Today's Classical Music Video

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Honour Del Tredici

Those of us who are old enough remember well how impressed we were to discover David Del Tredici's Final Alice in the 1970s. This was an unashamedly tonal piece on a grand scale that gave us new insight into a children's classic. There was a fine recording made by Barbara Hendricks with Solti and the Chicago Symphony in 1979 that quickly made its way to the LP drop out bins in record stores and was never issued on CD. The piece all but disappeared. But very recently, on the occasion of the composer's 75th birthday, it has resurfaced. Soprano Hila Plitmann, Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony gave a wonderful performance of it that deserves a recording and may well get it.

From that performance Final Alice given in Detroit on March 3, 2012 here is the final section, the Acrostic Song. The Acrostic Song really makes more sense to read than to hear: the first letters of each line of the poem spell out the name of the real-life Alice, ALICE PLEASANCE LIDELL.

The piece ends with what is, in effect, the composer's signature in words and music. The soloist counts up to thirteen in Italian. Thirteen is the composer's name: Tredici.

- Paul E. Robinson

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