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Friday, February 17, 2012

William Vollinger, Raspberry Man

Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" brought the art of sprechstimme into the vocabulary of new music. Speech-song stays with us in various ways. One highly idiomatic and funny way is with William Vollinger's Raspberry Man (Navona 5857), a short ten minute, two work single CD.

The title work is a chamber piece for small group and singer-recitator. The composer does the vocal part; the Juventas Ensemble takes on the instrumental parts. "Raspberry Man" is a wryly funny sung-spoken story that skillfully combines modern chamber music compositional style with an amusing story about a fellow who stood outside Jack Dempsey's Restaurant in Manhattan and gave passers-by the raspberrys.

The second short piece, "Emmanuel Changed" has a similar trajectory.

It's interesting, funny, well performed and well written music with a definite twist.

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