Magazine article Opera Canada

Fanfare: The Stratford Music of Louis Applebaum

Magazine article Opera Canada

Fanfare: The Stratford Music of Louis Applebaum

Article excerpt

FANFARE: The Stratford Music of Louis Applebaum

Arranged and conducted by Glenn Morley, with Richard Margison, tenor; the Elmer Iseler Singers; Christopher Plummer; Richard Monette; and other artists. Marquis Classics 7747 181269 2 4.

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Louis Applebaum, who died in April 2000 at the age of 82, composed incidental music for over 75 Stratford Festival productions between its founding, in 1953, and 1999. His subtle, spare scores disappeared--and tightly so--into their stage life, underscoring stage action, creating mood, highlighting dramatic conflicts. Unsurprisingly, everything that made Applebaum such a valuable theatrical collaborator, most notably his ego-free eagerness to serve the theatrical experience as a whole, makes it difficult for his music to be wrenched from its original context to stand alone, on its own.

Still, arranger-conductor Glenn Morley, who was a student and protege of Applebaum, and the Stratford Festival were right to want to recognize his contribution. This collection brings together Applebaum's music for Shakespearean productions from several eras--from the original 1953 fanfares (still in use today, though quite changed in tempi) to moments from a Romeo and Juliet in 1960, vivid dances from Much Ado About Nothing in 1987, some mock-Italian songs from The Taming of the Shrew in 1988 and an extended musical sequence from Love's Labour's Lost in 1992. …

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