PEGGY GLANVILLE-HICKS (1912-1990): The Transposed Heads.
Catalogue Number: 05P070
Label: ABC Classics
Reference: 481 0066
Description: The composer used an English translation of Thomas Mann's 1940 novella, itself sourced from the Bhagavad Gita, for this - what would one call it? tragic-comedy? - of 1953. Two Indian friends, one of higher caste than the other, are in love with the same girl. The Brahmin marries her but, on a visit to a shrine of Kali, suddenly beheads himself in religious fervor; his friend finds his body and does the same. The girl finds them both and Kali comes to life and tells her to put the heads back on the bodies and that she will restore them to life. Girlie screws up and transposes the heads. More troubles ensue until all three decide to immolate themselves on a funeral pyre. Happy ending. Glanville-Hicks makes use of freely adapted Hindu folk music in a 76-minute score which is full of insistent rhythms, exotic melodies and percussive effects. Synopis but no libretto. Gerald English (tenor), Michael Leighton Jones (baritone), Genty Stevens (soprano), Festival Chorus, West Australian Symphony Orchestra; David Measham. Original 1984 release.