August highlights from EMI and Virgin Classics
That’s Entertainment The John Wilson Orchestra, John Wilson
World renowned conductor and arranger John Wilson leads an all-star cast of singers and his eponymous orchestra, comprised of some of the UK’s finest musicians, on this dazzling recording of some of the best-loved songs from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Most of the scores have been lovingly and painstakingly reconstructed by Wilson, as MGM destroyed the originals in 1969. This is the first time the songs, including Singin’ in the Rain, Steppin’ Out with My Baby, The Trolley Song, and title track That’s Entertainment, have been recorded in their intended orchestration since the films’ original soundtrack recordings. That’s Entertainment, featuring Kim Criswell, Matthew Ford, Sarah Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Curtis Stigers, will be available in luxury, standard and digital packaging from 29th August.
Schoenberg: Orchestral Works Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle
Following the release of the complete Brahms symphonies, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker have performed and recorded a programme of orchestral works by Arnold Schoenberg, who was a great admirer of Brahms. The repertoire, recorded in concert at Berlin’s Philharmonie in late October/early November 2009, consists of Schoenberg’s orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene (Accompanying Music to a Film) and the full orchestra version of the Chamber Symphony No. 1. Schoenberg: Orchestral Works will be released on CD and digital download on 8th August.
“Altogether a marvellous achievement” The Daily Telegraph on the Complete Brahms Symphonies
Discover more… www.emiclassics.co.uk www.youtube.com/emiclassics www.facebook.com/emivirginclassics www.twitter.com/emiclassics ounds of merıca
Gramophone’s guide to the classical scene in the US and Canada
Focus Heart of a Soldier – page I » The Scene musical highlights from across North America – page IV » Reviews the latest CD and DVD releases – page IX »
Thomas Hampson embodies an American hero t e r r e N C e m C C A r t H Y
p e t e r A r N e t t / A p A N D
:P H O T O G R A P H Y
he soldier ’ s tale I
The true story of a British man who survived Vietnam to save countless lives on 9/11
is being premiered by San Francisco Opera, writes Damian Fowler what is it about Heart of a Soldier that makes it work as grand opera?
n 2002, I was invited by the best-selling writer James B Stewart to work as his book researcher on a remarkable true story about a British man, Rick Rescorla, whose biography was the stuff of a Boy’s Own adventure. The eventual book, Heart of a Soldier, told a story of love and heroism, culminating in a dramatic finale on September 11, 2001. Now, 10 years after that tragic day, the book has become a major opera and will be premiered at San Francisco Opera on September 10, the eve of the 10th anniversary. It’s rare for a contemporary non-fiction story to find its way to the opera house. So
For a start, Rick Rescorla’s life has an epic sweep that is almost classical in its structure. When the book was published in 2002, a critic for The Baltimore Sun raved about these elements, invoking Spielberg, not Homer: “Humming with tension, foreign adventure and the clash of arms, Heart of a Soldier has all the ingredients of an Indiana Jones movie.”
school friends and drank a pint or two in the Cornish Arms where there was beer on tap named after Rescorla, the local boy who not only made good, but became a hero. It was here in Hayle that the young Rescorla witnessed the US troops preparing for the D-Day Landings during the Second World War; here he fell in love with the mystique of the GI, the romance of adventure and travel that determined the arc of his life.
Rescorla’s life was epic indeed. It began in modest circumstances in the little seaside town of Hayle, Cornwall, where he grew up. I travelled there and found out about his boyhood roots, talked to his old
He escaped this provincial town and served in the colonial police in Northern Rhodesia (as it was then called) and then signed up to fight with the US Army in Vietnam, where he was plunged into fierce jungle warfare. He survived and eventually settled in New York, where he became the head of security for Morgan Stanley, an international brokerage firm located in the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, Rescorla’s extraordinary courage and calm paid off when he successfully evacuated 2,700 people from the burning tower. He never emerged from the building himself.
The book, and now the opera, celebrates Rescorla’s courageous deeds, his heroism and his grace under pressure. But, like all great narratives, it’s also a love story. In fact two love stories – platonic and romantic – the first between www.gramophone.co.uk
GRAMOPHONE September 2011 I