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Del Tredici: Dracula & Alice / Plitmann, Et Al

Release Date: 04/29/2008 
Label:  Innova   Catalog #: 669   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  David Del Tredici
Performer:  Hila PlitmannDavid Del Tredici
Conductor:  David Del Tredici
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

DEL TREDICI Vintage Alice. Dracula • David Del Tredici, cond; Hila Plitmann (sop); Cleveland CS • INNOVA 669 (47:46 Text and Translation)

"It’s hard to realize that David Del Tredici turned 70 last year. A perennial “bad boy” of new music, he’s retained his edge, playfulness, and subversive combination of decadence and innocence...

Del Tredici had already gained notoriety as a trained serialist who threw it all away to embrace a lush, indulgent neo-Romantic language, and many have never forgiven him. But in retrospect it was absolutely the right move. For one thing, it was him, the music took on enormous honesty. And along with George Rochberg and William Bolcom, he helped to invent American musical
Read more postmodernism, which has never been as ironic and academic as its counterpart in the visual arts. Subversive always, but all three of these composers have never abandoned their hearts in order to write this music that reshuffles all the sources and questions our relation to them...

The Innova disc presents a pair of chronological bookends to Final Alice. Vintage Alice dates from 1972, and sets the famous Mad Hatter’s Tea Party scene (the title has nothing to do with Carroll, coming instead from the Paul Masson Winery’s commission)...

Dracula is from 1999, and sets a prose poem by Alfred Corn, “My Neighbor the Count,” which relates a tale of progressive seduction, debasement, and enslavement of the narrator by the eponymous vampire, all from her victim’s viewpoint. It has a brilliant, day-glow orchestration, cinematic in its high definition and bright colors. It uses the theremin near its conclusion as an aural symbol of the union between victim and oppressor. The piece is both funny and scary. Del Tredici treads a very narrow path here between camp and compassion, and for my money he pulls it off. Only the very ending feels a little unfulfilling after the long buildup, but it doesn’t fatally undercut the overall impact of the whole work.

Soprano Hila Plitmann is a knockout in both pieces. She’s a worthy successor to Hendricks. She has the sort of fluency of so many great young American singers nowadays, which allows her to switch effortlessly from speech to naturalist theatrical singing, to full operatic aria, to more experimental extended techniques. Her acting skills are extensive and often hilarious, as she deftly impersonates the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, and Count Dracula. There was a wonderful recording on the DG “20/21” series of Vintage Alice with Lucy Shelton, Oliver Knussen, and the ASKO Ensemble, but it’s already out of print, so Innova’s is now the work’s sole representative, and does have the advantage of the composer as conductor."

FANFARE: Robert Carl
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Works on This Recording

Vintage Alice by David Del Tredici
Performer:  Hila Plitmann (Soprano), David Del Tredici ()
Conductor:  David Del Tredici
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; USA 
Dracula by David Del Tredici
Performer:  Hila Plitmann (Soprano), David Del Tredici ()
Conductor:  David Del Tredici
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Chamber Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

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