Washington classical guitarist, lutanist and tenor David Perry recently received a $10,000 fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' solo recitalist program. "It's the largest grant possible," says the proud Perry, who plans on using it to record and promote three separate albums.
One of those will feature Schubert's famous song cycle, "Die schoene Muellerin," which Perry has transcribed for eight-string guitar. Perry will provide a preview of that album this afternoon when he performs some of the Schubert songs, as well as other selections, live on National Public Radio's performing arts program, "The Sunday Show" (sometime between 1 and 3 p.m.).
A second volume will feature lute and voice, while the third will consist of Dominick Argento's "Letters From Composers," songs taken from the private letters of different composers (including Bach, Debussy, Schubert and Robert Schumann).
Perry has started recording in an acoustically superb church with Ed Kelly, who will also be recording the National, Baltimore and Richmond symphonies and the Philadelphia Orchestra for broadcast this season. The target date for the first album is February 1983; coincidentally, Perry will be giving a major concert at the Wolf Trap Barns on Feb. 11.
The Schubert songs inspired Perry to develop his facility on the eight-string guitar, which "gives me the extra basses that are lacking on a six-string."
"I'd never thought about playing eight-string until the Schubert; now I've been using it for many songs by Gabriel Faure and by Liza Lehmann, a composer from the 18th century who wrote 'Ah, Moon of My Delight,' which John McCormack used to sing a lot."
Perry admits to a little studio fright for today's broadcast. "500,000 people and live! It's a little scary being in front of a microphone and not having real audience feedback, but working with the recording equipment for the last month has made me a little more at ease with the microphone."