Summer and Smoke
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World premiere recording of Lee Hoiby's 1971 opera.

This is a world premiere recording of Lee Hoiby's 1971 two-act opera, with libretto by Lanford Wilson, based on the play by Tennessee Williams. Lee Hoiby, who died on April 8, 2011, was best known as a composer of operas and songs, although he was a child prodigy as a pianist, studying at the University of Wisconsin with Gunnar Johansen and Egon Petri. But on the verge of a career as a concert pianist, he received a scholarship to study composition with Gian Carlo Menotti. His immense contribution to American music, particularly opera and song repertoire is recognized by American singers everywhere. His style is an elegant and unobvious bridging of the lyrical works of Verdi and Gershwin.
Lee Hoiby, composer
Summer and Smoke
Anna Viemeister, Nickoli Strommer, Audean Farmer, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre, Steven Osgood, conductor

"There is something of a Puccini-esque flow to the dialog, with lyrical phrases that expand into arias. Hoiby is a master of text-setting; his songs are minor masterpieces. ...The Manhattanites give more than just a good impression of the opera; they are all in it for their lives, deeply involved..." (American Record Guide)

"I consider this an important new release... Among American neoromantic operas, it is one of the best; for listeners sympathetic to the genre it is essential listening." (Fanfare)
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