The Cradle Will Rock - 1960 New York City Opera

FirstObserver wrote on July 2, 2012

This broadcast is the only known recording to utilize Blitzstein's full, original orchestration. The source of this recording is uncertain. It has been said to have been a radio broadcast, possibly on Voice of America (as City Opera performances were not generally being broadcast at the time). One thing that seems to make it highly unlikely that the source is a broadcast is that we hear the entire curtain call, going on nearly 3 and a half minutes, without an announcer ever being heard.

One possibility is that the performance was recorded for broadcast at a later date and what we have is the recording that was made that night rather than an actual broadcast (with announcer). Another possibility is that it was recorded for broadcast and this is what was recorded, but it never was broadcast. No one seems to have any evidence that this was ever broadcast. It may also simply have been recorded off the stage monitor.

One other note: This recording is often listed with Frank Poretta as Steve, but this was recorded as the final performance of the production, at which Poretta was replaced in the role by Bob Shaver. It is audibly not Poretta on the recording, and it does sound like Shaver.

FirstObserver wrote on February 6, 2013

That post above is attributed to me and I did write most of it. But did I really write that first sentence that way? If so, I wish I could amend it as I don't think that the source for this recording is a broadcast for reasons explained in the rest of my earlier post.

One possibility not mentioned in my earlier post is that arrangements were made, either by Blitzstein or someone else, for microphones to be set up onstage to record the performance for private archival purposes.

As of the time I'm posting this, it says the following on wikipedia: "Blitzstein's rarely heard orchestrations were used in a February 21, 1960 broadcast by the New York City Opera featuring Tammy Grimes and David Atkinson." The following source is given for this statement: Taubman, Howard."Radical '30's Recalled In 'Cradle Will Rock'", The New York Times (abstract), February 21, 1960.

I've downloaded that article from the Times site, and I see no mention there of a broadcast.

On a sadly final note, I must salute the wonderful SurabayaSeany, who added this recording to this site. Sean is no longer with us and he is much missed by a great many people.

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