26 January 2005

References: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Whilst working through a transcription of one of the arias in this Nyman chamber opera, I found these sites:

  • The Nyman Bug by Grant Chu Covell.
  • A collection of short paragraphs on possibly every Nyman recording published with some interesting background on the composer. Only comments on the Sacks opera with regard to the movie [IMDB]. Sounds horrible.

  • Music score from Chester-Novello publishing.
  • andante's review of a performance of the opera presented to the World Congress of Neurology.
  • The performance obviously went a little wrong: Was Dr. S tapping the wrong joints as he tested the reflexes of the unfortunate Dr. P? I wouldn't know, but the German neurologist to my right was snickering behind her programme and she was not the only one. Medical accuracy in performance aside, the author criticises the work for its narrow range of emotional expression:

    And as Hugaas sang "Ich grolle nicht" and quoted "Auf einer Burg," it was diffcult to resist the impulse to leave the theatre and head for the nearest recital of Dichterliebe or Liederkreis. If that's the point — if Nyman is comparing agnosia to a world without musical beauty or emotional variety — it's a very, very risky gambit.

    Condemning the Nyman work for its Schumann quotations is like condemning Zorn for his trespasses into Mozartean sonorism in between the atonal noise. The quotes are used functionally (the character portrayed is actually a singer) and dramatically ("Ich grolle nicht" is about a person who is suffering greatly but who "won't complain"--an obvious parallel to the patient).

  • A biography and discography from autumnleaf.
[ posted by sstrader on 26 January 2005 at 11:06:57 PM in Music ]