C0163. GEORG SOLTI Cond. Chicago S.O., w.Barbara Hendricks: FINAL ALICE (David del Tredici). London LDR 71018. Long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“Just a few years ago, ’new music’ in New York meant fiercely austere, densely chromatic efforts by such composers as Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen and Elliott Carter. But now the pendulum seems to be swinging toward a more open, accessible yet experimental spirit. The experimenters are devising idioms that are generally consonant and often based on familiar ethnic or popular genres. Although no one style defines this new spirit, the very confusion of old categories has become a shared attribute of most of this new kind of new music, and a sign of its creative vitality.
David Del Tredici is a good place to begin, and not just because, improbably enough, his FINAL ALICE on London LDR 71018 topped the classical album sales charts recently. This is the best-known of his seemingly unstoppable series of pieces composed to ALICE IN WONDERLAND texts. And the idiom fits in here because it is such a deliberate rejection of his academic training, which was firmly in the older, more earnest Modernist idiom.
Mr. Del Tredici's ‘Alice’ pieces are as obsessive musically as his eternal returns to Lewis Carroll texts. The same tunes and tunefragments well up over and over; the same, static harmonies lock the music into a dance-like dream. Yet if one accepts this timeless world, the result is very beautiful, and remarkably varied in mood. Certainly this performance, with Barbara Hendricks as an equally convincing narrator and singer and fine work from Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony, all in opulent digital sound, is a stirring success.”
- John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 Nov., 1981
“With the end of the war Solti was appointed musical director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1946. In normal circumstances this prestigious post would have been an unthinkable appointment for a young and inexperienced conductor, but the leading German conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Clemens Krauss and Herbert von Karajan were prohibited from conducting pending the conclusion of denazification proceedings against them. Under Solti's direction, the company rebuilt its repertoire and began to recover its pre-war eminence. He benefited from the encouragement of the elderly Richard Strauss, in whose presence he conducted DER ROSENKAVALIER. In 1961 he became musical director of the Covent Garden Opera Company, London. During his ten-year tenure, he introduced changes that raised standards to the highest international levels. Under his musical directorship the status of the company was recognised with the grant of the title ‘the Royal Opera’.”
- Zillah D. Akron