JACK BEESON (1921-2010): Dr. Heidegger's Fountain of Youth (Carol Wilcox [soprano], Judith Christin [mezzo], Grayson Hirst [tenor], Robert Shiesley [baritone], Chamber Orchestra; Thomas Martin. Original 1979 CRI release), Hello Out There (John Reardon [baritone], Leyna Gabriele [soprano], Columbia Chamber Orchestra; Frederic Waldman. 1950s Columbia LP most recently available 1991 on Bay Cities CD).
Catalogue Number: 02N067
Reference: TROY 1312
Description: The 42-minute Dr. Heidegger, libretto from the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, premiered in 1978 and Hello Out There, based on a William Saroyan story, was written in 1953. Both show Beeson's gift for writing strong, singable, lyrical music which is generally conservative and romantic but, in the former, the composer uses a twelve-tone row to suggest the ravages of old age in its four main characters; this changes to C major as they drink a potion and become young again. Libretti included.