Tobenski-Algera Concert Series
Rob Frankenberry, tenor / Marc Peloquin, piano
Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy / NYC
2. Looking for Bivalve
3. Fall Semester: First Frost
“Moore’s Garden” is a quasi-recitative that opens reflectively with a meditation on a beautiful garden setting, accompanied by delicate, harp-like arpeggios. As the text and music become more lyrical, the song is interrupted at the words “but for the toad”, where the voice is suddenly alone, and is only joined by a sickly accompaniment at the words “bleeding, in the snake’s mouth.” The descending-scale vocal line of the phrase “fully imaginary” become a unifying motive throughout the entire set.
“Looking for Bivalve” is a short, silly song. The singer is reciting absurd roadside landmarks and map markings. The triplet accompaniment suggests a car in motion on side roads, periodically slowing or stopping to check the map, which we discover at the end, isn’t quite as accurate as our traveler had hoped.
“Fall Semester: First Frost” closes the cycle lyrically, describing the changing of the leaves and the season on a college campus. A little slice of life, the song ends with a quiet moment: “Through the window / pigeons watch ‘ my students take their exam.”