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Tredici: Final Alice Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 24, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Composed in the l980's, this is a refreshingly accessible major composition. The performance is magnificent, with Barbara Hendricks reading and singing the text adapted from the work of Lewis Carroll. The great Georg Solti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for which the work was comissioned) rousingly, and the sound is first-rate.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Final Alice
  2. Final Alice
  3. Final Alice
  4. Final Alice
  5. Final Alice
  6. Final Alice
  7. Final Alice
  8. Final Alice


Product Details

  • Performer: Barbara Hendricks
  • Orchestra: Chicago Sym Orch
  • Conductor: Georg Solti
  • Composer: David Del Tredici
  • Audio CD (March 24, 2008)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Eloquence Australia
  • ASIN: B0015U0OO6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,270 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Brody VINE VOICE on June 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
ONE. This movement begins with a vocal recitative, where one by one, instruments begin playing one note in unison, much like the ritual of tuning up to the oboe's A note. First, there is a single wind instrument, then the strings join in. By the time 2 min have passed, the pace has stepped up, and we are treated to a simple ascending motif, where the motif is decorated with chirping flutes. At 3 min, the vocal recitative is replaced by singing. At 3 min and 12 seconds, the "main theme" presents itself, only to emerge again and again in various forms throughout the symphony.

TWO. This movement begins with a vocal recitative, "Consider your verdict, the king said to the jury." A theremin, wind sounds, and percussion, decorate an episode lasting from 1 min to 2 min into this movement. The recitative gets a bit frantic, sounding like a frightened little girl.

THREE. "There was silence in the court as the rabbit read these verses," recites the singer. This is followed by an operatic episode, accompanied by an accordian. At 90 seconds into the movement, is a loud instrumental part, with blasting trumpets, with theremin joining in at 2 min, and singing beginning at 2 ½ min. At 3 min and 20 seconds, we are treated to a quiet episode with singing, accordian, and guitar. But at 3 min, 40 seconds, there is a 20-second long brassy blasting episode. At 5 ½ min, begins a 30-second loud orchestral sequence that cuts loose. It cuts loose like the final movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Then, at 6 min, the singer recites, "Silence in the court, cried out the white rabbit." What follows sounds like Carl Stalling's cartoon music.

FOUR. This starts with a 30-second aria sounding like scales (exercise scales, warming up scales).
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I was fortunate to hear Eugene Ormandy conduct Barbara Hendricks and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the premier of Final Alice; since the work was commissioned by St Louis, Chicago, and Philadelphia, each had its own premier. I was even more fortunate to hear Leonard Slatkin conduct Hila Pittman and the NSO perform Final Alice 20 years later. If I remember the liner notes correctly, Final Alice had not been performed during the intervening 20 years. If anything the Slatkin/NSO/Pittman performance eclipsed the original. Nevertheless, the CD captures every bit of the drama and expanse and artistic demands of this fantastic work.
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Composed in the l980's, this is a refreshingly accessible major composition. The performance is magnificent, with Barbara Hendricks reading and singing the text adapted from the work of Lewis Carroll. The great Georg Solti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (for which the work was comissioned) rousingly, and the sound is first-rate.
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An important 20th century work - MAJOR - Why it is not more well known must be because of the incrediblle demands on the artists. Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra meet Del Tredici's demands with ease, but the absolute "stunner" is Barbara Hendricks! I believe that this terrifically demanding and difficult work is "hers" alone, for I cannot think of another artist that could survive a live performance (which I've heard in two concert broadcasts and saw on a PBS Special years ago).This work is nothing less than a MASTERPIECE! The recording is superb and will make real demands on just about any sound system. Thankfully it's finally available on CD. Before it vanishes, GET THIS WONDERFUL RECORDING NOW.
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This is a really great work composed at a time where all too much of the classical music written ranged from very mediocre to bloody awful. In it Del Tredici broke free of the stranglehold that the atonal hegemony had on classical music at that time and wrote something truly original.
The work contains an optimal mix of consonant and dissonant music, with the balance weighted toward consonance. Dissonance is to music what salt and pepper are to food. A moderate amount of it adds spice and flavor, but more than a moderate amount makes the food taste bad. And he got the mixture right.
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I was at the world premiere of this work, and it blew me away. Barbara Hendricks gave a tour de force performance! Solti and the CSO never sounded better (or louder) or more tender. I cried.
I had the LP version as soon as London Records released it, but it never came out on CD. NOW you can have it, and it is worth every penny. Del Tredici's last name means 13 in Italian, and at the very end, Hendricks counts in Italian from 1 (uno) to thirteen tredici. At one point, she even has to shout through a bull horn. Yet, the music contains lullabies of such tenderness as to make one cry. All based on The Queen of Hearts episode of Alice. Five BIG stars. Sound is spectacular!
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