Rick Geary’s The Beast of Chicago Set to Music

Today, the Florestan Recital Project released the world premiere recording of Libby Larsen’s The Peculiar Case of Dr. H. H. Holmes.  Adapted from the graphic novel The Beast of Chicago by Rick Geary, this groundbreaking recording is now available as a free download on the Florestan website at www.florestanproject.org and on the NBM blog at http://nbmpub.com/blog/2012/10/31/florestanproject/.

This macabre subject matter provides the basis for an exploration into the darkest corners of the human psyche. The adventurous Florestan Recital Project announces the release of its world premiere recording of renowned composer Libby Larsen’s The Peculiar Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes. The work explores the unfathomable impulses that drove Holmes to commit his crimes. Scored for baritone and piano, Larsen’s song cycle interweaves passages of period parlour music with texts from Holmes’ own confessions. The result is a work that is both haunting and engaging–a perfect platform for Florestan’s “deeply felt, and impeccably prepared” performances (The Boston Globe).

The story is set at the height of the Gilded Age, during Chicago’s finest moment of international glory, a man known as H.H. Holmes quietly and secretively carried out one of the most horrifically perverse and murderous crime sprees in American history. Against the ornate backdrop of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes built an elaborate chamber of horrors in which he staged the methodical and grisly murders of up to 200 people, becoming America’s first known serial killer.

In addition, Aaron Engebreth, the Artistic Co-Director of the Florestan Recital Project discussed the project on the NBM blog where he discussed the genesis of the project, it’s inspirations and the future of the format.

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