Historian Eric A. Gordon, author of the first biography of Marc Blitzstein (1989),1 recalled his editor's remark that “[t]here will never be another biography of Blitzstein, so write what you feel needs to be there.”2 This advice led to a 605-page tome, a massive effort that brought much-needed recognition to a significant but neglected American composer who is perhaps still best known for three dramatic works: The Cradle Will Rock (1937), which has received renewed attention with numerous restagings over the last few decades and with the film Cradle Will Rock directed by Tim Robbins (1999); Regina (1949), based on Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes and called by the New York Times “one of the best operas by an American” (quoted p. 469); and his brilliant adaptation of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Die Dreigroschenoper (1954), warmly praised by Brecht, Lotte Lenya, Virgil Thomson, and Arthur Berger (pp....
Review: Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World, by Howard Pollack
ELLIE M. HISAMA is Professor of Music at Columbia University. She is the author of Gendering Musical Modernism: The Music of Marion Bauer, Ruth Crawford, and Miriam Gideon (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and coeditor of Ruth Crawford Seeger's Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth-Century American Music (University of Rochester Press, 2007). She has been Editor-in-Chief of Women & Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture and was Founding Editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music.
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Ellie M. Hisama; Review: Marc Blitzstein: His Life, His Work, His World, by Howard Pollack. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 December 2016; 69 (3): 835–842. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2016.69.3.835
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