'Pierrot Lunair'

Sprechstimme, a speaking-singing hybrid that gained credence with Arnold Schoenberg's premiere of Pierrot Lunaire in 1912, was employed by Alban Berg in Wozzeck and Lulu in the '20s and '30s, reinterpreted by William Shatner in the '70s, and appropriated last year by Lou Reed and Metallica in their own idiosyncratic take on Lulu. But cherry picking this lineage is damning with faint praise. Schoenberg's atonal 21-part song cycle of adolescent angst, experience, and rebirth is just as mystifying as it was 100 years ago. The world premiere of Jenny Olivia Johnson's Pierrot-inspired After School Vespers (Solemn) should make for a haunting companion piece. LEVY
Wed., Feb. 15, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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