Personnel: Elizabeth Futral (soprano); Melvin Chen (piano).
Audio Mixer: Joel Moss .
Liner Note Authors: Joel Moss ; Ricky Ian Gordon .
Recording information: Right Track Studio A509, New York, NY.
Editor: Joel Moss .
Photographer: Terri-Lynn Pellegri.
Opera soprano Elizabeth Futral, clarinetist Todd Palmer (who commissioned the piece), and pianist Melvin Chen (along with a small dance troupe) performed composer Ricky Ian Gordon's song cycle Orpheus & Euridice as part of the American Songbook and New Visions series at the Rose Theater in New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in October 2006. It turns out that was more than five months after they had recorded the work for this release. As his inspiration for writing a composition based on the Greek myth, Gordon cites personal experience: "In 1995, my partner at the time, Jeffrey Grossi, started to become very ill." Thus was born a reflection on love, death, and art that turns out to be simple, but effective. The tale of Orpheus' love of Euridice, her death, and his attempt to reclaim her in Hades is told in the lyrics, but this is really a trio performance by Futral and the two instrumentalists. All three are given music that tests the ranges of their instruments, despite this being an essentially austere piece. Although it has been staged, Gordon's Orpheus & Euridice is a work for the recital hall, not the musical theater, and should be classified as classical music. ~ William Ruhlmann
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