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American Highways

AMERICAN HIGHWAYS PRESENTS MARC BLITZSTEIN, ACT 1: The Cradle that Rocked
Composer Marc Blitzstein has been all but forgotten, but in the 1930s he was famous for his political musical, The Cradle Will Rock. Composed by Blitzstein, Directed by Orson Wells, Produced by John Houseman…and banned by the Federal Government.
The show, when it opened, in a borrowed theater, without sets or costumes, and with the actors performing from seats in the audience, was an instant hit. It became the defining moment of Blitzstein’s career, and one of the compositions for which he will most be remembered. Although the work could not have been more political, he said, “I’m not writing music-plays of social significance…” Disingenuous? Perhaps. But he knew the power and the force of his music, and he wanted to see history play itself out. And did it ever, in this grand and astounding story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

 

CREDITS: “The Cradle That Rocked: Rediscovering Marc Blitzstein” was hosted and directed by pianist Guy Livingston. This four-part series was produced for Concertzender Radio, Utrecht, The Netherlands; and is distributed in the US by the WFMT Radio Network, Chicago. Funding for this project provided by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. New York, New York. Administrative support provided by the Transatlantic Foundation for Music and Art. Sound design by Erik Hense.
More at GuyLivingston.com/radio

 

Marc Blitzstein, arr. Stephen Sondheim
1. Never Get Lost
Dawn Upshaw
Electra Nonesuch 79345-2
Marc Blitzstein
2. The Cradle Will Rock
Original 1985 Cast (The Acting Company) & Patti LuPone
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)
Marc Blitzstein
3. Freedom of the Press
Steven Tyler; Henry Stram; Tim Jerome
RCA Victor 09026-63577-2
Marc Blitzstein
Regina
4. Prologue
5. Act 3 – No. 1 – Rain Quartet
Scottish Opera Orch & Chorus; John Mauceri, Director; Tommy Krasker, producer.
Decca 433 812-2
Marc Blitzstein
6. Let’s Do Something
Original 1985 Cast (The Acting Company) & Patti LuPone
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)
Marc Blitzstein
7. In The Clear
Dawn Upshaw
Electra Nonesuch 79345-2
Marc Blitzstein
8. Serenade For String Quartet (1932) mov’t 2: Largo
Del Sol Quartet
OM 1017-2
Marc Blitzstein
9. Studs Terkel interviews Leonard Bernstein in 1965
Leonard Bernstein, guest; Studs Terkel, host.
Courtesy of the Studs Terkel Archives, WFMT, Chicago.
Marc Blitzstein
10. Honolulu Song
11. Order in the Courtroom
12. Solicitin’
13. Joe Worker
14. Ella’s Entrance
Original 1985 Cast (The Acting Company) & Patti LuPone
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)
Marc Blitzstein
15. Piano Variation II
Bennett Lerner, pianist.
Etcetera 1986 CD KTC 1019
Marc Blitzstein
16. Airborne Symphony – I. i. Theory Of Flight
NYC Symphony, Bernstein
Pavilion Records GEMS CD 0009 Disc 2
Marc Blitzstein
17. Let’s Do Something
Sung by David Campbell, Steven Tyler, Erin Hill, Dan Jenkins
18. Croon Spoon
Sung by Eddie Vedder, Susan Sarandon, Steven Tyler
RCA Victor 09026-63577-2
Marc Blitzstein
19. Honolulu
Original 1985 Cast (The Acting Company) & Patti LuPone
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)
Marc Blitzstein
20. No for an Answer, Act 2 Scene 7: Nick “I Speak in English Now”
No for an Answer Original Cast
Pavilion Records GEMS CD 0009
Marc Blitzstein
21. The Freedom of the Press
Steven Tyler; Henry Stram; Tim Jerome
22. The Cradle Will Rock (finale)
Steven Tyler, Henry Stram, Tim Jerome, Vicki Clark, Erin Hill, Dan Jenkins, Chris McKinney, and cast.
RCA Victor 09026-63577-2
Marc Blitzstein
23. Don’t Let Me Keep You
Randle Mell and cast
24. Art for Art’s Sake
Randle Mell
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)
Steve Reich
The Desert Music
25. First Movement (Fast)
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101