University of Manitoba Manitoban, February 2, 2005

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
- Bibliography -
7475761977787980
8182838485868788
8990919293949596
9798990001020304
0506070809101112
13141516171819 20


Univ. of Manitoba Manitoban

Canada publications

Newspapers

University publications

Magazines

Online publications

-

Il Sogno

Elvis Costello and the London Symphony Orchestra

James Howard

Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg

I'll be damned. He actually did write a ballet. I'm astounded.

Elvis Costello has written a lot of music over the course of his career — over 300 songs, according to the album's liner notes — but he'd never written a full orchestral composition. I don't know what motivated him to get up and write one, but sure enough, here we have a full score for a ballet adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. And, go figure, it turns out that he knew what he was doing.

Il Sogno, despite being a ballet, blends together a multitude of genres into a crazy but endearing amalgam of music. Some of the pieces are straight classical arrangements, others veer off into folk or swing, and some pieces sound torn from a film noir rather than a Shakespearean ballet. A couple of the tracks are freeform jazz, seemingly disconnected from any idea of ballet at all; I asked myself, on a couple of occasions, "How would anybody even dance to that?"

Regardless, it's obvious that Costello put a lot of thought and care into the orchestration and arrangement of this work. There are recurring melodic themes, thematic shifts for each state of existence, and other devices that pull the album together into a cohesive and satisfying whole. I highly recommend this album, not just as a worthwhile purchase for classical or ballet enthusiasts, but as a window of insight into Costello's head. Man, there's a lot of weird stuff in there.

-

The Manitoban, February 2, 2005


James Howard reviews Il Sogno.

Images

2005-02-02 University of Manitoba Manitoban page 17 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

2005-02-02 University of Manitoba Manitoban page 17.jpg
Page scan.

-



Back to top

External links