Category: Reviews & Articles
Ned Rorem's Aftermath


"Singer Randall Scarlata followed with a ringing, clear baritone of broad range in the song cycle "Aftermath," by Ned Rorem. Though not atonal, its drastic intervals, eccentric timing and alternating vocal-instrumental breaks make this modern anthology, wrung from the angst of 9/11, call for a vocalist with power, flexibility and a centered, secure sense of place in the composition. Scarlata displayed it all, speaking as if in recitative, singing lyrically here, declaring robustly there, crying for the dead and dying in all wars. Among his best moments was the poignant, high head tone in the song "Losses," a startlingly plaintive question, "Why are you dying? We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?" followed in kind by a searching violin line fading from high register to low to silence."