Bridge Records released a two cd-set of Thornton Wilder’s/Paul Hindemith’s opera The Long Christmas Dinner. Conducted by Leon Botstein, the American Symphony Orchestra was recorded live at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center December 2014.
This recording marks a major event in American music: the premiere recording of the original English language version of Paul Hindemith’s final opera, on a libretto by Thornton Wilder. Conductor Leon Botstein writes: “One aspect that Thornton Wilder and Paul Hindemith shared was their mastery of the short form in their respective fields: the single-act work. Nowhere is Wilder’s skill in this dramatic form so ambitiously and thrillingly demonstrated than in The Long Christmas Dinner, which transforms the concept of duration by compressing 90 years into under an hour, and thereby exposes fundamental issues of life and its rebirths. Hindemith, too, loved the form, and used it to invoke sudden spikes of emotion, whether it be horror, laughter, or astonishment. That these two great artists collaborated on a form that they both dominated and reinvigorated is a rare and happy historical convergence.”
This CD release includes complete librettos in English and German, and extensive background notes by Hindemith scholar Joel Haney, conductor Leon Botstein, and Tappan Wilder, nephew and literary executor of Thornton Wilder.
Visit the Bridge Records website for ordering options (including iTunes) and to download a “PDF Booklet” filled with background information on how this opera came to be. The ordering options and “PDF Booklet” download links are grouped together after the product summary.