The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1448 Monday, 19 July 2004
Date: Monday, July 19, 2004
Subject: Elvis Costello's "Il Sogno"
Elvis Costello The Classicist: His Aim Is True
By Terry Teachout
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, July 19, 2004; Page C01
NEW YORK -- Rock legend Elvis Costello has been flirting avidly with
classical music in recent years, collaborating with Anne Sofie von Otter
and the Brodsky Quartet to striking effect. Now he's pulled a much
bigger rabbit out of his seemingly bottomless hat: "Il Sogno," an
hour-long ballet score for symphony orchestra.
Based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Il Sogno" was
composed in 2000 for Aterballeto, an Italian dance troupe, and received
its North American premiere on Saturday at Avery Fisher Hall as part of
the Lincoln Center Festival. (A recording will be released by DGG in
September.) Not only did Costello write it without assistance, he
orchestrated it as well, and though the Brooklyn Philharmonic, conducted
by Brad Lubman, was conspicuously underrehearsed, the performance was
decent enough to leave no doubt that Costello knows what he's doing. The
scoring isn't perfect -- the middle register is cluttered and
thick-sounding at times, and the vibraphone is used to sugary excess --
but it's perfectly competent.
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