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Toby Twining: Eurydice

Twining / Brenner / Filos / Bradshaw / Shapiro
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Cantaloupe   Catalog #: 21068  
Composer:  Toby Twining
Performer:  Floreta ShapiroEric S. BrennerLiz FilosMark Johnson,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Toby Twining returns for his second album with Cantaloupe Music after a long hiatus since releasing Chrysalid Requiem in 2002.

Eurydice is the incidental music composed for Sarah Ruhls play of the same name, produced in 2008 for the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, PA and directed by Blanka Zizka. The play recounts the classic story of Orpheus and Eurdyice, though this time from Eurydices point of view and Twining beautifully captivates the range of emotion and theatrics in his score for SATB vocals and cello.

Like the Chrysalid Requiem, this music is all in just intonation, says Toby, who also sings various parts throughout the record, in his usual mix of voices and extended techniques. The plot calls for musical
Read more development specifically and divides into movements rather than acts. Though the protagonist, Eurydice, is musically inept, the playwright has portrayed Orpheus knowingly, the prototypically romantic, self-absorbed, genius, musician/composer. It would seem Sarah Ruhl conceived Eurydice with music playing one of its essential roles.

Twining is the 2008 recipient of the Barrymore Award for Original Music. He has been featured on NPRs All Things Considered and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor.

1. Playing in the Waves
2. The Nasty Interesting Man
3. Yes! Yes! Yes!
4. Eurydices Fall
5. A Dirge
6. Underworld Motif: Strange High Pitched Noises
7. The String Room
8. Recovering Speech
9. Triskaideka Chords
10. The Book
11. Finding Purchase
12. Eurydice in the Stars
13. Orpheus at the Gates
14. The Walk
15. Underworld Montage
16. E-U-R-Y-D-I-C-E

R E V I E W:

Toby Twining is a genuine American original. Like many composers of his generation who emerged in the late 20th century, he was classically trained in contemporary techniques and incorporated them in music also influenced by jazz and rock, but he works almost exclusively with voices and is one of the few composers (along with Meredith Monk) who has developed a uniquely individual approach to vocal minimalism and post-minimalism. He studied with Ben Johnston, who had worked with Harry Partch, and much of Twining's work incorporates Partch's principles of microtonal tunings. He also employs an inventive and colorful variety of non-traditional vocal sounds, some taken from other cultures. He puts all this together with melodies and harmonies of exceptional sweetness (and sometimes exceptional strangeness) to create a sound that is not like any other. Using a vocal quintet, here augmented with a cello, Twining creates incidental music for Eurydice, a modern re-telling of the Orpheus legend by playwright Sarah Ruhl. It's a little hard to imagine how music of this distinctiveness wouldn't draw all attention away from what was going on on-stage, but it's a fabulous, mysterious aural experience. Twining and his virtuosic performers sing and play with remarkable precision, sometimes projecting enormous power and sometimes diaphanous fragility. The sound is very clean, nicely atmospheric, and realistically present. The music has such immediate appeal and is so emotionally expressive that the album can be appreciated by traditional listeners willing to dip their toes into music from off the beaten path, as well as die-hard fans of the avant-garde. Highly recommended.

-- Stephen Eddins, Allmusic.com
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Works on This Recording

Eurydice by Toby Twining
Performer:  Floreta Shapiro (Cello), Eric S. Brenner (Countertenor), Liz Filos (Alto),
Mark Johnson (Bass), Toby Twining (Voice), Steven Bradshaw (Tenor)

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