Christina Rossetti’s 19th Century poem Goblin Market has long divided and bemused readers as to it’s meaning and intent. The story of two sisters and their encounters with the sinister Goblin men and their ’forbidden’ fruit, has been variously interpretated as an allegory of proto-feminism, a critique on the rise of advertising in pre-capitalist England, and an exploration of feminine sexuality in relation to the Victorian world. This multitude of interpretations only adds to the poems mystique and imagery, captured here by the Pulitzer Prize wining composer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Performed by London-based ensemble The New professionals under Rebecca Miller, the work is a unique concoction of music, mime and masks that delves into the overripe and at times grotesque and shocking imagery of Christina Rossetti’s poem. Goblin Market explores both the Victorian repression coded into its text as well as its parallels with contemporary social issues.
’Aaron jay Kernis is a remarkable composer ... in his Goblin Market ... you hear an irresistable variety of invention from the 13-piece ensemble ... The music seems perfect... its combination of original invention with a broadly earlier style similarly brings the ear back and forth across the generation... this is an inventive treatment of music theatre." David Fallows - The Guardian
"...The recording gives plenty of detail in these complex scores, and is rich and warm. This is a release well worth the consideration of fans of imaginative scoring, well-developed musical ideas, and contemporary musical idioms."
David De Boor Canfield - Fanfare - November/December 2011
"A welcome exposure of his music [Kernis] ... The New professionals are so atentive to its beguiling sonorities and exacting rythms, out of which cohesion arises because of the musical content and not in spite of it. Well-balanced sound as well as detailed annotationsadd to the attractions of this worthwhile release."
Richard Whitehouse - Gramophone May 2011
"...Intoxicating, outrageous, unforgettable: it is no exaggeration to say that Goblin Market is one of the great musical works of art for theatre of the 20th century."
Byzantion - 19 March 2011 - Musicweb-international.com
"...Enthusiasm for Goblin Market should not blind one to the high-octane romp that is Invisible Mosaic, a dazzling, mercurial essay in orchestral texture and colour. It’s quite a diffuse work, and technically challenging, but there’s not a moment that’s not ear-catching. As with Goblin Market, it presents evidence of huge enjoyment on the part of its performers." - Ivan Moody
International Record Review - March 2011