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Catalog Number: CPS-8655
Audio Format: Stereo, DDD
Playing Time: 52:29
Release Date: 1998

Track Listing & Audio Samples
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Forbidden Fruit (8:20)
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  2. Babble (8:28)
  3. Vertically Disadvantaged
  4. Soliloquy (10:03)
  5. Window (7:06)
  6. Fiery Furnace



Twentieth Century Music - May 1999 - by Mark Francis

"Stories (1992), by Michael Kallstrom, is an electronic chamber opera for solo bass and puppets with electronic tape. It is made of 4 comic settings (#1-3, #6) and 2 serious settings (#4,#5) from the Old Testament.

Forbidden Fruit, about Adam and Eve, is 3 sections: 1. The Devil's Seduction of Eve, 2. Adam's and Eve's Eyes Are Opened, 3. God Throws Them Out of the Garden. God's displeasure is registered in a blues. Babble, referring to the Tower of Babel, moves back and forth between the silly and serious. The scene ends in a children's song of nonsense words and syllables. Vertically Disadvantaged, the David and Goliath tale, deals more with artistic Philistinism than ethnic Philistinism. David complains of Goliath's bad taste and Goliath is frustrated by David's high culture. David wins in the end and cuts off Goliath's head to a Mozart-like aria. Soliloquy -- the madness of Saul -- alludes to Poe's telltale heart. This remarkable aria is a frightening account of a king's descent in to paranoia., with non-chord tones, representing the heart, adding a great deal to the drama. Window pertains to the story of David and Bathsheba. Here David deals with a carnal madness, mirroring the previous scene. Fiery Furnace, the old saw of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego formally resembles the opening composition, with references to Handel, the Queen of the Night" aria, and the 3 Stooges. Furnace closes with a calypso-like Sunday School tune against a New Orleans bass line.

The electronic accompaniment is orchestral and blends well with the voice as the 2 parts compliment each other. Most of the sounds are fairly standard, but are well used. Non-chord tones are used expertly and one of the distinctive elements of Kallstrom's style. The singing is by the composer who is a very fine bass."