Cygnus Ensemble performs works of Frank Brickle
The mystery play continues with the angels, Lucifer, and his fall, as Abghari becomes the irresistible embodiment of a boy soprano, a lovable little solipsist who eventually gets his comeuppance. Elizabeth Farnum opens the recording with "Farai un vers," Brickle's setting of a famous and famously enigmatic poem by Guillaume D'Aquitaine, the "first troubadour," set in its original language, Occitan. Farnum shakes the rafters with her jaunty-slapstick-cabaret delivery: Edith Piaf & Lotte Lehmann meet Rosemary Clooney and the Andrews sisters. The CD also includes several exquisite little miniatures. Among them are "Genius Loci," for mandolin and guitar, a bizarre little newgrass aria; and "Midnight Round," for four electric guitars, a psychedelic riff on the Thelonious Monk tune, "Round Midnight." Rounding out the album are two transcriptions for the Cygnus "broken consort": a fin-de-siècle gem by Busoni, and an 11th century masterpiece by Perotin.