Treemonisha

Joplin ca. 1868-1917, whose fame as a composer had skyrocketed in the 1960s and 70s as a result of the rediscovery of his rags by Gunther Schuller, Joshua Rifkin, and others, poured his heart and soul into this tale of black sharecroppers and their struggle against ignorance and superstition in late-19th-century Arkansas. Yet he was never able to get the work staged in his lifetime. This recording comes from Treemonishas belated full-scale staging at Houston Grand Opera in 1975, with a splendid cast headed by Carmen Balthrop, Betty Allen, Curtis Rayam, and Willard White, directed by Frank Corsaro and conducted by Gunther Schuller who provided the arrangements and the scoring. Joplins tuneful score is a lively mix of ragtime, minstrel show, vaudeville, grand opera, Wagner, Verdi, and Offenbach, with lots of dancing, a big role for the chorus, and arias and ensembles of affecting simplicity and beauty. Schuller gets an impressively crisp performance from the orchestra, a Dixieland band with added strings and winds, and paces the performance to perfection--for fun, just listen to the Act II-ending chorus Aunt Dinah has blowed the horn. The recording sounds as fresh and bright as the inspiration that speaks from every page of this all-American score. --Ted Libbey

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Treemonisha
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CamRate - Music
Original Reviewer
Treemonisha
3 years ago

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Treemonisha-Scott-Joplin/dp/B000001GGD?SubscriptionId=AKIAIS3I5A33GTV7S27Q&tag=wwwcamratecom-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B000001GGD Joplin ca. 1868-1917, whose fame as a composer had skyrocketed in the 1960s and 70s as a result of the rediscovery of his rags by Gunther Schuller, Joshua Rifkin, and others, poured his heart and soul into this tale of black sharecroppers and their struggle against ignorance and superstition in late-19th-century Arkansas. Yet he was never able to get the work staged in his lifetime. This recording comes from Treemonishas belated full-scale staging at Houston Grand Opera in 1975, with a splendid cast headed by Carmen Balthrop, Betty Allen, Curtis Rayam, and Willard White, directed by Frank Corsaro and conducted by Gunther Schuller who provided the arrangements and the scoring. Joplins tuneful score is a lively mix of ragtime, minstrel show, vaudeville, grand opera, Wagner, Verdi, and Offenbach, with lots of dancing, a big role for the chorus, and arias and ensembles of affecting simplicity and beauty. Schuller gets an impressively crisp performance from the orchestra, a Dixieland band with added strings and winds, and paces the performance to perfection--for fun, just listen to the Act II-ending chorus Aunt Dinah has blowed the horn. The recording sounds as fresh and bright as the inspiration that speaks from every page of this all-American score. --Ted Libbey

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