The Death of Webern
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Michael Dellaira adds another wonderful opera to his discography.

It is the obsession of musicologist Hans Moldenhauer to uncover the truth in the killing of Anton Webern by American soldiers in 1945 that drives The Death of Webern, the second collaboration between composer Michael Dellaira and librettist J.D. McClatchy. Webern's brief, luminous compositions altered the course of 20th century music and Dellaira's score contains some wonderful moments of homage as well as moments when Dellaira's writing approaches a Webern-like aesthetic. Dellaira, however, is not beholden to a single style -- he veers seamlessly from dodecaphony to lyrical tonality, from severity to wistfulness and nostalgia, from a passage of lovely Bach-like polyphony to lines reminiscent of 20th century minimalism. Michael Dellaira's other operas include The Secret Agent, which won the Armel International Opera Festival's Laureat. Chéri was a finalist for the American Academy of Arts & Letters Richard Rodgers Award and his monodrama Maud was awarded an ASCAP Morton Gould Award. This world premiere recording is performed by a cast and chamber orchestra from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, conducted by Alan Johnson.
Michael Dellaira, composer
The Death of Webern
Kevin Short; Eric McConnell; Chris O'Connor; Tony Boutté Zaray Rodriguez; Mia Rojas; Ana Collado; Adam Cahill; Mario Almonte; Jeffrey Williams; Maria Fenty Denison; Carl DuPont; Esther Jane Hardenbergh; Frost School of Music Chamber Orchestra; Alan Johnson, conductor

Opera News: Five Best New Works for 2016

" Expressive, intelligent, and superbly performed and recorded, this is the finest recent opera to have come my way in a long time." (Fanfare)

"Composer Michael Dellaira and librettist J.D. McClatchy's vital new opera The Death of Webern is compelling in multiple ways: it's a gripping investigation, detective-thriller style, into the random, tragic circumstances of the influential Viennese composer's death in 1945, as well as a subtle manifesto on the importance and inevitability of his music…in the centerpiece scene, McClatchy's thoughtful, eloquent libretto, in combination with Dellaira's austere yet expressive music, allows Webern to make the best case I've ever heard for the importance of the "brutal, illogical, strange" new music of the Second Viennese School…The Death of Webern is a striking example of how to write an illuminating opera about a famous composer without merely appropriating that composer's music." (Critic's Choice, Opera News)
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