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Joplin: Treemonisha / Schuller, Houston Grand Opera


Release Date: 03/10/2015 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186221   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Scott Joplin
Performer:  Carmen BalthropCurtis RayamBen HarneyBetty Allen,   ... 
Conductor:  Gunther Schuller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Grand Opera OrchestraHouston Grand Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Length: 1 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This release is an outstanding version of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha. Not only because this recording - which was orchestrated by the American composer and jazz musician Gunther Schuller in 1975 for the Houston Grand Opera - probably comes the closest to Joplin’s original intention, but also because the recording’s crisp and bright sound can now be cherished on 2 SACDs, complete with a full libretto in English.

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REVIEWS:

The cast is well balanced and convincing-interesting to hear Willard White, as Ned, well before his later triumphs--the recording, showing its age slightly, is adequate and the whole production much to be welcomed on to Compact Disc.

-- Gramophone review
Read more of original DG release on CD [8/1992]

This release is an outstanding version of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha. Not only because this recording - which was orchestrated by the American composer and jazz musician Gunther Schuller in 1975 for the Houston Grand Opera - probably comes the closest to Joplin’s original intention, but also because the recording’s crisp and bright sound can now be cherished on 2 SACDs, complete with a full libretto in English.

– Opera Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Treemonisha by Scott Joplin
Performer:  Carmen Balthrop (Soprano), Curtis Rayam (Tenor), Ben Harney (Baritone),
Betty Allen (Mezzo Soprano), Willard White (Bass), Kenneth Hicks (),
Cora Johnson (Soprano), Raymond Bazemore (Bass), Edward Pierson (),
Dwight Ransom (), Dorceal Duckens ()
Conductor:  Gunther Schuller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Grand Opera Orchestra,  Houston Grand Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1915; USA 
Venue:  RCA Studio A, New York, New York 
Length: 90 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: English 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Houston Grand Opera resurrects a lost classic November 25, 2020 By D. Dagenais (Kansas City, MO) See All My Reviews "Treemonisha is a "lost classic" by one of America's greatest composers. Th Houston Grand Opera did a wonderful job bringing this one back to life a few years ago, and this recording does the opera deserved justice. Outstanding, and not to be missed if you're unfamiliar with this work." Report Abuse
 Beautifully remastered recording from 1975 August 3, 2015 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This two SACD set is a recording remastered from the original 1975 quadrophonic tapes. The booklet that comes with it gives some interesting background on the remastering, which involved the original audio engineers, as well as a brief section on Scott Joplin himself and the libretto of the opera.. All that presently survives is Joplin’s solo piano score, as his manuscript of the orchestrations was destroyed in 1962 by a trustee who felt that the water damagedn score was beyond saving. Therefore, what we hear here is rather one possible orchestration using the piano score and some European ideas to bring it to life for an Opera orchestra. And it sounds mighty fine. The story is a simple one, in that Treemonisha, who was found as a child, educated and raised by a white woman (reading, writing, and arithmetic), but is then somewhat ostracized by her village that still believes in sorcery and ruled by superstition.. Treemonisha is kidnapped and about to be thrown on a wasp-nest when she is saved by a friend, and is returned to her village where she mends political fences and is elected the leader of the community. This is definitely a feel-good opera, with the kind of pleasing purely American music that Scott Joplin was so very good at creating. The Huston Grand Opera deserves high marks for putting on this wonderful sounding production, and Gunther Schuller does a fine job in the pit. This is not Puccini or Verdi by any stretch of the imagination. But the music and voices are true and delightful, and if you have never heard this work from Joplin, then I would whole-heartedly recommend this recording." Report Abuse
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