DANIEL PINKHAM (b.1923): The Cask of Amontillado, Garden Party.
Catalogue Number: 01J080
Reference: CD 151
Description: These contrasting one-act chamber operas are in the nature of engaging divertissements; musically sophisticated, they suggest a kind of educated, academic theatrical fun, especially Garden Party. This is a retelling of the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden as though performed by a group of house-guests in a short story by Saki. Cask is Poe's little revenge vignette, succinctly told almost entirely in dialogue between the two characters. The clear and uncluttered music is somewhat in the mold of Menotti, here and there of Rorem, with occasional ironic nods toward Romantic operatic traditions. Both works present their subjects and narrative plainly, with an absence of Grand Guignol exaggeration of the understated horrific implications of the story in Cask, and appropriately mannered humor in Garden. Good clean fun. Libretti included. Richard Conrad (baritone), Alan Schneider, Joe Dan Harper (tenors), Emily Browder (soprano), Chorus and Orchestra of the Boston Academy of Music; John Finney.