Three Comic Chamber Operas
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Sophisticated one-act operas including one based on a soap opera.

Any disc that contains the music of the wonderful American composer Douglas Moore, is a welcome addition to the catalog. Mr. Moore (1893-1969) composed "Gallantry" in 1957 and it was first performed in March 1958 at Columbia University on a double bill with Dominick Argento's "The Boor." The libretto by Arnold Sundgaard is a parody of television soap operas, reminiscent perhaps of the once popular "Young Doctor Malone," complete with commercial interruptions for Lochinvar Soap, the soap of silken supremacy, and Billy Boy Wax, the waxy wax that spells relax, which are sung by a female announcer assisted by three dancers called the Billy Boy Girls. The parody came full circle on August 30, 1972, when CBS broadcast a production of "Gallantry" on its television network. Menotti's "The Telephone" was composed in 1946. It was premiered by the Ballet Society of New York at the Heckstar Theater in February 1947, on a double bill with the same composer's "The Medium" It proved so successful that three months later, it began a long and successful run on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. Hindemith composed his "There and Back" in 1927. It was first performed in the United States at the inaugural season of Tanglewood in 1940. Hindemith himself was one of the pianists in the pit orchestra.
Paul Hindemith, composer
Hin und Zuruck (There and Back), Op. 45A
New York Chamber Ensemble, Jeanne Ommerle, Richard Holmes, Robert Osborne, Austin Moore, Carl Halvorson, Stephen Radcliffe, conductor

Gian Carlo Menotti, composer
The Telephone or L'Amour Trois
New York Chamber Ensemble, Jeanne Ommerle, Richard Holmes, Stephen Radcliffe, conductor

Douglas Moore, composer
Gallantry, A Soap Opera
New York Chamber Ensemble, Julia Parks, Margaret Bishop, Richard Holmes, Carl Halvorson, Stephen Radcliffe, conductor

"Happy Endings, the New York Chamber Ensemble's Albany Records CD, comprises terse comic operas Gallantry, by Douglas Moore; Hin und Zuruck, by Paul Hindemith; and The Telephone, by openly gay composer Gian Carlo Menotti, led by Stephen Rogers Radcliffe. The first is a heated soap opera with a hospital setting. The next, performed in English translation, a happy domestic scene sours, continues with a homicide, reverses course - complete with a slain spouse returning to life - and ends on the upbeat note on which it opened. The last, a bel canto and verismo parody, finds a frustrated suitor competing with the instrument to which his love is passionately attached..." (New York Native)
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