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David DiChiera: Letters & Fantasies
By Aleksey Shadrin, Angela Theis, Annalise Dzwonczyk, Berthold Brauer, Ivan Moshchuk, Matthew Konopacki, and Yury Revich. By David DiChiera. Classical. CD. Innova #INN979. Published by Innova (NX.INN979).
Item Number: NX.INN979
With a resume that includes founding and leading a couple of major opera companies, David DiChiera can be forgiven for occasionally allowing his composing career to be overshadowed. Now, to celebrate his retirement at 82 his friends and colleagues have produced an album of his chamber works, Letters & Fantasies, that show "Dr. D" proudly wearing his composer hat. DiChiera's story of dedication, perseverance, and talent, has become synonymous with the revival of Detroit and it is no coincidence that this album represents a grand synthesis of all that has striven for: supporting young, diverse, local talent and international stars. The album was recorded by the Berlin Phil's engineer Caroline Siegers in the atmospheric ambience of Detroit's Jam Handy Film Studios. DiChiera's musical style is poignant, melodic and expressively Neo-romantic, always demonstrating his deep understanding of drama, gesture, and atmosphere. Each work contains an opera in miniature. The potent dissonances of early works contrast sharply with the stark serialism of the later works. The instrumental works exude expertly crafted dramaturgy, while recent works mark a return to the power of simplicity and direct lyricism. Taken as a whole, Letters & Fantasies is not only a lifelong missive from a warm and gifted artist but also a love letter from his friends and admirers for the community he has fostered. Born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and raised in Los Angeles, California, David DiChiera received a Master's degree in composition at UCLA with highest honors in 1956. He was then selected to be a Fulbright scholar for studies in Italy where he conducted extensive research on unpublished manuscripts of eighteenth century opera. DiChiera moved to suburban Detroit in 1962 to become a professor and ultimately chairman of music at Oakland University.