The WCFTR is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation® to help fund a project to digitize tape and disc recordings of performances or excerpts of many of Marc Blitzstein’s works including world premieres and rare recordings.
Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964) was a composer, lyricist, and librettist best known for his concern with making his work socially as well as artistically significant. The collection documents the creative process of composition and of Blitzstein's efforts to reconcile the political, psychological, and musical aspects of composition. Along with scores and scripts, related correspondence, research material and clippings, the recordings document Blitzstein’s work in motion pictures, opera, ballet, theater and symphonic orchestra. Among the recordings that will be preserved are the original 1938 cast recording of The Cradle Will Rock, test pressings of The Airborne Symphony from April 1-2, 1946 featuring Leonard Bernstein and the New York Symphony Orchestra, a 1949 performance at Carnegie Hall of Regina featuring Priscilla Gillette, Jane Pickens, Brenda Lewis, William Wilderman, and Lillyn Brown, demo recordings of Juno from 1959 with Rosemary June, Gloria Shane and Jack Carroll, and Blitzstein playing and singing Nickel Under the Foot and Smoking Glasses.
The WCFTR will be working with George Blood, L.P. of Philadelphia to have the recordings digitized and preserved.