The Peculiar Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes by Libby Larsen

Kultura weekly • issue 37 (2655) (Nov. 4, 2011)
From a review of the 2011 AmBul Festiva
l by Natalia Ilieva

The concert Vocal Visions fueled the optimistic conviction that the art song is alive and well, that it is meaningful, that it is being created and performed with love and talent.

This cycle [by Ruth Crawford-Seeger], as well as the final, extraordinarily interesting work – The Peculiar Case of Dr. Holmes by Libby Larsen – were performed by the brilliant baritone Aaron Engebreth with pianist Alison d’Amato. Both are wonderful musicians, dedicated to solo instrumental performance, and founders of organizations that promote this art. Engebreth “acts out” the miniature musical form with artistry and musicality. The Libby Larsen work is written in a form, unusual for chamber music as we generally understand it [here]: it is a self-styled musical thriller, autobiographical, as told by one of the most sinister serial killers of the 19th century. The music is colorful, with well-known popular genres of that time emphasizing the grotesque and horrible. The development of this type of form to a great extent popularizes the genre [of the chamber song], making it more engaging, giving it a plot (different from the poetic line of Romantic song cycles, for example). At the same time, as the Florestan performers point out, a purely theatrical idea can thus be worked out with considerably less expense than in “real” musical theatre.

Култура - Брой 37 (2655), 04 ноември 2011
С Ам Бъл казано…

Този концерт внушава оптимистичното убеждение, че художествената песен е жива, че има смисъл, че се прави и изпълнява с любов и талант.

Този цикъл, както и последвалата изключително интересна творба – „Странният случай на д-р Холмс” от Либи Ларсен, изпълни блестящият баритон Арън Енгебрет с пианистката Алисън д,Амато. Двамата са прекрасни музиканти, отдадени на соловото изпълнителско изкуство, основатели и съоснователи на институциите, занимаващи се с това. Артистичен и музикален, Енгебрет „изиграва” малката вокална форма. Творбата на Либи Ларсен е написана във форма, необичайна за нашите представи за вокално камерно музициране:

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