GORDON GETTY (b.1933): The Canterville Ghost.

Catalogue Number: 07T061

Label: PentaTone

Reference: PTC 5186 541

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $19.98

Description: Oscar Wilde's novella is typical of his prose output in its wit, humor, clever aphorisms, satire on the norms and manners of society, and hints of slightly sinister undertones. In this case, the principal target of his gentle ridicule is the upright and 'modern' family of Americans who move into a stereotypical English country house, replete with ghost. The humor arises from their absolute lack of an appropriately terrified response to the specter's performances, and typically Wildean sentimental pathos is provided by the ghost's release from its haunting duties by the family's young and compassionate daughter. Getty adapted the libretto from the story, softening the macabre element, providing an introductory episode suggested by Wilde's epilogue, and adapting the dialogue in keeping with the original, but mainly presenting the narrative unchanged, though Wilde's customary fusillade of descriptive bons mots are of necessity, missing. Getty's music is thoroughly tonal and unobtrusive, satirizing horror movie cliché as appropriate and providing a pleasant melodic framework for a clear presentation of the text. Libretto included. Alexandra Hutton (soprano), Jean Broekhuizen (mezzo), Timothy Oliver (tenor), Jonathan Michie (baritone), Matthew Treviño (bass). Gewandhaus Orchestra; Matthias Foremny.


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