Imaginary Beasts and the Composers Who Love Them

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What is it about imaginary animals that captures the human imagination? It taps into the childhood experience of monsters, or into some primal collective memory of strange beasts beyond the glow of the fire. Borges imagined many monsters, as did Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak, and other literary luminaries. This week the Brothers Balliett wonder, how do imaginary animals impact today's music?

Herbert Vazquez is one composer whose imagination is stimulated by these monsters of the mind. From his disc Bestiario we hear his musical representation of Caroll's Jabberwock—an animal many of us have imagined but few can claim to have seen.

From Randall Woolf we hear a new ballet based on Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, an engrossing tour of the monsters Max meets, with some especially gorgeous music right at the end! We are also happy to be reprising P.K. Waddle's fanfare written for the Brothers Balliett, Ironing Aces.

Don't check under the bed...these are monsters you want in your room!