Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos, Part I for Voice, Violin, and Piano

2011 | text by Edward Lear | Commissioned by Joan Margot Smith | 6 minutes

Edward Lear, of The Owl and the Pussycat fame, brought his keenly observed nonsense to this tale of a couple who climb a wall for the view, and only then figure out that they might not be able to get down again. Frazin’s setting for tenor, violin and piano, in three stanzas, contrasts a naïve, gently rocking and vaguely bucolic lightly scored section (opening with a charming mandolin-style plucking of the violin) against dense and anguished passages at the points where Mrs. D.’s acrophobic anxieties surface. The pattern cleverly reverses in the last stanza, when Mr. D. takes up the cry but then beatifically accepts and makes the best of their stranded fate. This was good old-fashioned text setting that tells its story well. Kelley once again put it across with drama and charm, and Stepner and Berman supported with grace.
Boston Musical Intelligencer


Past Performances

Brandeis University Faculty Recital (Premiere)

Slosberg Music Center
Waltham, MA
January 29, 2011

Frank Kelley, tenor
Daniel Stepner, violin
Donald Berman, piano