Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein

Eric A. Gordon, Author St. Martin's Press $29.95 (605p) ISBN 978-0-312-02607-3
Historian Gordon presents a thorough account of the life and works of the composer best known for his American stage adaptation of Bertold Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. In his own compositions, not well received in their own time and not often performed today, Blitzstein expressed his preoccupation with the political and social issues of his day. His operas of the 1930s (for example, The Cradle Will Rock and No for an Answer ) are statements of his commitment to the labor movement and to left-wing causes, and all of his later works contain bold social commentary. Gordon gives exhaustive synopses of the plots of Blitzstein's operas and theater pieces and discusses his life at length, especially his personal relationships and his homosexuality. The result is a detailed picture of a composer who used his music as a vehicle for propaganda long before the political protest music of the 1960s and '70s. A list of Blitzstein's compositions is included. Photographs not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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