SINUOUS MELODIES IN WOLD'S 'GIRL'

POLITE APPLAUSE

ERLING WOLD

A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil

Laurie Amat, Rachael Wylie, Deborah Gwinn, Ken Berry, Jim Cave; Deirdre McClure, conductor MinMax, $16.99 .

Erling Wold is a Bay Area composer of elusive but gripping stage works that blend spoken words and dexterously minimalist music in a heady, sometimes hallucinatory blend (his latest opus, "Sub Pontio Pilato" opens next month at ODC Theater). "A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil," the first piece to bring him widespread attention, has now been recorded, and its eerie charms are nearly as potent on disc as they were onstage.

Not that it's easy to make sense of the proceedings: Wold's source is a surrealist "collage novel" by Max Ernst, and its associative dream logic was difficult to follow even in a fully staged performance. Here, the best thing is simply to surrender to Wold's gently dappled harmonies and sinuous melodies, conducted with fluid assurance by Deirdre McClure.