Marc Blitzstein: A Bio-Bibliography (Bio-Bibliographies in Music Series No. 99)

Overview

Marc Blitzstein was one of the 20th century's most important American composers, lyricists, and critics, often credited with having virtually invented opera in the American vernacular. Called the father of American opera in the vernacular by luminaries Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, Blitzstein was a masterful pianist, coach, and accompanist, though, ironically, he made more money on the lyrics to one song—Mack the Knife—than on everything else he ever did. Blitzstein's brilliant career was cut short in 1964...

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Overview

Marc Blitzstein was one of the 20th century's most important American composers, lyricists, and critics, often credited with having virtually invented opera in the American vernacular. Called the father of American opera in the vernacular by luminaries Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, Blitzstein was a masterful pianist, coach, and accompanist, though, ironically, he made more money on the lyrics to one song—Mack the Knife—than on everything else he ever did. Blitzstein's brilliant career was cut short in 1964 when he died at the age of 58. This book catalogs Blitzstein's own writings and writings about him, followed by detailed listings (chronological, alphabetical, and genre), analysis, a comprehensive performance history, and summaries of all known critiques of his 128 original musical works and 18 texts set to the music of others.

Shown in detail are the ways in which Blitzstein took music from his earlier works and developed it in later works, a process that Lehrman utilized in completing (with Bernstein's and the Estate's approval) 20 Blitzstein works for performance, including The Cradle Will Rock, I've Got the Tune, No for an Answer, Idiots First, and Sacco and Vanzetti, which Blitzstein believed would be his magnum opus. The book provides a unique and full perspective on the works of one of America's greatest composers—one who deserves to be better known.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[M]onumental….Lehrman's book opens with an interesting miscellany, including an exhaustive genealogy and an ample bibliography on Blitzstein's writer-wife, Eva Goldbeck. What follows is a chronological list of Blitzstein's works by genre; a chronological list of the composers texts to music by others; a list of articles written by Blitzstein; a list of general articles about Blitzstein written both during his lifetime and after his death; a large annotated section devoted to articles and documentation organized by work; a discography and a videography including archival artifacts; and an index of names and organizations. Researchers will want to know that the microfilm reel numbers refer to archival material that resides at the Blitzstein Collection at the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison….[t]he sheer magnitude of this accomplishment, a life in documents for which the term, bio-bibliography hardly suffices."

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Howard Pollack, The Institute for Studies in American Music

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313300271
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Bio-Bibliographies in Music Series , #99
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

LEONARD J. LEHRMAN is a composer and a reference librarian at Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library in New York. He is a former Assistant Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera; founder of the Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus, the Long Island Composers Archive at Long Island University, and the Jewish Music Theater of Berlin. He is the editor ofThe Marc Blitzstein Songbook.

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Table of Contents

Biography & Scope Note

Abbreviations Used

Genealogy

Dedications, Teachers

Important Performances of Others' Music

Eva Goldbeck

Chronological List of Musical Works (W1-W128)

Works with Orchestra

Chamber Music Works

Piano Solo Works

Film Scores

Incidental Music Scores

Ballets

Music & Sketches for Revues

Operas & Musicals

Choral Works

Vocal Quartets

Vocal Trios

Vocal Duets

Vocal Solos

Chronological List of Texts to Music by Others (T1-T18)

Alphabetical List of Works, Including Alternate Titles

List of Articles for Publication Written by Blitzstein (A1-A96)

General Articles & Documents on Blitzstein During His Lifetime (G1-G65)

Death Notices & Memorial Tributes to Blitzstein (M1-M44)

General Articles & Documents on Blitzstein After His Death (P1-P63)

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