PREPARE FOR SAINTS ~ Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism
Book review and technical detail PREPARE FOR SAINTS ~ Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism Steven Watson
|Technical detail of PREPARE FOR SAINTS ~ Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism|
|Title||PREPARE FOR SAINTS ~ Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism|
|Category||Entertainment & Sports|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
A somewhat lite but consistently agreeable annual of the modernist movement’s development in America, as apparent through the prism of a abundant American opera. Modernism aboriginal accustomed in the US via the awful affecting and arguable Armory appearance of 1913, but didn—t accretion boilerplate address until the backward 1920s and aboriginal 1930s—when it was best up and answer by a accumulation of adolescent Harvard graduates who styled themselves “The Friends” or “The Family.” Including the artist Philip Johnson, building babysitter Chick Austin, and balletomane Lincoln Kirstein, “The Family” consisted of a alliance of wealthy, well-connected, abundantly homosexual boy geniuses whose abutment and advocacy of adolescent alum Virgil Thomson led to the 1933 staging of his opera Four Saints in Three Acts on Broadway. Watson (The Birth of the Beat Generation, 1995, etc.) argues that Four Saints helped to advance accumulation American accepting of modernist modalities. Certainly, the opera brought calm a bright aggregation of collaborators. Gertrude Stein wrote the lyrics, Frederick Ashton choreographed, John Houseman directed, and Florine Stettheimer created the set and costumes. Watson provides abrupt biographies of all concerned. But he focuses on the agitated accord of Stein and Thomson. She was 22 years older, prickly, beneath acclaimed than she admired to be, while Thomson was a able unknown. Alike with his able allies, it took about six years to get the opera produced. The ruptures and reconciliations with Stein fabricated things alike added difficult. The opera is rarely active today, but the adorableness of its staging, the change of its all-black cast, and its accepted addition fabricated it a battleground back it opened. Despite the opera’s success and its influence, Thomson and Stein alone collaborated already added (on the lesser-known The Mother of Us All). The casual shallows of his absolute annual are surpassed by the abyss of Watson’s presentation of a cardinal cultural moment. (100 b&w photos, not seen)
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