Notes and Editorial Reviews
The opening night of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock was one of the most infamous in history. The attempt to shut down and censor the production resulted in an improvised performance with Blitzstein playing his score on the piano, which has influenced performances of this American masterpiece for decades. Now, this First Complete Recording of The Cradle Will Rock - recorded live at Opera Saratoga in July 2017 - restores Blitzstein’s brilliant original orchestrations to their full glory. Under the baton of conductor John Mauceri and direction of Lawrence Edelson, this remarkable production of the fable of Steeltown USA, corrupted at every social level by the predations and capitalist cupidity of its boss-man, Mr. Mister, was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as having “no polite veneer to soften Blitzstein’s social outrage, with a cast that had the scrupulousness of opera but the theatricality of Broadway.” Straddling the worlds of opera, musical theater and popular music, The Cradle Will Rock is as timely and entertaining today as when it first premiered in 1937.
The music is nimble and mercurial, too, leaping from parody to poignance, from heartache to uplift, all leavened with sardonic humor. It’s good to have, at last, a well-engineered recording that does the full score — and the full scoring—justice. Of the major singers, pride of place goes to Ginger Costa-Jackson as Moll. But in fact, there are so many expert singers here that it’s impossible to credit them all. We owe Bridge Records a debt of gratitude for taking it on.
If you’ve always heard about the show and wondered what all the fuss was about, here is an excellent performance.
– American Record Guide