Eric Salzman: Composer, Author, Music Theater Innovator

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New Releasings

Labor Records in collaboration with Naxos is releasing a series of recordings of my work covering more than half a century! The most recent release is "Jukebox in the Tavern of Love" paired with a new work by Meredith Monk. "The Nude Paper Sermon" and "Wiretap" is a double album containing no fewer than five works; see below for details. "Civilization & its Discontents" is a words-and-music collaboration with Michael Sahl. More information, reviews and ordering (physical or digital editions) is available below or by going to Labor Records.

Jukebox in the Tavern of Love Nude Paper Sermon - Wiretap Civilization Discontents

American Premiere of Cassandra:

On November 2nd, 2016, the Center for Contemporary Opera presented the final event of its fall festival: a program of Eric Salzman’s vocal music including the American premiere of “Cassandra Ground Zero” with a libretto by his poet/librettist daughter, Eva Salzman. The work was performed by Kristin Norderval, the Norwgian-American soprano for whom it was written. Ms Norderval, who accompanies herself on piano and with live computer processing of her voice, premiered the work at the Ultima Thule and NewOp Festivals in 2001 in Oslo, Norway, and subsequently performed it in Vienna, Austria, and in Germany. This is a modern version of the Cassandra myth which takes place on a Greek island just before Cassandra goes into Agamemnon’s palace where she foresees that she will be killed. Cassandra has the gift of prophecy but, because she rejected Apollo’s advances, he cursed her so that she would never be believed. The performance was at the Cell Theater which co-produced the evening; it was stage directed by Kira Simring, the artistic director of the theater. The program also included several sets of songs by Salzman including his Walt Whitman setting “On the Beach at Night” and “A Meredith Bestiary”, poems by William Meredith, both sung by Jessica Fishenfeld, soprano, with Eric Sedgwick, piano, and “Speaking of Love” a set of e e cummings love poetry performed by Scott Joiner, tenor, with Eric Sedgwick. An added feature was a short film, “Connection Lost: A Tinder Opera” by Adam Taylor with music by Scott Joiner who was also featured in the film and who generously credits Salzman with some of the inspiration for the film.

Date Posted // November 21, 2016
In Categories // Cassandra, Events, Music Theater, News

a recent post from Scott Joiner about digitizing my tape archive

“Some very exciting news! Work has begun with Mark Berger at Dreamhire to digitize many hours of reel-to-reel recordings from the “vaults,” including several performances of Eric’s works thought to be lost. We will be sharing this music with you throughout the year. Stay tuned for performances from the BBC Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Dennis Russel Davies, Pierre Boulez, legendary harpsichordist Igor Kipnis, opera star Alan Titus and many more…” Scott Joiner

Date Posted // March 05, 2015
In Categories // News

recent review of Jukebox from Cadence Magazine

“Fans of contemporary and early vocal music are well-served on the most recent release by the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble. They feature two recent pieces: Meredith Monk’s “Basket Rondo” and Eric Salzman’s “Jukebox In The Tavern Of Love”….

Salzman’s piece is subtitled “A Madrigal Comedy” perhaps inaugurating a new genre. It surely is unique. It involves six characters (an Italian-American bartender, a nun, a Broadway dancer, an Orthodox Rabbi, and Irish poet and a utility worker) who meet in a bar in New York City during a summer blackout. With the ethnicity factor, it sounds like a bad joke is about to be sprung (did you hear the one about…) but the ethnicity is actually deftly handled as each singer reveals her/his character and story. The libretto is by Valeria Vasilevski and the comedy can be mildly funny as when the chorus sings about “romping with my baby” while the dancer shouts out tap dance steps….But what makes this worth hearing is the ensemble’s execution of the material. There are some interesting interludes with multi-part madrigal harmony and counterpoint. The ensemble blends beautifully and the writing is quite good. It’s an unusual piece, to be sure and worth hearing, especially by those with a taste for contemporary vocalizing.

–Robert Iannapolo

Video of “Jukebox” posted on YouTube

A complete video of the Salzman/Vasilevski “Jukebox in the Tavern of Love” has been posted on YouTube — just in time for Valentine’s Day! The performance is by the Western Wind who commissioned the work and gave its premiere performance at The Flea Theater in New York’s Tribeca. The production, directed by Valeria Vasilevski features the same Western Wind singers that can be heard on the recent Labor/Naxos recording of the work: Kristina Boerger, soprano; Laura Christian, soprano; William Zukof, counter-tenor; Todd Frizzell, tenor; Richard Slade, tenor; Elliot Levine, baritone.

NewMusicBuff review of “Jukebox in the Tavern of Love”

There’s a nice review of the Western Wind recording of “Jukebox in the Tavern of Love” (plus a work of Meredith Monk; Labor/Naxos) on the New Music Buff blog. The notice is by Allan J. Cronin and it’s at <https://newmusicbuff.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/meredith-monk-and-eric-salzman-a-labor-of-love/>

 

Date Posted // February 01, 2015
In Categories // News