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Songs About Everything From Lingerie to Infinity by Brooklyn's Own Husband-And-Wife Cabaret Duo

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“Filled with imagination, non sequturs and joie de vivre, this lively album is uplifting in its originality and intelligent word and music play.”

“It's eclectic material. And this duo make it work with urbane wit and heartfelt, life-affirming essence, using their soft style that never loses the message.”

“Cabaret singers looking for new, unusual material should check out Alpher & Litt.”

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    Two Apples


David and I met in 1999 at The MacDowell Colony. I was there to write a novel, and David had come to compose art songs. It took about 40 seconds for us to establish that we were both in love with the Great American Songbook — not to mention, powerfully interested in each other. We spent our first date in my cabin in the New Hampshire woods playing and singing Porter, Gershwin, and Berlin standards, quickly became a performing duo, got married, and created a handful of themed cabaret shows before collaborating on our first original song.

The rich tradition of American popular song — arguably our country's true "classical" music — inspires our cheerfully anachronistic oeuvre. We have been known to dabble in jazz, folk-rock, ragtime, even disco, although we are most at home in an idiom composed of equal parts musical theatre, Tin Pan Alley, and Allan Sherman. David typically sets my completed lyrics to music (you'll recognize those songs by their inordinate length), though I have been known, occasionally, to fit lyrics to melodies of David's (recognizable by their extreme concision). We love performing our songs, and we love having them performed by others.

I had always dreamed of a John-and-Yoko-like artistic and romantic partnership (without the heroin addiction or naked album covers), and, amazingly, actually found exactly that with David. And although we both still love art song and literary fiction, it is the supremely collaborative act of writing and performing our original songs that primarily compels our artistic energies nowadays. It is a joy to share this creative work with each other, and a joy to share the fruits of that work — the songs of Alpher & Litt — with you. Thanks for listening.



    Sheet Music
Now you can sing and play Jennie and David's original cabaret and art songs! Check out the Virtual Songbook for descriptions, lyrics, and samples. $5.50/song.

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A concert with Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Jennie Litt, David Alpher and special guest Rachel Handman, recorded live at the Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown.

Contact Us to Buy It $20/2-CD set.

Disc 1
The Glendy Burk
Nelly Was a Lady
Stephen Foster Medley
Beautiful Dreamer
Nelly Bly
President Lincoln's Hornpipe/ Devil's Dream
Johnny Medley
Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
Hits of the '60's

Disc 2:
When It Rains, Sweetheart, When It Rains
They Were All Out of Step but Jim
Yiddisha Nightingale
Russian Lullaby/ I Love a Piano
Themes from the Harvest Home Suite
Relax Your Mind
The Lovers' Waltz
Bob Wills Medley
Bonaparte's Retreat
Ashokan Farewell/ A Time for Farewell
Simple Gifts (Shaker Song)
    Americana
This live concert features American acoustic duo Jay Ungar (violin, mandolin) and Molly Mason (bass, guitar) and cabaret duo Jennie Litt (vocals) and David Alpher (piano), along with special guest Rachel Handman (violin), in a celebration of the vernacular roots of American music. Folk songs, haunting Stephen Foster favorites, sassy Irving Berlin vaudeville tunes, West Texas swing, and Jay's beautiful Ashokan Farewell – with lyrics! Recorded during the Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown's 2005 debut season. All proceeds from the CD benefit the Chamber Arts Festival of Marbletown.

"Ungar is one of those low-key niche specialists, and his specialty is American string music, specifically, fiddle music from all over the country from the 18th century to the present. He also acknowledges and clearly appreciates all the national and ethnic music that was the spawning grounds for all the music we now call our own. They are the stock and ingredients for the great soup that is American vernacular music. A lot of this material is, in fact, so familiar, so in-our-bones, that we hardly pay it any real attention any more. Miraculously though, last Sunday such standards as "Camp Town Races," "My Old Kentucky Home," and even "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (for pity's sake!) were performed with such deceiving simplicity, but with such intensity and sincerity that it seemed as if we were hearing them for the first time.

"... the balance of this quartet was terrific ...

"... The essence of this concert was about how music has been transformed over time by the great melting pot of the American experience... What really shone through was the simplicity of the original works, and the innocence, credibility, and dignity of which they spoke, and which were conveyed so convincingly by the performers. These ideas and experiences that of late have been confused, or worse co-opted, by the needs of politics were here in their original pure form – free of contamination. They persist as the expression of things that people deeply felt, and continue to feel. And that afternoon something really clicked between the performers and their material, and the audience ... on a national weekend of remembrance that produced a truly magical result.

"If anyone told me I would be singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" on Memorial Day weekend, in a church with ...300 of my neighbors, 99% of which I did not know, voices raised, tears on many cheeks, I would have said they were nuts! But there I was, and there we were, and we were moved. Talk about the transformative power of music!"

—The Blue Stone Press




David Alpher CDs
American Dreamer
Songs of Stephen Foster
American Reflections
Five of Alpher's contemporary chamber works
Classic Lullabyes
23 bedtime songs by music's beloved composers
Flute Force: Eyewitness
Garrison Keillor takes a break from A Prairie Home Companion to narrate David Alpher's "Land of the Farther Suns"
Christòpheren Nomura: Never Broken
David Alpher's "Song of Witness," plus two other chamber works, celebrate the the resiliency of the human spirit