DAVID DEL TREDICI (b.1937): Magyar Madness for Clarinet and String Quartet (David Krakauer [clarinet], Orion String Quartet, A Field Manual for Soprano, Baritone and Ensemble (Texts included. Courtenay Budd [soprano], Michael Kelly [baritone], Fireworks Ensemble; Steven Mercurio).
Catalogue Number: 05R067
Label: E1 Entertainment
Description: The clarinet quintet, in del Tredici's familiar neo-romantic, readily appealing style, is packed with puns, both musical and descriptive, starting with the title's allusion to David Krakauer's ensemble 'Klezmer Madness'. The first movement 'Passionate Knights' contains punning references to works of the classical and romantic era, the second sounds like a sweetly sentimental, lyrical song - until you find out the title of the song of which it is a transcription. The last movement is a high-spirited romp around Hungarian clichés in music, a piece of musical stand-up comedy with every punchline perfectly delivered. It's not just fun and games; the craftsmanship is impeccable, the music thoroughly enjoyable. A Field Manual - setting risqué poems by Ed Field (see what he did there? Nudge nudge, wink wink.), continues in similar vein, amplified by the ebullient, sometimes downright outrageous texts. Again, the execution of these delightful little vignettes is pitch-perfect, the blend of allusions, references to popular styles and cunningly incongruous quotations from well-known works matching the verbal pyrotechnics of the poems.