Deems Taylor: Peter Ibbetson

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Deems Taylor, the renowned music critic for the New York Times, was the first composer approached by Giulio Gatti-Casazza the manager of the Metropolitan Opera in the late '20s, at the start of a veritable flurry of commissions of works by American composers that continued for about a decade, and also resulted in Met premieres by Howard Hanson and Louis Gruenberg. Taylor's first work, "The King's Henchman" 1927, was such a success that he was commissioned to write a second opera, for which he selected Peter Ibbetson, a novel by George Du Maurier, as his source. The opera, which featured Lawrence Tibbett, Lucrezia Bori, Edward Johnson, and Marion Telva at its 1931 ...
See more details below
CD
$18.99
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (7) from $8.89   
  • New (4) from $10.90   
  • Used (3) from $8.89   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Deems Taylor, the renowned music critic for the New York Times, was the first composer approached by Giulio Gatti-Casazza the manager of the Metropolitan Opera in the late '20s, at the start of a veritable flurry of commissions of works by American composers that continued for about a decade, and also resulted in Met premieres by Howard Hanson and Louis Gruenberg. Taylor's first work, "The King's Henchman" 1927, was such a success that he was commissioned to write a second opera, for which he selected Peter Ibbetson, a novel by George Du Maurier, as his source. The opera, which featured Lawrence Tibbett, Lucrezia Bori, Edward Johnson, and Marion Telva at its 1931 premiere, was also well received, and for over half a century held the record of having more performances at the Met than any other American opera. Taylor, who served as his own librettist, created an opera that is deeply moving and has genuine dramatic power, with an ending that's achingly poignant. It's skillfully and ingeniously constructed, as well as being innovative in its extensive use of dream sequences, and in having the scenes set in Britain sing in English, and the scenes set in France sung in French. The music is thoroughly post-Romantic, with influences of Debussy, Massenet, and most prominently, Wagner, evident throughout. There is little in the opera that could mark it as an American work, except for its stylistic resemblance to American film scores of the era. It's intriguing, though, how many subsequent American operas in a conservative idiom, by composers such as Hoiby and Pasatieri, even though written generations later, inhabit virtually the same harmonic and idiomatic universe as Taylor's opera. Naxos is to be commended for making this historically significant work available to modern audiences. Based on a series of 1999 concert performances by the Seattle Symphony and Chorale, led by Gerard Schwarz, the recording features the superb Lauren Flanigan and Anthony Dean Griffey, both of whom have distinguished careers in new American operas. The entire large cast is excellent, and Richard Zeller and Lori Summers shine in the other two lead roles. The orchestra and chorale perform with commitment and polish. Naxos has already released a very fine recording of Hanson's "Merry Mount," with Schwarz, the Seattle Symphony and some of the same principals; one hopes that in the future they will tackle "The King's Henchman" and Gruenberg's "The Emperor Jones," works that should be of considerable interest, based on the tantalizing excerpts Lawrence Tibbett recorded for RCA after their premieres.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/28/2009
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 730099901673
  • Catalog Number: 8669016-17
  • Sales rank: 252,126

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–25 Peter Ibbetson, opera, Op. 20 - Deems Taylor & Deems Taylor (134:00)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gerard Schwarz Primary Artist
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Major 20th Century American Opera- The Gap Finally Filled

    A MAJOR 20th CENTURY AMERICAN OPERA - THE GAP FINALLY FILLED
    Review by Jerry Fink
    Deems Taylor was a major American music critic and composer best remembered for two operas, The King's Henchman and Peter Ibbetson ; and, his "live" appearance in the Disney feature film Fantasia . Peter Ibbetson has been considered one of the signature operas of the American "traditionalist" school of the 1920's and 30's. The work was commissioned by Gatti-Casazza for the Metropolitan Opera and premiered February 1931. It was a box-office success and ran between 1931 and 1936 giving the Met a needed financial "shot in the arm" in the bowels of the Depression.
    The plot of the opera was taken from George Du Maurier's novel of the same name. The timeline of the story is roughly a thirty year period between 1855 and 1887. The action takes place in both England and France with most of the French scenes sung in French and the English scenes sung in English. Peter and Mary are the adult counterparts of two children ( Gogo and Mimsey ) who grew up as children in France as very good and trusted friends . As the plot continues, their adult relationship with each other becomes more defined and, of course, more complicated. Since Mary is married, Peter will not be able to fulfill his desire for a complete relationship with the woman he loves. His relationship with his Uncle has been and continues to be unbearable. When Peter finds out that his Uncle has told others that he is really Peter's father, Peter's anger culminates in killing his Uncle. Peter ends up in prison, with his death sentence commuted to life in prison. Peter's only solace in life is reflected in two large dream scenes (one each in acts two and three). His love for Mary can only be totally fulfilled when he dreams "true". Thirty years pass. Peter is informed by his old and dear friend Mrs. Deane that Mary has passed away. As Peter lies dying, Mary appears as a spirit beckoning Peter to come with her. He dies and the opera ends with a chorus greeting a new and more beautiful day.
    The sound of Taylor's music is quite beautiful throughout. The orchestra is the main protagonist and plays continuously. The vocal writing is mainly declamatory with a few important arias and ensembles sprinkled appropriately throughout the work. Wagner, Massenet, Debussy, R. Strauss, Delius, and even Henry Hadley can be heard here, but in the end this is the work of an American independent musical voice. To me, the best music is found in the two dream sequences.
    The singers are all up to the task and I couldn't hear any glaring mistakes throughout the performance(s) of April 29th and May 1st, 1999. Anthony Dean Griffey as Peter and Lori Summers as Mrs. Deane stand out for me as giving the best performances. Gerard Schwarz obviously loves this music and prepared these performances extremely well. His knowledge of the musical idiom is flawless and the orchestra and chorus are superb.
    The sound is excellent for a live pick up and audience noise is minimal.
    The liner notes and synopsis are splendidly written by James Pegolotti. The artist bios are comprehensive.
    The complete libretto is available from the Naxos website with the French translations in red.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews