Virgil Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts

Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP): BMOP1049

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Virgil Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts

Catalogue No:




Release date:

18th Nov 2016






Hybrid Multi-channel
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Virgil Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts

Thomson, V:

Four Saints in Three Acts

Charles Blandy (tenor), Aaron Engebreth (baritone), Tom McNichols (bass), Gigi Mitchell-Velasco (mezzo-soprano), Sarah Pelletier (soprano), Deborah Selig (soprano), Lynn Torgove (mezzo-soprano), Stanley Wilson (tenor)

Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose

Capital, Capitals

Charles Blandy (tenor), Simon Dyer (bass), Andrew Garland (baritone), Sumner Thompson (baritone), Linda Osborn (piano)

SACD - 2 discs


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A collaboration between iconoclastic American expats, Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s opera Four Saints in Three Acts was a sensation upon its 1934 premiere in Hartford, CT. Featuring an all-black cast, superb choreography, whimsical sets, and a quasi-absurdist quasi-plot loosely based on the legendary figures of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Four Saints was an opera about the unadulterated joy of music and words. Thomson’s score revels in the clean harmonies and simple melodies of traditional American hymnody, while Stein’s libretto displays her trademark obsession with word sounds, subliminal over overt meaning, and offbeat witticisms. Included as a bonus track is Capital Capitals, a rapid-fire showpiece for four male singers and piano juggling musical figures and puns at lightning speed. Gil Rose leads the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and a cast of stellar vocal soloists in a bravura performance of this hallmark of American modernism.

BBC Music Magazine

May 2017


“Much of the vitality comes from the chorus of three dozen singers, who have numerous interjections and bits of commentary to deliver. They do it with vim and freshness, with an enthusiastic conviction”

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