In 1820, Susan B. Anthony was born. In 1920 her activism and countless others' came to fruition with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, giving U.S. women the right to vote. In 2020, we celebrate one hundred years of women's suffrage.
Women had to fight for musical recognition as well. After gaining the right to vote, it took some one hundred years more before 'women composers' were finally referred to as what they actually are: composers.
New World Records celebrates the rich history of American composers, and is also proud to have produced the premiere recording of The Mother of Us All, Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's 1947 opera about Susan B. Anthony.
[from the liner notes]
The Mother of Us All is one of the few truly great American operas. The second and final collaboration between Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein (she died before hearing the score), Mother is marvelous poetic theater, fusing Stein's rich and resonant libretto with Thomson's "memory-book of Victorian play-games and passions -- with its gospel hymns and cocky marches, its sentimental ballads, waltzes, darned-fool ditties, and intoned sermons -- a souvenir of all those sounds and kinds of tunes that were once the music of rural America." (Thomson's own description).
Gertrude Stein in 1935