HOWARD HANSON (1896-1981): Merry Mount, Op. 31.
Catalogue Number: 06I089
Description: For collectors who had to order the Naxos Historical 1934 Met live recording from Europe, this release will seem to come out of the blue. Apparently a concert performance, this was recorded live over two nights in October of 1996 in Seattle. Set in 1625 New England, based on Hawthorne's short story "The Maypole of Merry Mount", this is yet another early 20th century opera to deal in a religious zealot (here a Puritan) who comes to ruin through sexual obsession (here the preacher and his partner immolate themselves in a church). The musical style is that of Hanson's first two symphonies, with enhanced modality (Mixolydian for the transports of the Devil-baiting Puritans) and arioso rather than the parlando style often prevalent in stage works of the period. 2 CDs. No libretto. Lauren Flanigan (soprano), Walter MacNeil (tenor), Richard Zeller (baritone), Charles Robert Austin (bass), Northwest Boychoir, Seattle Girl's Choir, Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz.