Dieter Hennings at Oberlin for Zohn-Muldoon
Oberlin Conservatory's Contemporary Music Ensemble director, Tim Weiss, directed our first performance here of the extraordinary ensemble piece, Comala, by Mexican-born composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. The hour-long, eighteen-movement work is scored for soprano, tenor and narrator, with guitar, piano, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, violin, cello and two percussionists. The guitar part was played by the composer's longtime associate and fellow countryman, Dieter Hennings. The singers for the performance were my faculty colleague Kendra Colton and Oberlin alum, Charles Blandy. Dieter Hennings, in addition to playing the very substantial guitar part, acted as narrator, in Spanish. The work is semi-operatic, in the sense that it follows a story line with a dramatic arc; it is based on the novel "Pedro Páramo" by Juan Rulfo, and is sung in Spanish. The performance was presented with supertitles in Oberlin's gorgeous Warner a Concert Hall.
It was fantastic seeing Dieter again, and it was wonderful that his participation in this piece overlapped my guests SoloDuo, and their master class and concert. It was a mini-guitar festival at Oberlin this week!
The performance underway:
Hennings narrating, and Blandy
Maestro Tim Weiss motions to the composer at the performance's conclusion.