A Bio-bibliographyBook - 2005
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.