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Louis Karchin: Orpheus, Etc / Infera, Karchin, Et Al


Release Date: 07/26/2005 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 770   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis KarchinDominic InferreraElizabeth FarnumPablo Rieppi,   ... 
Conductor:  Louis Karchin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Washington Square Contemporary Music Society
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews





One of the very first discs I ever reviewed for Fanfare was of music by Louis Karchin, which I liked very much. This disc of vocal music is rather more of a mixed bag, due in part to performance issues I will get to in a moment, but again he shows himself to be a particularly fine composer. This is, in effect, two separate recitals that have been interleaved on the disc: baritone Dominic Inferrera accompanied by the composer, either conducting or at the piano, and soprano Elizabeth Farnum accompanied by Stephen Gosling. In my earlier review, I suggested that Karchin had a lot in common with the ?tonal? serial Read more composer Argento and, to a lesser extent, Berg. This is still true and there has been no decrease in his acute ear for instrumental sonority. The major work is the masque, Orpheus , for baritone, chamber orchestra, and dancers, setting the poem, In the Dark House, by Stanley Kunitz. The masque tells the story of Eurydice?s flight from the unwelcome attentions of Aristeaus through the journey to and from Hades to Orpheus?s eventual death at the hands of the Thracian women and the reunion of the couple in death. The music, by turns anguished and mysterious, is quite remarkable, making one long to see as well as hear it.


Karchin?s music is not easy to sing and baritone Inferrera does a much better job of it than Ms. Farnum. He captures the wide range of expression Karchin demands of his singers, not least in the extended Orpheus. The soprano seems to have been caught on a bad day?given how well I have heard her sing in other music. This is a pity, since the bulk of the piano-accompanied songs she sings are all quite beautiful (the exception is Carmén de Boheme , which eludes me completely in its heavy handed, un-amusing humor). Karchin?s text setting is not especially ?natural? to the rise and fall of English, and the printed texts are pretty much a necessity throughout. If you can get around the soprano?s occasionally strident singing (her performances make up just under half the playing time), this is a fine recital of interesting music very much worth hearing. The recorded sound is excellent. Texts, translations where needed, and informative notes by the composer are included.


FANFARE: John Story
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Works on This Recording

1.
Memory by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Dominic Inferrera (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Mallarmé Poems (2) by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano), Louis Karchin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/12/2001 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 9 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: French 
3.
Carmen de Boheme by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano)
Written: 06/17/2003; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 5 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
To The Sun by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
Orpheus by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Pablo Rieppi (Percussion), Dominic Inferrera (Baritone), Jean Kopperud (Clarinet),
Jayn Rosenfeld (Flute), Curtis Macomber (Violin), Dorothy Lawson (Cello),
Stephen Gosling (Piano), Jennifer Hoult (Harp)
Conductor:  Louis Karchin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Washington Square Contemporary Music Society
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003; USA 
Venue:  Recital Hall, SUNY Purchase 
Length: 26 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Recital Hall, SUNY Purchase (07/01/2004 - 07/02/2004) 
6.
Meditation by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 5 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
My Children Grew by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano)
Written: 2000; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/12/2001 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Interlude by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Elizabeth Farnum (Soprano), Louis Karchin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Echoes by Louis Karchin
Performer:  Louis Karchin (Piano), Dominic Inferrera (Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/17/2003 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters,NYC 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: English 

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