Magazine article Gramophone

V Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts

Magazine article Gramophone

V Thomson: Four Saints in Three Acts

Article excerpt

V Thomson

Four Saints in Three Acts

Sarah Pelletier sop         St Teresa I
Gigi Mitchell-Velasco mez   St Teresa II
Aaron Engebreth bar         St Ignatius
Lynn Torgrove mez           Commere
Tom McNichols bass          Compere
Deborah Selig sop           St Settlement
Charles Blandy ten          St Chavez
Stanley Wilson ten          St Stephen

Capital Capitals

Charles Blandy ten Sumner Thompson, Andrew Garland bars Simon Dyer bass

Boston Modern Orchestra Project / Gil Rose

BMOP/sound (F) (2) * BMOP1049 (107' * DDD/DSD * T)

Trying to make sense of Four Saints in Three Acts in narrative terms is an exercise in futility. As engaging as Gertrude Stein's libretto often sounds, the words never add up to anything that illuminates their implications (or much else: the 2 2-member cast includes 19 saints, and the opera is in four acts). But even as you're scratching your head to figure out what it all means, Virgil Thomson's gleaming music constandy persuades you to stick around.

The score is a touching amalgam of Americana and hymn influences, with tuneful lines, bright colours and rhythmic urgency keeping the ear eager to experience what happens next. …

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