Lucien Desar | Alice in Wonderland Suite

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Alice in Wonderland Suite

by Lucien Desar

A neo-classical suite based on Alice in Wonderland performed by a chamber orchestra.
Genre: Classical: Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Down the Rabbit Hole (Narration)
0:37 $0.99
2. Down the Rabbit Hole
2:01 $0.99
3. A Caucus Race (Narration)
0:32 $0.99
4. A Caucus Race
3:41 $0.99
5. Advice from a Caterpillar (Narration)
0:40 $0.99
6. Advice from a Caterpillar
3:07 $0.99
7. The Cheshire Cat (Narration)
0:32 $0.99
8. The Cheshire Cat
1:51 $0.99
9. A Mad Tea Party (Narration)
0:45 $0.99
10. A Mad Tea Party
4:19 $0.99
11. Mock Turtle Story (Narration)
0:23 $0.99
12. Mock Turtle Story
2:17 $0.99
13. Who Stole the Tarts? (Narration)
0:48 $0.99
14. Who Stole the Tarts?
1:43 $0.99
15. Nothing but a Pack of Cards ! (Narration)
0:39 $0.99
16. Nothing but a Pack of Cards! (Finale)
3:10 $0.99
17. The End (For Now) (Narration)
0:38 $0.99
18. Piano Sonata V
3:49 $0.99
19. What We Felt At Clonmacnoise
2:43 $0.99
20. Little Black Cat (Instrumental Version)
3:35 $0.99
21. Flight Across the Moor
4:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
New York NY - After spending years carving out a niche for himself via his special brand of gothic pop, musician and composer Lucien Desar has embarked on a new musical adventure with his musical rendering of the classic Lewis Carroll children's book Alice In Wonderland. The story behind its creation is almost as surreal as the tale itself, offering an example of how an artist can have inspiration unknowingly thrust upon them.

After finishing his last goth-pop album in 1999, Lucien Desar felt tapped out artistically. Then one night a voice in his head urged him to compose something based upon Lewis Carroll's immortal fable. "I thought, 'Why would I do that?'" recalls Desar bemusedly. "I had never read Alice In Wonderland, I never listened to Alice In Wonderland, I never even saw a movie of Alice In Wonderland."

Desar shrugged off that surreal moment until a month later when Alice began to invade his life, whether it was via friends making references to dialogue from the story or a book of Alice artwork falling in front of him at a bookstore. An initial attempt at writing music failed, and two more months went by, during which Alice continued hounding him.

"Someone would call up and their name would be Alice," explains Desar. "Then I would see a white rabbit. Out of nowhere someone would send me something with a white rabbit sticker on it. So I couldn't ignore it any more. Finally I went ahead and started sketching it out. I would do a portion of it, quit for a month, then more of it came. It spurned me on until I finally got the thing done."

Between early 1999 and late 2002, Desar labored on his adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. Unlike his electronic-based projects where he created everything himself, Desar's Alice suite became an organic work that challenged him to work with classical musicians. He originally auditioned actors to read the text in the voice of Dodgson (Carroll's real last name), but then he received a call from a young actress who said she could do it in the voice of Alice. The composer thought she had some nerve.

"I decided to interview her [anyway], and she sounded perfect," recalls Desar. "Her first name was Alise, which almost sounds just like Alice, and she was born in Cambridge, UK, only ten to fifteen miles away from where Dodgson used to live and wrote the book. It was obvious that she had to do it. She has an amazing voice."

During the production of Alice, Desar avoided exposing himself to any pop culture renditions of the tale, such as Disney's famous animated film, and instead immersed himself in the book, the author's original manuscript written before the book, Carroll's biography, and John Tenniel's original illustrations, which inspired the artwork for the CD.

The finished suite is twenty minutes long and broken into several sections, alternating between narrated introductions to individual chapters in the book and their subsequent musical interpretation. Each character is represented by a different instrument: the Rabbit by piano, the Cheshire Cat by trumpet, the Mad Hatter by cello, the Doormouse and March Hare by violin, the Dodo Bird by viola, and Alice herself by soprano voice.

Desar hopes that his latest project will find an international audience. "I created this album not only for English-speaking audiences to listen to it," he says. "My hope is to come out with different versions - have one with a German narration, then one in Japanese, and so forth, and release it out to each single country like that. I'm also hoping to eventually score it out for an entire symphony."

Ultimately Desar wants his neo-classical work to reach as broad an audience as possible.

Everyone from classical aficionados to children to goths to Carroll fans should find something to enjoy in the composer's new interpretation of Alice In Wonderland. But Desar reveals that there is someone even more important who was taken into consideration: "My original intention was to come up with something that I think the writer would have liked."



to write a review

Theresa Dern

A brilliant piece of musical enlightenment.
Lucien Desar's Alice In Wonderland Suite is one of the best classical music cd's out there today.
Each song fits perfectly with the story it is telling. The arrangements are right on target, and
the vocals are hauntingly beautiful. As I listened to this cd, I couldn't help but start to dance
to the music. It truely moved me, physically and emotionally. If you buy this cd, I guarantee you
will be more than satisfied.

Richard Astley-Clemas

Alice would definitely approve of this one
Me I'm an Alice collector epecially the CDs of which America has too many it keeps to itself.
This one though is being imported by the Oxford shop and it can be obtained there.
I played the album a lot and as I'm a fan of Jocelyn Pook,Sonia Slany and the New Classical I found it easy to digest.
Later I managed to get in touch with the girl who does the voice over-Alise Ashby and I got a couple of CDs off her this week.However she's not from Cambridge (which it says on here) but Winchester.She was at the London Guildhall in 1986 on a music course.
Cambrige is at least 100 miles away from where Lewis Carroll was born and in a different county to Winchester