Podcast: Blitzstein in New York

composer Marc Blitzstein, brooding and elegant

I just spent a wonderful week in New York, all devoted to researching, interviewing, and generally delving into the life of Marc Blitzstein, composer, arranger, songwriter, activist, and gentleman. This show is a preview of some of his marvelous music, which will be featured in my upcoming documentary this fall, a joint production of ConcertZender Radio and the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago.

Join me tonight as I choose my favorite songs and tunes from his operas and musicals.

And don’t forget to fill out my 2-minute survey – it will help us plan the next season of American Highways at ConcertZender! Would you like to view the results and comments thus far? click here.

listen-to-CZ-button now-on-itunes-button

Hunting in New York for Marc Blitzstein, composer…


Theme Music :
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984)
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101.

Marc Blitzstein
“The Purest Kind of Guy” (Joe’s Birthday Song) From the Opera No for an Answer
Paul Robeson Jr.
Sony BMG Music 1997 re-release

Marc Blitzstein in Too Much Johnson

A still featuring Marc Blitzstein, composer,  clowning around, from the film “Too Much Johnson”, a 1938 American silent comedy film written and directed by Orson Welles. The film was made three years before Welles directed Citizen Kane, but it was never publicly screened. The film was shot to be integrated into Welles’s Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette’s 1894 comedy, but the motion picture sequences could not be shown due to the absence of projection facilities. The resulting plot confusion reportedly contributed to the stage production’s failure. I swear I did not make this up.

Marc Blitzstein
23. Art for Art’s Sake (0:55)
15. Honolulu (2:33)
Original 1985 Cast (The Acting Company) & Patti LuPone
JAY Records JAY 1300 (CD, LP)

Marc Blitzstein
In The Clear
Dawn Upshaw
Electra Nonesuch 79345-2 1

Marc Blitzstein
Regina, ACT 1: Prologue
Scottish Opera Orch & Chorus; John Mauceri, Director; Tommy Krasker, producer.
Decca 433 812-2, Disc 1

Marc Blitzstein
1. Regina: The Best Thing of All
Kevin Amos, Lucy Schaufer & Lucy Schaufer Ensemble
Australian Broadcasting Corp. ABC Classics 481 0331

Marc Blitzstein
Monday Morning Blues
William Sharp, baritone; Karen Holvik, soprano; Steven Blier, piano
Koch CD 6644

Marc Blitzstein
First Life- Early Chamber Works of Marc Blitzstein
Serenade For String Quartet (1932)
1. Largo (5:36)
2. Largo (5:21)
3. Largo (5:43)
Del Sol String Quartet
OM 1017-2 (2009)

Marc Blitzstein (arr. David Robbins)
5. Croon Spoon (2:12)
21. The Cradle Will Rock, closing sequence (2:07)
Susan Sarandon, Eddie Vedder, and the cast
RCA Victor 09026-63577-2



Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.07.09 PM

Marc Blitzstein (center) with the original cast of Cradle Will Rock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *