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Thomson: The Mother of Us All / Osgood, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater

Steven Osgood, Manhattan School Of Music Opera Theater
Release Date: 04/08/2014 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1486  
Composer:  Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Noragh DevlinAlexander FrankelScott RussellAddison Hamilton,   ... 
Conductor:  Steven Osgood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"...[Gertrude] Stein and [Virgil] Thomson’s “Four Saints in Three Acts,” a high-style hit at its début, in 1934, broke the mold. “The Mother of Us All,” which premièred at Columbia University in 1947, though, is the more beloved of the two works. Inspired by the life of Susan B. Anthony and her struggle for women’s suffrage, the fantasy cast is filled with figures from multiple phases of American history, such as Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, and Lillian Russell, as well as people from Stein’s own life." - Russell Platt, The New Yorker, (Review of the live performance of this album.)

"...The opera remains riveting, too, in the lightness and wit of its approach to serious themes such as
Read more the struggle for women's suffrage. Preaching would soon pall, but Stein's playfulness, surprises and absurdities, like the Mozartean clockwork of so much of Virgil Thomson's all-American music, have a tonic effect, especially in their ability to keep the listener off guard. ...The student cast was notable for apt characterizations and effective timing. At its center, in the rigorous role of suffragette Anthony, stood gifted mezzo-soprano Noragh Devlin, a first-year master's-degree candidate at the school. With incisive diction and supple musical phrasing, Devlin enacted the character's dedication, wit and occasional frustration." - David J. Baker, Opera News Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Mother of us all by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Noragh Devlin (Mezzo Soprano), Alexander Frankel (Tenor), Scott Russell (Bass),
Addison Hamilton (Soprano), Carlton Moe (Tenor)
Conductor:  Steven Osgood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
2.
The Mother of Us All: Suite by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Steven Osgood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Orchestra

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Truly and "American Opera". May 22, 2018 By Joseph Erdeljac (West Chester, PA) See All My Reviews "This gem of Thompson's is truly American in that it contains melodies and orchestrations that reflect American folk song, marches, hymns, operetta like waltzes and military bands. The whole score is delightful to hear even though the tunes may not stick in your mind once it is over. What does remain is the feeling of real "Americana". All of the voices in the cast are excellent and the characterizations come through clearly. Steins libretto is often a play on words and even is a bit humorous in that respect. This is a wonderful addition to the recorded library of American Opera and the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater is to be commended along with Steven Osgood who leads the show." Report Abuse
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