More Music for Shakespeare (1950–1958)

Howard Pollack

in Marc Blitzstein

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791590
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199949625 | DOI:
                   More Music for Shakespeare (1950–1958)

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This chapter discusses Blitzstein’s notable scores for several Shakespeare plays in the 1950s: King Lear, directed by John Houseman; King Lear, directed by Orson Welles; and two Stratford Festival productions: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by John Landau, and The Winter’s Tale, co-directed by Houseman and Landau. These scores consolidated Blitzstein’s position as one of America’s foremost composers of incidental music. The chapter also includes some discussion of his symphonic work pieced together from his Lear scores, Lear: A Study, premiered by Dimitri Mitropoulos and the New York Philharmonic; and the composer’s friendship with his younger colleague Ned Rorem.

Keywords: Shakespeare; King Lear; John Houseman; Orson Welles; Stratford Festival; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Winter’s Tale; Dimitri Mitropoulos; Ned Rorem

Chapter.  7114 words. 

Subjects: American Music ; Popular Music

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