John Verrall

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Biography: 

John Weedon Verrall (b. 1908 - d. 2001) was an American composer of contemporary classical music.

Prior to his University studies, Verrall studied composition with Donald Ferguson, followed by studies with R. O. Morris in London and Zoltán Kodály in Budapest. He obtained a B.M. degree from the Minneapolis School of Music in 1929, and a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1934. In the early 1930s he spent several summers at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he studied composition with Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, and Frederick Jacobi. He taught at Hamline University from 1934–1942 and Mount Holyoke College from 1942–1946, during which time he briefly served in the U.S. Army during World War II. While teaching at Mount Holyoke College, Verall also worked as a music editor for G. Schirmer. In 1946 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.[1] In 1948 he joined the music faculty at the University of Washington, where he taught composition and music theory until he retired as professor emeritus in 1973. Several of Verrall's students have gone on to have successful careers, including William Bolcom, Alan Stout, and Gloria Wilson Swisher.

From the late 1940s, Verrall used as the tonal basis for his music a nine-pitch scale consisting of two tetrachords on either side of a central pitch, itself alterable (C–D–E–E, F or F, G–A–B–B). This collection lends itself to symmetrical harmonic formations and melodic contours which, with equivalent rhythmic and metrical formations, generate the global and local pitch and rhythmic relations in his music.

Verrall wrote numerous symphonic works and chamber music pieces including four symphonies, seven string quartets, a violin concerto, and a viola concerto, among many other works. He also wrote several vocal art songs, choral works, and three operas.

Composer's photo above: John Verrall at the piano, undated. Photo: James A. Young. Special Collections, UW Libraries, UW23557z

ACA List for John Verrall

1 APPALACHIAN FOLK SONG (1953)
vcl,pf
2 BRIEF ELEGY (1970)
cl
3 THE CHIEF JOSEPH LEGEND (1989)
solo Baritone, choir, orch: 3-3-3-3, 4-4-4-1, timp, perc, str
4 CHILDREN, THE (1945)
1.1.1.1, 2.2.3.0, pf, strings
5 COLONIAL HERITAGE (1978)
high or low vc,pf
7 CONCERTO FOR PIANO & ORCH (1960)
pf,orch:2-2-2-2,2hns,timp,str
8 CONCERTO FOR VIOLA & ORCHESTRA (1969)
vla, orch:2-1-2-1, 1-1-0-0,timp,str
9 CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN & ORCH (1946)
vln,orch:2-2-2-2, 2-2-0-1,timp,str
11 COWHERD & THE SKYMAIDEN, THE (1951)
pf,vcs
12 COWHERD & THE SKYMAIDEN, THE (1951)
opera for sop,alt,ten, bar,bbar,chorus,orch:1-1-1-1,1-2-0-0,perc,pf,str
13 DARK NIGHT OF SAINT JOHN
cham orch:2-1-2-1,2-1-0-0,str
14 DIVERTIMENTO
cl,bsn,hn
15 DUO SONATA (1983)
pf-4 hands
16 EUSEBIUS REMEMBERED (1976)
hn, pf (or tensax,pf)
18 FANTASY VARIATIONS (1989)
Violin, piano
19 FOUR CHARACTERISTIC PIECES (1992)
Flute, piano
20 INTRODUCTION AND RONDINO (1956)
3 clarinets
21 INTRODUCTION, VARIATIONS & ADAGIO (1974)
Flute, oboe, piano, violin, cello
22 INVOCATION TO EOS (1983)
Horn, piano
23 LYRIC SYMPHONY (1990)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, strings
24 MEMORIES OF EARLIER DAYS (1986)
Piano
26 NONETTE (1970)
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, viola (2), cello
27 OLYMPIC SUNSET (1988)
Flute (3), oboe (3), clarinet (3), bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
28 PASSACAGLIA FOR CONCERT BAND (1964)
band:pic-1-1-3-Acl-Ebcl- bcl-alcl-3sax(a,t,bar)-2,2-3-3-2euph-timp,2perc,cb
29 A PASTORAL ELEGY
Solo oboe, hand: flute, clarinet (3), bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone (3), tuba
30 PASTORALE (1960)
Flute (2), viola (2), cello (3)
31 PORTRAIT OF ST CHRISTOPHER (1956)
Flute (3)/piccolo, oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings (2-1-1-1)
32 PRELUDE (1966)
Piano
33 PRELUDE & ALLEGRO (1948)
String orchestra
34 PRELUDE & FUGHETTA (1966)
Carillon
35 PRELUDE FOR ORCHESTRA(In Praise of Peace) (1962)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (2), trumpet (4), timpani/percussion, strings
36 PRELUDE, ARIETTA & FUGUE (1972)
band:2/pic-1-0-4-Ebcl- alcl-bcl-4sax-1,2-4-3-euph-1,Timp,perc,cb
37 PRELUDE, INTERMEZZO & FUGUE (1964)
2 pianos
38 PRELUDES EN SUITE (1961)
Piano
40 QUINTET FOR PIANO & STRINGS (1953)
Piano, string quartet
41 RADIANT BRIDGE (1975)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
42 RHAPSODY (1979)
Solo horn, string orchestra
43 RHAPSODY FOR SOLO HORN AND STRINGS (1979)
solo hn,str orch
44 ROSE OF THE WORLD, THE (1966)
Soprano solo, flute, piano
45 SERENA (1984)
Horn, piano
46 SERENADE & PASTORALE (1956)
Flute (or oboe), organ
47 SIX VARIATIONS ON AN ORIGINAL THEME (1945)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (4), trumpet (2), trombone (4), strings
48 A SOJOURN OF THE SPIRIT (1981)
Medium voice, piano
49 SONATA FOR 2 PF (1984)
2 pianos
50 SONATA for horn and piano (1942)
hn,pf
51 SONATA for oboe and piano (1956)
Oboe (or violin), piano
52 SONATA for violin and piano (1963)
Violin, piano
53 SONATA NO.1 for viola and piano (1942)
Viola, piano
54 SONATA NO.2 for piano (1986)
Piano
55 SONATINA for 'cello and piano (1957)
Cello, piano
56 SONATINA for viola and piano (1961)
Viola, piano
57 SONATINA for violin and piano (1949)
Violin, piano
58 A SONG OF REJOICING (1966)
Children's voices, bells
59 SONGS OF NATURE (1979)
Medium voice, piano
60 STRING QUARTET NO.5 (1952)
String quartet
61 STRING QUARTET NO.7 (1961)
String quartet
62 SUITE for brass sextet (1956)
Brass sextet: horn, trumpet (2), trombone, euphonium, tuba
63 SUITE for three clarinets (1957)
3 clarinets
64 SUITE for two pianos (1966)
2 pianos
65 SUITE NO.1 for orchestra (1959)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english hon, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion (2), harp, strings
66 SUMMERLAND FANTASY(A BUCOLIC PRELUDE FOR ORCHESTRA) (1985)
Flute (3), oboe (2, english horn, clarinet (2), bass clarinet, bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
67 SYMPHONY FOR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (1967)
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, strings
68 SYMPHONY No. 2 in E (1943)
Flute (3), oboe (2), english horn, clarinet (2), bassoon (3), horn (4), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
69 THEME & VARIATIONS (1945)
Piano
70 THEY SHALL NEVER THIRST (1954)
SATB
71 THREE FANTASY LEGENDS (1990)
Horn, piano
73 THREE NOCTURNES (1987)
Violin, cello, piano
74 WEDDING KNELL, THE (1952)
Soprano, alto, baritone, bass soli, piano
75 WEDDING KNELL, THE (1952)
Soprano, alto, baritone, bass soli; flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, percussion, harmonium&harpsichord (optional), viola, cello
76 A WINTER'S TALE (1947)
Flute (2), oboe (2), clarinet (2), bassoon (2), horn (4), trumpet (2), trombone (3), tuba, timpani, percussion, strings

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