Isabel Leonard lends her voice to the popular Dr. Seuss character Gertrude McFuzz on a new recording featuring the story set to music by composer Rob Kapilow, accompanied by the Metamorphosis Chamber Orchestra and members of the Broadway Youth Ensemble. Acclaimed baritone Nathan Gunn sings The Polar Express on the same album, which will be released on the GPR records label on November 18.
Pre-order the CD on Amazon.com.
Kapilow was the first composer granted the rights to set Dr. Seuss’s words to music, and his setting of Green Eggs and Ham has been called “the most successful piece written for families in this half century.” Of his newest composition Kapilow writes, “I tried to make the characters in the story come alive musically by giving them different musical personalities. Uncle Dake seemed to me to be a hip kind of uncle who spoke in jazz, while Gertrude’s tantrums had the music of a frustrated 10-year old. When she gets sick from swallowing too many berries from the magic pill-berry vine, I followed the nibbling and gnawing music with a tiny fragment of ‘There was an old woman who swallowed a fly.’ In the end, like all such journeys, Gertrude’s journey is really a journey of self-discovery in which she finally learns the important life lesson that who we are, as we are—one tail feather or two–is more than enough.” With The Polar Express Kapilow took fragments from traditional Christmas carols and weaved them into various parts of the score. He also attempts to create musical scenes with the book’s illustrations with the hope that you can follow along with book in hand.