Viggo Mortensen

3 Fools 4 April

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AllMusic Review by

Whether or not poetry is your thing, this double-disc CD and DVD, 3 Fools 4 April, of Hank Mortensen, Scott Wannberg, and Viggo Mortensen reading at a benefit for the wonderful Beyond Baroque Foundation in Los Angeles is well worth taking in at least once. The crowd is certainly what you might expect: a host of real fans of poetry itself, both readers and writers in the audience, and the usual few who need to attend the "happening." The DVD and CD are very similar with some obviously necessary edits in the visual presentation. The three readers follow a wonderfully informal format with few of the usual long painful introductions that some feel necessary to make -- in other words, giving away the poem or explaining it away before it's read. None of that here, at most a sentence, and each man follows another, seamlessly, with just enough time between them to let the listener settle into what was just heard/seen. Still, 41 poems (audio) or even 35 (DVD) are a lot for the average person to take in, but each reader is so different that it feels almost like a songwriter's circle. Hank (Viggo's son) is precise, choice in his percussive sounds and sharp images and cadences; Wannberg is like lightning, allowing images and irony to pile on top of one another and almost blur, but the precise aspects in his language are full of enough humor and tension they keep the listener form being overwhelmed. Viggo is always unhurried, a writer of uncommon vitality, imagination, and a very keen insight into the poignant perversities of the human spirit, its heart and its dark sides. Yeah, he is in a different class, a step above, more careful, less precise, allowing language its own ride through him, no point needs to be made, more than it needs simply to arise and speak itself to whatever end, creating a musicality of images and adjectives and emotions that root themselves in the listener/viewer. This is a fine set, one worth hearing at least once; if poetry is something you value, however, there are innumerable trips through this set awaiting you, all of which will provide pleasure, and perhaps even occasional wonder.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:02
2
4:10
3
1:18
4
1:02
5
3:28
6
1:11
7
0:46
8
1:51
9 0:37
10 0:59
11
1:37
12
1:47
13
1:25
14
2:23
15
0:59
16 1:40
17
1:44
18 0:34
19
3:45
20
5:39
21 0:52
22
0:24
23
1:04
24
1:49
25
1:56
26
2:50
27
0:36
28
0:48
29
1:31
30
1:18
31
1:50
32
3:27
33
1:44
34
1:18
35 3:53
36
1:53
37
0:37
38
1:31
39
2:25
40
0:43
41
2:43

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
blue highlight denotes track pick