Roger Marsh: Albert Giraud's Pierrot Lunaire
The Hilliard Ensemble : discography


NMC Recordings NMC D127

Playing time: 107'04

Recorded at the National Centre for Early Music, York, and at the Music Research Centre (mrc), University of York, between December 2005 and August 2006, except Valse de Chopin, recorded in 2002 by Paul Jones

www.nmcrec.co.uk



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Roger Marsh: Albert Giraud's Pierrot Lunaire

The Hilliard Ensemble / Red Byrd / Juice / Ebor Singers / Linda Hirst / Joe Marsh


Contents:

CD 1
 1.  Théâtre: Giraud introduces his imagined theatre 
Hilliard Ensemble
[1:52] 
 2.  Décor: Breughel’s purple and gold birds 
Ebor
[1:22] 
 3.  Pierrot Dandy: making up his face with moon make-up 
Red Byrd • Juice
[1:29] 
 4.  Déconvenue: some disappointed dinner guests 
Ebor
[1:27] 
 5.  Lune au Lavoir: the moon is a pale washergirl 
Anna Maria Friman, soprano • John Potter, tenor
[2:43] 
 6.  La Serenade de Pierrot: he plays on Cassander like a bass viol 
Richard Wistreich, bass • Juice
[1:18] 
 7.  Cuisine Lyrique: Pierrot cooks a moon omelette 
Ebor
[1:47] 
 8.  Arlequinade: Harlequin’s fashion show 
Juice • Omar Sharhyar, beatbox
[1:53] 
 9.  Pierrot Polaire: Pierrot waving at himself in the icy moonlight 
Hilliard Ensemble
[2:53] 
 10.  A Colombine: Pierrot longs for her 
Red Byrd
[1:60] 
 11.  Arlequin: Harlequin has designs on her too — and will pay 
Red Byrd
[1:23] 
 12.  Les Nuages: clouds like fish 
Ebor
[2:09] 
 13.  A mon cousin de Bergame: Giraud is like Pierrot 
Hilliard Ensemble
[2:09] 
 14.  Pierrot voleur: stealing red rubies 
Red Byrd
[1:27] 
 15.  Spleen: Pierrot is bored, and it’s raining 
Juice
[3:20] 
 16.  Ivresse de Lune: and he’s drunk on moon wine 
Red Byrd
[2:05] 
 17.  La Chanson de la Potence: the gallows will be his last lover... 
Red Byrd
[1:36] 
 18.  Suicide: hung over — end it all 
Linda Hirst
[2:36] 
 19.  Papillons noirs: black butterflies of despair 
Ebor
[2:50] 
 20.  Coucher de soleil: sunset and slit wrists 
Juice
[0:56] 
 21.  Lune malade: paying last respects to the dying moon 
Ebor
[8:33] 
 22.  Absinthe: drowning in a sea of it 
Ebor
[2:14] 

CD 2
 1.  Mendiante de Têtes: an old lady executioner 
Ebor
[1:34] 
 2.  Décollation: the moon decapitates Pierrot 
Juice • Naomi Morse, violin • Tim Smedley, cello
[3:12] 
 3.  Rouge et Blanc: and his bloody tongue sticks out 
Ebor • Juice
[1:43] 
 4.  Valse de Chopin: a consumptive Waltz 
Matthew Collins, Junko Matsuda, Simon Green, Alex Shepherd, piano
[2:02] 
 5.  L’Église: to church for atonement 
Juice • Matthew Collins, organ
[3:39] 
 6.  Évocation: the Blessed Madonna of Hysteria 
Ebor • Matthew Long, tenor
[2:27] 
 7.  Messe Rouge: Pierrot-priest offers his heart 
Juice • Matthew Collins, organ
[2:14] 
 8.  Les Croix: poets bleed on the cross of poetry 
Ebor • Matthew Long, Chris O’Gorman, tenors
[2:19] 
 9.  Supplique: the spring of laughter is broken 
Linda Hirst
[1:57] 
 10.  Violon de Lune: moonlight serenade 
Juice • Christian Mason, violin
[2:46] 
 11.  Les Cigognes: melancholy storks at dusk 
Ebor
[1:49] 
 12.  Nostalgie: Pierrot longs for the old days... 
Ebor
[1:51] 
 13.  Parfums de Bergame: ... back in Bergamo where it all started 
Ebor • Matthew Long, tenor
[1:19] 
 14.  Départ de Pierrot: and he sets sail for home, in a lily boat 
Ebor
[2:33] 
 15.  Pantomime: some commedia dell’arte slapstick 
Red Byrd • Juice • Anna Myatt,soprano
[1:18] 
 16.  Brosseur de Lune: Pierrot on the town is bothered by a spot... 
Red Byrd • Juice
[1:48] 
 17.  L’Alphabet: Giraud’s coloured alphabet book 
Ebor • Juice • Omar Sharhyar, beatbox
[1:56] 
 18.  Blancheurs sacrées: but Pierrot is white 
Red Byrd
[2:01] 
 19.  Poussière rose: pink dust, Cassander and Cimarosa 
Ebor
[1:23] 
 20.  Parodie: the old Duenna yearns for Pierrot 
Red Byrd • Juice • Anna Myatt, soprano
[1:21] 
 21.  Lune moqueuse: poor old Cassander is sprayed by a unicorn 
Red Byrd • Anna Maria Friman, soprano
[1:18] 
 22.  La Lanterne: Pierrot walks the streets with a lantern 
Ebor • Helena Daffern, soprano
[1:25] 
 23.  Pierrot cruel: poor old Cassander…and a cranium driller 
Red Byrd • Juice • Anna Myatt, soprano
[1:40] 
 24.  Décor: the sun, a pink egg, shattered by blackbirds 
Ebor
[2:02] 
 25.  Le Miroir: back to Pierrot’s boudoir 
Red Byrd • Juice
[1:26] 
 26.  Souper sur l’eau: Commedia characters re-united 
Ebor
[3:51] 
 27.  L’Escalier: Pierrot prostrated on the marble stairs 
Ebor
[1:56] 
 28.  Cristal de Bohême: moon in a bottle: Giraud and Pierrot 
Ebor
[2:14] 


Performers:

The Hilliard Ensemble
Red Byrd
Juice
Ebor Singers &
Paul Gameson director
Linda Hirst mezzo-soprano
Joe Marsh Giraud (narrator)


Description:

Roger Marsh, long fascinated by the poems which Schoenberg set for his Pierrot Lunaire, has completed a setting of Albert Giraud’s brilliant and allusive original texts, ignored by Schoenberg commentators over the years.
Marsh’s settings use both the original French and a new English translation specially commissioned from Kay Bourlier — sometimes simultaneously — and feature solo voice, choirs, a human beatbox and a narrator in the role of the poet himself.

This recording, supervised by the composer, features early music stars The Hilliard Ensemble and Red Byrd, together with the exciting new vocal trio Juice and the Ebor Singers; also on this disc is the vocalist Linda Hirst, whose work has ranged from early music with John Eliot Gardiner to contemporary performance with Electric Phoenix.



Reviews:

"The sequence is wonderfully varied... Perspectives constantly change; it's diverting and surprising, worlds away from Schoenberg's overpowering work yet still mysteriously close to the essence of Giraud's unique imagination."
The Guardian



Photo:

The Hilliard Ensemble

The Hilliard Ensemble recording Pierrot Lunaire at the National Centre for Early Music, York. (Photo by Roger Marsh)