to J.S. Bach, the company, founded in 1975, became a vehicle to make the compositions from B. Warren's repertoire more easily accessible, many of them filling a void for music in instrumental combinations under-represented in contemporary music. Players of wind instruments in particular are well rewarded here, as are singers who will find a diverse collection of songs and works for mixed chorus.

Of particular note to music educators is the range of works to choose from -- in scoring, difficulty, and playing time. In addition, the Wiscasset Music Listening Series, begun in 1998, offers educators from the elementary to high-school levels an easy and economical way of nurturing interest in music from the 12th century to the present time.

Several of the works were commissioned by institutions such as Harvard University and Radcliffe College. Others were written as competition pieces for young artists. B. Warrren's style has been described variously as playful, rhythmically energetic, and lyrical. The music is deceptively simple, as well as accessible and musically satisfying to the ear of musicians and public alike.

The proof, however, is in the hearing. For this reason, many of the entries in the Catalog section include recorded excerpts. Just look for the Music Clip symbol.

B. Warren, a native of Massachusetts, comes from a musical family. Her mother, Warren's first singing teacher, was an opera singer trained in Italy and France. In the 1950's and 60's, Warren turned her early vocal training into a career performing with such well known conductors as Boris Goldovsky in Boston and Anthony Amato in New York. She also gave solo recitals in New York, Boston, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich, and London. Since then Warren has written widely for the voice. Four operas, numerous solos, and a half dozen choral pieces are valuable additions to soloists and groups seeking English-language pieces in the modern classical idiom.

Warren began to compose at an early age. Her style matured under her studies with Nadia Boulanger, and with Aaron Copeland, Walter Piston, and Archibald Davison at Harvard University, where she received her MA in music in 1943. Following in the footsteps of her teacher, Walter Piston, and her New England compatriot, Charles Ives, she has developed and evolved a style that is sparse, lyric, and stylized.

Her works have been performed in Boston and beyond. Her first opera, with a libretto inspired by O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" and especially written by poet David McCord, has been performed at venues as diverse as The New Orleans Opera, Texas Christian University, and the Harvard Club of Boston. Her piece entitled "Jonah," written for baritone and string quartet, with English and German texts from the King James version and the Luther Bible, was first performed at the Royal College of Music in London in 1981.

Since 1997, Warren has divided her time between composing and developing and producing The Wiscasset Music Listening Course. Currently planned in four volumes, the course is an outgrowth of Warren's support of ready-made, cost-effective music education tools for youngsters and teens, which build their interest in and love for traditional and classical music, past and present. This music course follows the philosophy of music educators Archibald Davison and Thomas Surette from the Concord Summer School of Music (1915-1938). This institution established a new basis of music education in the schools of America, and its founders insisted that students should be exposed to the best classical music of every country, without dilution.

 

Sonata for harp and flute

"This piece is like a breath of fresh air - and a worthwhile addition to the repertoire for harp and flute. It is pleasing and accessible, with a simple texture, lyrical melodies, and has a 3rd movement resembling Bartok and motives. The harmonies are interesting -- sometimes resembling Persichetti or Hindemith and both the harp and flute parts lie well for the instruments."

Mary Jane Rupert, harp

"Very well crafted and effective.... Expressive opportunities for both amateur and professional."

Peter H. Bloom, flute



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