OLIVER KNUSSEN (b.1952): Where the Wild Things Are.
Catalogue Number: 12S092
Reference: DKP(CD) 90844
Format: CD reissue
Description: Knussen's hugely appealing 'fantasy opera' in collaboration with Maurice Sendak after the latter's much-loved children's book, was one of his most important works of the 1980s. By this time, after his precociously early start, the composer was well versed in the creation of intricate scores of exemplary clarity and vitality. In consideration of its subject matter, though, this is one of his most instantly accessible scores. Sendak's story book deals with the limitless inventiveness of a child's imagination, complete with its evanescent terrors and free associations (he admitted that the Wild Things were caricatures of family members who visited his childhood home). Knussen's witty, effervescent score, with its hilarious musically punning references to Ravel, Debussy, Britten, Mussorgsky and others is a delight, matching the zany innocence of the original book. Libretto included. Rosemary Hardy (soprano), Mary King (mezzo), Hugh Heatherington (tenor), Stephen Richardson (baritone), London Sinfonietta; Oliver Knussen. Original 1985 release.