“Moonstruck and moondrunk / the white-faced clown/ that intoxicated poet of wine that only eyes may drink/ Pierrot…”
So begins the poem Pierrot Lunaire , written by renowned conductor and ROCO friend, JoAnn Falletta. The poem, originally inspired by Arnold Schoenberg’s 1912 composition of the same name, has in turn motivated Paul English to compose Lumiere Lunaire on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Pierrot Lunaire’s premiere. English, an internationally recognized composer, pianist, producer and educator, was compelled by the history and evolution of the original piece, and though he responded to aspects of these works, he has created something completely new, which is sure to challenge and delight contemporary audiences.
The complex and storied history of Pierrot has spurred a canon of works, from music to poetry, upon which Composer Paul English was able to express his unique voice as a composer. One way English achieves this is by employing a distinctive vocal technique called Sprechtimme which lies somewhere between singing and speaking in German. It has notated rhythms and pitches, but the singer is required to leave each pitch as soon as it’s been sounded. Having orchestra members sing in such a fashion will be a first for ROCO, and will be an interesting accompaniment to the music they play.