Resurrection
TOD MACHOVER Resurrection TROY495-96 - Price: $33.98
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World premiere recording of this "milestone and noble achievement."

Here Albany Records is privileged to present the world premiere recording of this wonderful new opera by the American composer Tod Machover who was recently called brilliantly gifted by The New York Times and "America's most wired composer" by the Los Angeles Times. He is highly regarded for music that boldly breaks traditional artistic and cultural boundaries, offering a unique and innovative synthesis of acoustic and electronic sound, of symphony orchestras and interactive computers, of operatic arias and rock songs, and that consistently delivers serious and powerful messages in an accessible and immediate way. As Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic Lloyd Schwartz has written: "What's most exciting about Machover's pieces in general is how beautiful and moving they are, what lyrical and exotic melismas keep surfacing (and how scintillatingly they contrast with the shattering electronic textures), how dramatically they build, how they haven't a dull moment, and what magnificent opportunities for performers they provide." Machover has composed five operas in quite diverse forms, from the science fiction VALIS, commissioned for the tenth anniversary of Paris' Centre Pompidou, to the walk-through Meteorite, permanently installed in Essen, Germany since 1998. His celebrated audience-interactive Brain Opera was the hit of the 1996 Lincoln Center Festival, and is now permanently installed at the House of Music in Vienna. Resurrection received a new production at Boston Lyric Opera in 2001/2002. Machover is also noted for inventing new technology for music, especially his Hyperinstruments that use smart computers to augment musical expression and creativity for virtuosi, amateurs and children. The latest application of Machover's hyperinstruments is for the creation of Music Toys that will enable children to collaborate creatively with orchestras around the world in his Toy Symphony project, which premieres in Europe in Spring 2002 before traveling to the United States and Asia. Machover is currently working on new operas for the Opera of Monte-Carlo and New York City Opera. He was formerly Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM Institute in Paris. He received his degrees in musical composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions. Currently, Machover is Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Laboratory, head of the Lab's Opera of the Future group, and Director of its new Centre for Future Arts. He is also a Founding Member of MediaLabEurope in Dublin.
Contents:
Tod Machover, composer Resurection Houston Grand Opera, Patrick Summers, conductor
Review:
Editor's Choice

Resurrection, Tod Machover's stab at "traditional" opera, was a commission from Houston Grand Opera, where it had its world premiere, in 1999. Resurrection, with a clear-headed libretto by Laura Harrington, adapted from Tolstoy's last novel, has -- to the surprise of those who have followed Machover's career -- a realistic plot line, ensemble scenes, set pieces, archetypal operatic characters and a dramatically charged orchestra composed primarily of conventional instruments. Machover's irrepressible high-tech bent (he is professor of music and media at the MIT Media Laboratory and was formerly director of musical research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM institute) is evident in the use of three synthesizers in the pit to enhance the orchestration. While this is not so innovative as the program notes would have us believe (Broadway orchestrators have been doing much the same thing for nearly two decades), it seems to accomplish exactly what the composer intended; the blend is subtle, sophisticated and dramatically potent, while the overall sound remains primarily orchestral. In addition, Machover did the editing and re-mixing for this recording himself, adding further electronic enhancement in post-production. The result is impressive: sonics, instrumental clarity and theatrical impact are all at a very high level. Machover excels at using his electro-acoustic orchestral texture to depict internal and external states of disintegration, of which there are many in the story...Most importantly, the characters spring credibly to life as fully-fleshed humans whose complex evolutions we witness. By the time of the final duet, in which the two affirm the responsibility of individuals to bring change to the world, there is an unmistakable sense of long-term character development and epic sweep....The large, excellent cast, led by Scott Hendricks as Prince Nekhlyudov, Joyce DiDonato as Katerina and Raymond Very as Peter Simonson, the idealistic fellow prisoner she decides to stay with, transcend the multi-stylistic challenges of the virtuosic, melismatic vocal writing...Machover emerges as a composer with a mode of musical story-telling that is powerfully immediate, a worthy goal for any contemporary opera. --Opera News Online
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