New York: G. Ricordi & Co. [PN N.Y. 1282], 1943. Quarto. Original publisher's decorative wrappers by Milena, upper black printed in white, lower dark ivory with publisher's device.1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (recto cast list, verso blank), 1f. (recto synopsis of scenes, verso blank), 1f. (recto dedication, verso blank), 183, [i] (blank) pp.
With inscription in dark blue ink to upper right corner of free front endpaper: "For Alexander Smallens affectionately Gian Carlo Menotti."
Wrappers slightly worn; creased at corners; lower slightly soiled.
A radio opera in one act to his own libretto, The Old Maid and the Thief was first broadcast by the National Broadcasting Company on April 22, 1939 and first staged inn Philadelphia on February 11, 1941.
"The great success of Menotti’s Amelia al ballo brought a commission from NBC for an opera for radio. The work is in 14 short scenes, one being just a brief recitative and aria. A short spoken narrative before each scene, called ‘Announcements’, is used only in radio broadcasts. The action is more compact and the texture thinner than in Amelia, but the same conservative tonal language prevails." Bruce Archibald in Grove Music Online.
"Critical appraisal of Menotti’s works has ranged from sincere appreciation (Sargeant) to bitter denunciation, later retracted (Kerman). There are signs that Menotti’s legacy in future will be more complex and wide-ranging than anticipated. In deftly side-stepping the Second Viennese School he has provided an alternative model, that of the rigorously trained classical musician whose prime motivation has been to communicate with his audience. To that end, he invented both the first opera for radio and for television and had hopes for composing an opera expressly for film. Like Gershwin before him and Lloyd Webber after, he fused together music and theatre. Whether we decide to define the results as opera, music theatre or musical does not detract from the achievement of creating new audiences for one of the oldest of genres." Bruce Archibald and Jennifer Barnes in Grove Music Online.
Smallens (December 20, 1888/January 1, 1889 - 1972 ), noted Russian-born American conductor, studied at the New York Institute of Musical Art and, from 1909, at the Paris Conservatoire, returning to the USA as assistant conductor of the Boston Opera, 1911–14. After two years as conductor of Pavlova’s touring company, including a South American tour, he returned to become conductor of the Chicago Opera, 1919–23... His Chicago association began when he replaced Hasselmans as conductor for the première of De Koven’s Rip Van Winkle, and he also gave the première of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges at Chicago in 1921. He was musical director of the Philadelphia Civic Opera, 1924–31, where he gave the American premières of Strauss’s Feuersnot in 1927 and Ariadne auf Naxos in 1928, and was also assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, 1927–34. Later he moved towards a lighter repertory, conducting the première of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at Boston in 1935..." Bernard Jacobson in Grove Music Online. Item #29951
Price: $150.00 other currencies