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Virgil 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 #: 1486/87  
Composer:  Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Noragh DevlinAlexander FrankelScott RussellAddison Hamilton,   ... 
Conductor:  Steven Osgood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Orchestra

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

Sound Samples

The Mother of us all: Act I Scene 1: Yes, I was (Susan B. Anthony, Gertrude S., Anne, Virgil T.)
The Mother of us all: Act I Scene 2: Pity the poor persecutor ... (Virgil T., Daniel Webster, Jo the Loiterer, Chris the Citizen, Gertrude S., Susan B. Anthony, Indiana Elliot, Jo the Loiterer, Angel More, Henrietta M., Henry B., Anthony Comstock, John Adams, Thaddeus Stevens,
The Mother of us all: Act I Scene 3: It is cold weather (Andrew Johnson, Henrietta M., Thaddeus Stevens, Constance Fletcher, John Adams, Lillian Russell, Herman Atlan, Jenny Reefer, Donald Gallup, Jo the Loiterer, Chris the Citizen)
The Mother of us all: Act I Scene 4: I do not know (Susan B. Anthony, Jo the Loiterer, Negro Man, Negro Woman, Donald Gallup, Daniel Webster, Thaddeus Stevens, Andrew Johnson, Chris the Citizen)
The Mother of us all: Act I Scene 5: Will they remember? (Susan B. Anthony, Anne, Jenny Reefer, Jo the Loiterer, Indiana Elliot, John Adams, Constance Fletcher, Daniel Webster, Angel More, Ulysses S. Grant, Indiana Elliot's Brother)
The Mother of us all: Act II Scene 1: Susan B., they want you (Anne, Susan B. Anthony, Jenny Reefer, Jo the Loiterer, Indiana Elliot, Thaddeus Stevens, Andrew Johnson)
The Mother of us all: Act II Scene 2: Oh, it was wonderful (Anne, Susan B. Anthony, Jenny Reefer, Lillian Russell, John Adams, Constance Fletcher, Daniel Webster, Indiana Elliot, Jo the Loiterer)
The Mother of us all: Act II Scene 3: The vote! (Anne, Susan B. Anthony, Henry B., Angel More, John Adams, Andrew Johnson, Thaddeus Stevens, Daniel Webster, Henrietta M., Constance Fletcher, Indiana Elliot, Gloster Heming, Isabel Wentworth, Anna Hope, Lillian Russell, Anthony
Mother of Us All Suite: I. Prelude
Mother of Us All Suite: II. Cold Weather
Mother of Us All Suite: III. A Political Meeting
Mother of Us All Suite: IV. Hymns

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