The Lunch Counter 2009, 24′

“Kander’s Lunch Counter alone is so fascinating that it is worth the price of the recording.”

– Fanfare Magazine

a musical play in seven movements for solo bassoon

Commissioned by Joyce Sogg for David Sogg

Available from Subito Music

Recorded on the album

Bassoon Transcended:  Christin Schillinger, bassoon (MSR Classics 1439)

Excerpts performed by David Sogg

 Frank is still wondering how anyone he loved that hard could get so sick and die?

 Olivia gets to go out for lunch with Papa: she hasn’t wet the bed for three nights in a row! Grilled Cheese, please!

 Margaret’s son died in Iraq five months ago. If she could only wrap her arms around him one more time…

 Max has been having matzah ball soup and egg salad on white with black coffee every day since the dawn of time. No one’s heard him speak in years.

 Specs and Shorty gotta be back for Bio at 1:13!

 Lorraine, the counter waitress, hears everything, both spoken and unspoken.

This piece is a group of character studies, the music taking us into the conversations or silent thoughts and feelings of the various people having lunch today at Lorraine’s counter. The player must speak the movement titles before playing each movement. The final movement brings all the thoughts and conversations together within Lorraine’s very intuitive earshot.

Susan Kander’s Lunch Counter stands as a work of art that seeks to make a point through the juxtaposition of the ridiculous and sublime. One movement, ‘Olivia’, depicts an excited little girl who gets to go out for lunch with her father because she hasn’t wet the bed in three days. Another, ‘Margaret’, speaks to the grief and loss that a mother feels from losing her son to war. Nevertheless, the piece is held together by the thread of very real and perceivable emotions. Since hearing oboist Michele Fiala perform Kander’s ‘Postcards from America’, which alluded profoundly and dissonantly to the irony of the American dream and the illusive search for prosperity (MSR 1403, May/June 2012), I was quite eager to hear this.
– American Record Guide