John Eaton: Danton and Robespierre
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL421     Release Date: 2011-04-15

Drunk                                    William Percher
Fish Wife                              Debra Dominiak
Baker's Wife                         Diane Coloton
Prostitute                             Paula Redd
Danton                                 James Anderson
Robespierre                         Tim Noble
Couthon                               Randy Hansen
St. Just                                 Kevin Langan
Louise (Danton)                   Mary Shearer
Gabrielle Danton                 Nelda Nelson
Camille Desmoulins            Gran Wilson
Lucille Desmoulins              Edith Vanerette
Tallien                                   Raul Mattei

Thomas Baldner, conductor; chorus masters: Alan Harter, Jan Harrington, Lawrence Weller; associate conductor (musical preparation): Richard Duncan

For years I have been fascinated by and devoted to the development of a richer yet simpler music based on notes (pitches) other than those found on the piano keyboard. The possibilities of expressing psychological nuance and dramatic movement are enormously expanded by singing and playing notes that lie between the white and black keys. This should not be thought of as theoretical or artificial — on the contrary, every performer of folk and vernacular music in the world (including jazz, bluegrass, and other musics of our own culture) uses such subtle inflections and nuances constantly and naturally.

How does one use these microtonal materials within the musical mechanism of our own Western formal (classic) music? My solution is to divide woodwinds, brasses, and pianos into A and B groups: the A group is tuned normally; the B, a quarter-tone lower — approximately one-half the distance between neighboring notes on a piano keyboard. These pitches are not rigidly fixed, however. From the quarter-tone positions players on woodwind and brass instruments can adjust their notes slightly, while singers and players on stringed instrumentsneed only fix the position of the accurate quarter tones as a compass point to chart their journey into the rejuvenating regions of microtonal melody. The turning of the three harps divides the distance between neighboring piano notes into three parts: one sounds normally, the second a sixth of a tone higher, the third a sixth of a tone lower...

—notes by John Eaton


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Indiana University Opera Theater

John Eaton: Danton and Robespierre

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
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Danton and Robespierre: Prologue
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Danton and Robespierre: Act I, Scene 1
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Danton and Robespierre: Act I, Scene 2
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Danton and Robespierre: Act I, Scene 3
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Danton and Robespierre: Act II, Scene 1
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Danton and Robespierre: Act II, Scene 2
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Danton and Robespierre: Act II, Scene 3
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 1
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 2
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 3
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 4
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 5
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 6
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Danton and Robespierre: Act III, Scene 7
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