William Bolcom

Composer(s): William Bolcom
Album Title: A View from the Bridge 
Cat. No.: 80588 (2 CDs)
Genre: Classical / Opera
Release Date: 06/2001
Description: A View from the Bridge

(2 disc set)

Libretto by Arnold Weinstein and Arthur Miller, based on the play by Arthur Miller

Kim Josephson, Catherine Malfitano, Juliana Rambaldi, Gregory Turay, Mark McCrory, Timothy Nolen, Chorus and Orchestra of Lyric Opera of Chicago; Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

This is the world-premiere recording of William Bolcom's tragic opera, unanimously acclaimed as one of the most significant additions to the American opera repertory in recent times. View is based on Miller's powerful play depicting the fall from grace of a longshoreman, Eddie Carbone, whose barely repressed desire for his now-grown niece, Catherine, leads to the betrayal of his community and disastrous personal consequences. Bolcom's beautifully crafted and richly varied score embellishes but never overwhelms Miller's dark drama.

“Bolcom is an important composer in his prime, who writes confidently in an eclectic style that is musically sophisticated but always accessible. The material has been craftily adapted by the composer's longtime collaborator, Arnold Weinstein, who retains the drama's taut structure while still allowing ample opportunity for lyrical expansion . . .The Lyric Opera's production could not be more effectively mounted or splendidly cast . . . Dennis Russell Davies encourages the orchestra to savor the score's purely musical beauties without compromising the drama's swift pacing. Working as a honed ensemble, the cast never strikes a false note.”
- New York magazine

“. . . an unusually gripping piece of theater. For its dramatic power alone, the opera deserves to be seen everywhere. . . Mr. Bolcom's setting of text is always clear, supported by but never overwhelmed by the orchestra . . . If he tosses in a two-step or a barbershop quartet to lighten the mood, it always fits . . .The cast was dramatically and musically first-rate . . . In the pit, Dennis Russell Davies shaped the propulsive score while remaining sensitive to the singers and to the moments of relaxation and humor.”
- The Wall Street Journal

“There is much to admire: Bolcom's animated and melodic score, the imaginative libretto fashioned by Arnold Weinstein and [Arthur] Miller, the excellent cast and production values . . . Bolcom's music breathes with Yankee vernacular, from ‘50s doo-wop to the alternatingly spunky and bittersweet melodic contours associated with great American songwriters like Gershwin, Harry Warren, and Jerome Kern . . . Bolcom's score pulsates with rhythm and color. For all of Bolcom's well-known eclecticism, his postmodern mix of styles here sound folded into a single aesthetic vision . . . [Bolcom] is very much in his prime and belongs in the front rank of American composers.”
-Detroit Free Press 
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