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John Corigliano

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Marvelous Invention (2001),
Text Writer
Mark Adamo
Publisher
G Schirmer Inc
Category
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
2001
Duration
3 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
mezzo soprano
Orchestration
Availability


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Programme Note
John Corigliano Marvelous Invention (2001),
Composer Note:
This second cabaret song with lyrics by Mark Adamo concerns the IPod, and how a socialite can shop and still hear classical music.
— John Corigliano

MARVELOUS INVENTION
text by Mark Adamo

Darling, don’t be angry, but that concert? Not tonight.
No, keep the ticket, really: go! Enjoy!
I know: it’s so last minute—please don’t take it as a slight.
It’s only that I’ve purchased the most marvelous new toy.

This small invention (right now it’s playing ‘Geny Kissin!)
Has wholly revolutionized the way I listen:

I now hear Joshua Bell playing all Ravel over crème caramel at Chanterelle,
Or Natalie Dessay interpreting Messaien. (Such a feast!)
I love Emanuel Ax playing Arnold Bax as I choose my slacks from the racks at Saks,
Or Barbra Streisand in Floyd’s Of Mice and Men. (It wasn’t released.)
I play my Thomas Ades or C. P. E. Bach during Pilates at the Reebok,
Then out to the street to Purcell’s Suite from Queen Mab.
I need my hit of Max Roach when in business class:
If I’m stuck in coach, give me Philip Glass,
Die Schöne Müllerin, or Gunther Schuller in the cab.

Why do I need the concert hall?
Why do I need performance at all?
With the tickets and the sitter and the parking and the chatter it’s a drag.
Give me my discs and one fast hour,
And I’ll have the classical section of Tower
Alphabetized and perfectly sized for even an evening bag.

So play me Sondheim or Takemitsu when it’s time to walk my Shih-Tzu,
Or Ruslan and Ludmilla, if not the Debussy La Mer.
I crave my Malfitano singing Corigliano with Robert Spano on piano
with my Montepulciano at Da Silvano,
Or a Bolla with Bolcom passeth all compare!

Darling, it’s truly a new world order.
Now with my magical disc recorder,
Why on earth would anybody ever want or need to hear their music live?
With my perfectly marvelous invention—
(Here’s Sousa, Ned Rorem, the Scheonberg Brettl-lieder!)
Its benefits too numerous to mention—
(La Chiusa, and Forum, and Adam Guettel lieder!)
Best of all… Best of all, I barely need to pay attention…

Darling: meet me down at “Will Call” at seven-forty-five.

Performances
Date
Title
  • 01 OCT 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Remarkable Theater Brigade
  • 17 JUL 2009
    Shelburne Falls, MA
    Mohawk Trail Concerts
    William Bolcom, piano; Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano

    Other Dates:
    18 July - Shelburne Falls, MA
  • 07 NOV 2006
    New York, NY
    City University of New York, Lehman College
    Cherry Duke, soprano; Cynthia Peterson, piano

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