David Del Tredici: An Alice Symphony
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR688     Release Date: 2007-01-01

In 1968 David Del Tredici seriously encountered the work of Lewis Carroll, and between that year and 1985 virtually all of his compositions were based in one way or another on the two books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass or on other related Carroll material or ideas developed from them. The history of music scarcely shows another example of near-obsession with a single body of source material to compare with Del Tredici's Alice works, unless we except Wagner's quarter-century obsession with the Nordic myths that form the basis for the Ring. But Del Tredici was not simply dramatizing the two books, so often (and so incorrectly) categorized—dismissively as "childrens stories". And he was not turning his fascination into a single gigantic work (as did Wagner in his tetralogy). Rather he kept coming back to Alice in fresh and different ways, sometimes approaching the material quite obliquely. Each time he returned, he was a different composer than before.

Del Tredici's fascination with Alice has been much discussed, not always in a fully-informed way. It is easy, for example, to get the impression that all of the Alice works are pretty much alike— that, if you've heard one, you've heard them all. This is not at all the case. Despite the composer's own statement that he couldn't imagine setting a Carroll text to dissonant music, and that he had to start thinking about tonality again, the earlier parts of the Alice cycle—and certainly much of An Alice Symphony—are still complex and dissonant in approach. It is as the series progresses that tonal style becomes more evident (though complexities of other kinds appear). Thus, the entire cycle can be seen (to borrow the title of one of Del Tredici's own non-Alice works) as a "march to tonality."

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Phyllis Bryn-Julson

David Del Tredici: An Alice Symphony

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

An Alice Symphony: I. Speak Roughly / Speak Gently
David Del Tredici
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An Alice Symphony: II. The Lobster Quadrille
David Del Tredici
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An Alice Symphony: III. 'Tis The Voice of The Sluggard
David Del Tredici
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An Alice Symphony: IV. Who Stole The Tarts? Dream - Conclusion
David Del Tredici
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