PE0095. STREET SCENE (Weill), recorded 1947, w.Abravanel Cond. Original Cast Ensemble; Anne Jeffreys, Polyna Stoska, Brian Sullivan, etc. CBS MK 44668. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 7464446682
"American opera has at last been realized. . . . Weill's music is dissonant, melodic, cacophonous, brutal, powerful, and emotional, with incredible climax building upon incredible climax, as the orchestra and singers love, weep, wail and shout the joys and sorrows of life against a stark, sordid background of a great dramatic story of America. . . . It is the finest American work in the operatic idiom that I have ever heard, and that includes most of the works staged by the Metropolitan and in other cities for over a quarter century."
-Musical Digest, 1947
"A musical play of magnificence and glory. . . . With its music and dances, its chorales and lyrics, it finds the song of humanity under the argot of the New York streets."
-New York Times, 1947
"STREET SCENE is as much an American opera as PORGY AND BESS, and I don't hesitate in the least to rank it just as high as the Gershwin classic. . . . With poignant music by Kurt Weill and pointed lyrics by Langston Hughes, [it] is the most exciting and effective production Broadway has seen in many years. There is not a false note in the show, musically or dramatically. Its sense of tragedy never trails off into the merely maudlin; and its feeling for the rich comedy of tenement life never becomes patronizing or just terribly cute."
-Chicago Daily News, 1947
"STREET SCENE is the best contemporary musical production to grace any American stage. . . . We cannot imagine that an audience from any walk of life would not enjoy it. It has everything."
-Musical America, 1947
"A score which . . . can be readily seen not only as [Weill's] American masterpiece but as a stage work of overpowering impact. . . . How powerfully it can work on the stage, how compellingly Weill's music succeeds in creating dramatic personalities, how rich and resplendent is its variety."
-New York, 1979
"The more one sees this opera, the more one is touched by the richness and variety of its musical inspiration, the direct honesty of its sentiments and the sheer skill that creates such a vital piece of musical theater."
-New York Times, 1979
"This tuneful, dizzyingly eclectic work . . . balances the bleakness and cruelty of its urban milieu with sweetness and gentle idealism; bracing cynicism coexists with humanistic sympathy toward even the opera's most odious characters . . . . It's remarkable how much of this richly spun tapestry of 1940s life seems timeless."
-Opera News, 2001