“One of America’s most important opera composers, Hugo Weisgall’s output also included orchestral, chamber and choral works, eight major song cycles, and music for ballet. His opera Six Characters in Search of an Author brought Weisgall national acclaim when it was first performed by the New York City Opera in 1959. The same company commissioned and performed his Nine Rivers from Jordan in 1968, and later staged his Esther, based on the biblical story. His other operas include Athaliah, The Gardens of Adonis, Jenny/or The Hundred Nights, Will You Marry Me?, The Tenor, and his most frequently performed opera, The Stronger.
A descendent of four generations of cantors, Weisgall was commissioned by the Friends of the Library of Jewish Theological Seminary to write a song-cycle for the 500th anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Among his more personal works were children’s pieces written for his grandchildren.
Born in Czechoslovakia, he came to the U.S. in 1920 with his parents. During World War II, he was assistant military attaché to the governments-in-exile in London, and later served as cultural attaché in Prague.
His work was recognized by the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He twice served as composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, was President of the American Music Center for 10 years, and also served as President of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Former director of the Composer-in-Residence program for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he at various times served on the faculty of Queens College, the Juilliard School, and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
Cover Title (Subtitle) Duration Instrumentation Drag Here to Add To List Solo 2 Improvisations 110-40591 Piano Unaccompanied Four Birthday Cards
410-41266 8:00 Piano Unaccompanied Sine Nomine
Graven Images No. 3 for Piano
110-40590 Piano Unaccompanied Sonata for Piano 410-41245 17:00 Piano Unaccompanied Chamber Ensemble Arioso and Burlesca
For Cello and Piano
114-40412 10:00 Cello, Piano End of Summer
for Tenor, Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello
15857 23:00 End Of Summer 114-40203 Fancies and Inventions
(9 Poems from “Herrick’s Hesperides”) for Baritone and 5 Instruments
15858 23:00 Fl. Cl. Vla. Vcl. Pno. Fancies and Inventions
For Baritone, Voice, Flure, Bb Clarinet , Viola, Cello and Piano
442-41006 Fugue & Romance 450-00177 Holiday Dance No. 1 (Hanukkah)
Graven Images No. 4 for Woodwind Quintet
114-40235 Woodwind Quintet Holiday Dance No. 2 114-40233 Lines
Graven Images No. 1
114-40110 Woodwind Quartet Pastorale
Graven Images #2
114-40111 Woodwind Quartet Tangents
Four Episodes for Flute and Marimba
114-40691 15:00 Flute with Accompaniment Choral / Vocal 4 Songs
High Or Medium Voice
111-40069 Voice with Piano Athaliah
Prologue To Part 2 – S.A.T.B., Piano
312-41205 SATB Contemporary American Art Songs 431-41010 Evening Prayer for Peace
Kiel Shomrenu – S.A.T.B., A Cappella
312-40515 SATB Fortress, Rock Of Our Salvation
(Moos Tzur), S.A.T.B., A Cappella(arr.)
342-40014 SATB God Is Due Praise
Ki Lo Noeh – S.A.T.B., A Cappella
312-40510 SATB How Fair Is Thy Love
K’Felach Horimon, S.A.T.B., A Cappella(arr.)
312-40512 SATB Liebeslieder
Four Songs With Interludes for High Voice and Piano
411-41078 Voice with Instrument Lyrical Interval 411-41088 No More I Will Thy Love Importune 141-40005 Nuptial Song 141-40007 Praise Be Unto God
Hodu Ladonoy, S.A.T.B., A Cappella
312-40508 SATB Psalm 29
For Use By Either Unison Chorus (Or Solo Voice) Or Two-Part Men’s Or Women’s Chorus Or Mixed Chorus, With Piano (English and Hebrew Text)
312-40958 Mixed Chorus Psalm 29
for Unison, 2-Pt. or 4-Pt. Chorus, Opt. Brass Ensemble
15865 5:00 Psalm 118:26
Graven Images #11 – for Unison Chorus, Or Solo Voice, and Piano
312-41423 2:15 Mixed Chorus Psalm Of The Distant Dove 411-41098 So Spake Rabbi Akiba
Omar Rabbi Akiba, S.A.T.B., A Cappella(arr.)
312-40511 SATB The Golden Peacock
Seven Popular Songs From The Yiddish
Seven Songs for Voice and Piano
411-41068 When Israel Out Of Egypt Came
B’Tzes Yisroel – S.A.T.B., A Cappella
312-40509 SATB Opera Athaliah
Opera in two parts.
16776 105:00 2(Picc. AltoFl.) 2(E.H.) 2(EbCl. B.Cl.) 2(Cbsn.) – 2 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Str. Esther
Opera in 3 acts.
16777 130:00 3(Picc. AltoFl.), 2(E.H.) 2(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 2 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str. Jenny, or The Hundred Nights
One act opera, after the Noh play “Sotoba Kamachi” by Yukio Mishima.
16779 70:00 4 2 4 2 – 2 2 3 1; 3Perc. Hp. Pno. Str. Violinist & Pianist on stage Nine Rivers from Jordan
Prologue and 3 acts.
16687 145:00 3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str. Purgatory
One act opera.
16688 35:00 2 0 2 1 – 1 1 0 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. Purgatory
Opera In One Act
446-41004 Six Characters in Search of an Author
Opera in three acts, from the play by Luigi Pirandello.
16689 140:00 2(Alto, Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2(B.Cl.) 2(Cbsn.) – 2 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Str. Upright Piano (on stage) Six Characters In Search Of An Author
Opera In Three Acts – Full Score (Text In English and German)
441-41002 The Gardens of Adonis
Opera in Two Scenes and a Prologue, after “Venus and Adonis” by William Shakespeare and the play of the same name by André Obey.
16778 110:00 3(Picc. AltoFl.) 2(E.H.) 2(A Cl./ B.Cl.) 2 – 2(or4) 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str. The Stronger
Opera in One Act, after the play by Strindberg.
16690 25:00 Eb AltoSax.(BbCl./EbCl.) Ten.Sax.(BbCl. B.Cl.), Tpt. 1Vln. 1Vla. 1Vcl. 1Cb. Pno. The Stronger
Opera In One Act
411-41090 25:00 The Stronger – Study Score
Opera In One Act
446-41005 25:00 The Tenor
Opera in 1 act, based on “Der Kammersänger” by Frank Wedekind
16775 70:00 1(Picc.) 1(E.H.) 2(EbCl./ B.Cl.) 1 – 2 1 1 0; Perc.(Timp.) Pno. Str.(Viola divisi) The Tenor
Opera In One Act
441-41001 Will You Marry Me?
16774 25:00 Cl./Sop.Sax. Cl./AltoSax. Bsn. Hn. Timp. Pno. Perc. 2Vln. 1Vla. 1Vcl. 1Cb. Will You Marry Me?
Opera In One Act (Piano-Vocal Score) – Based On “”A Marriage Has Been Arranged”” By Alfred Sutro
411-41095 25:00 Orchestra Dances
from the Ballet “Outpost”
15856 17:00 3 3 2 2 – 4 3 3 2; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. A Garden Eastward
for Soprano and Orchestra
15859 16:30::00 Solo Sop.; 3 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 0; Perc. Hp. Str. Garden Eastward, A 442-41002 Graven Images 15860 36:00 1 1 1 1 – 2 1 2 0; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. Quintet Love’s Wounded
for Baritone Soloist and Orchestra
15861 17:45 Solo Bar.; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 2Perc. Cel. Hp. Str. Overture in F 15862 9:30::00 3 3 2 2 – 4 3 3 2; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. Prospect: 1983 15863 14:00 4(Picc.) 4(2E.H.) 2 2 – 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. A Quiet Room
Soprano Aria from “Six Characters in Search of an Author”
15866 5:00 Solo Sop.; 2 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 1; Timp. Perc. Str. Soldier Songs
for Baritone and Orchestra
15867 25:00 Solo Bar.; 2 2 2 2 A.Sax. T.Sax. – 4 3 2 1; Timp. Perc. Str. Soldier Songs 451-00277 A Song of Celebration
for Tenor, Soprano, SATB Chorus and Orchestra
15855 26:00 3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str. Suite
from the Ballet “Quest”
15868 13:30::00 3 3 2 2 – 4 3 3 2; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str. V’Ohavto
for Unison Chorus, Baritone Solo, and Strings
Mr. Weisgall is a tremendously gifted and vital composer, unquestionably one of the finest in the American lyric theater.
–The Baltimore Evening Sun
Weisgall’s opera, atonal and decidedly modern, balances a lack of centeredness and musical comfort with his use of lush timbres and textures. He uses familiar forms, like the aria, duet and trio, to create a flowing, well-paced musical narrative.
–Ronni Reich, New Jersey Star Ledger
The composer’s triumph could not have been more complete. One hopes [Esther] will return in following years.
–Edward Rothstein, The New York Times
Esther…is a compelling grand opera. It is powerful dramatic music…masterfully written…
–Mary Campbell, Associated Press
What matters most is that City Opera has again made a case for a challenging work that deserves an honored place in the 20th-century repertory. The score is rich with aching chromatic harmonies…In crucial moments Weisgall allows sturdy tonality to sof
–Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
…an impressive piece of work. Its strength begins with a powerful English-language libretto by Charles Kondek… Weisgall’s music, though challenging for an audience accustomed to hearing conventional tunes and harmonies, is grand and ambitious. Ther
–The Associated Press (New York)
Hats off, gentlemen. An opera.
–Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times
Weisgall’s score is thorny, modern and uncompromising. Yet he had a keen feeling for drama and deployed his complex harmonic language in a masterly, vividly dramatic way.
–Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Esther is one of the very finest American Operas we have…
–Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine
The stark and uncompromising Esther is a powerful evening of musical theatre.
–Michael Walsh, Time Magazine
“Esther”…has everything an opera should have: an absorbing story, fine singers, intelligent music, a smoothly danced ballet, and striking sets. If you’re not stuck on old-fashioned opera, you should definitely see “Esther”…
–Warren Boroson, Jstandard.com
“Esther” is stageworthy and enjoyable… Mr. Weisgall wrote big: dramatic orchestra, lamenting Verdian choruses, lots of declamatory vocal lines.
–Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR
Mr. Weisgall is clearly a theatrical technician of the first rank.
–Howard Taubman,, New York Times
The music offers much to admire: singable vocal lines and distinct characterizations for each of the protagonists, plenty of rhythmic punch, harmonious choruses, light and colorful orchestration with some delectable work from the woodwinds, and an instinc
–Shirley Fleming, New York Post
Six Characters is a virtuoso manipulation of closed forms, vocal types, dramatic timing, and other techniques that traditionally propel an effective opera… At one moment, the score is deliciously satirical, sending up the antics of the ego-mad creatures
–Peter Davis, Classical Music
…a brilliantly theatrical treatment of Pirandello’s illusion-reality play…Weisgall breathes new life into the celebrated roles of his six characters, assigning each a distinctive vocal style and energizing his situations through an exuberant succession of
–Harold Blumenfeld, Los Angeles Times
…a real and exciting opera, powerful in its own right…well worth repeated hearings.
–Paul Hume, Washington Post
…a work of great originality and superb craftsmanship, and certainly, if there is any musical justice, it will be kept in the repertory until it is recognized for what it is…a major achievement of the contemporary musical theater.
–Richard Franko Goldman, The Musical Quarterly
THE GARDENS OF ADONIS
The Gardens of Adonis stands out as an unusual, beautiful and provocative work of musical art.
–Bruce Saylor, Opera News
It is a fascinating little work, with constantly changing emotions, a superbly expressive vocal line and colorful comments from a seven-piece orchestra.
–Joseph McLellan , Washington Post
Mr. Weisgall…has no fear of dissonance. Yet he manages to make his music accessible and appealing…he successfully translates Strindberg’s play to an American context…Compact (25 minutes) and direct, “The Stronger” sets a complete and satisfying musical-dr
–John Rockwell, New York Times
…well-written, full of fine music…The score uses a chamber group in a rich variety of ways; at times it sounds like a full orchestra…
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
[Weisgall] is someone who knows opera, who has thought deeply about what opera in our day can and should be. His music engages the mind in ways that make one want to hear it again. Wesigall is an urbane, sensitive and thorough composer.
–Andrew Porter, The New Yorker and The Financial Times
…evocative and canny. [Weisgall’s] handling of text… is exemplary. What a pleasure it is to hear a master at work!
–Patrick J. Smith, Opera News
Mr. Weisgall’s music captures our attention, …catches our ear and keeps it attached to what he is doing.
–Bernard Holland, New York Times
Will You Marry Me? …is a short opera…that is an unalloyed delight. All small companies extant should now look seriously into producing Will You Marry Me?
–Bert Wechsler, New York Daily News
Will You Marry Me? (is) a deliciously paradoxical character study of two marriageable schemers. The two one-act operas (premiered with The Stronger) make an ideal pair. The text and music of both have a martini-dry thirties urban tone that masks the real
–Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine
Ford Foundation award
National Endowment for the Arts award
Guggenheim Foundation award
Two-time composer-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome
President of the American Music Center for 10 years
President of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters
Director of the Composer-in-Residence program for the Lyric Opera of Chicago
for Unison, 2-Pt. or 4-Pt. Chorus with Optional Brass EnsembleSix Characters in Search of an Author (Act I)
Opera in Three ActsSix Characters in Search of an Author (Act II)
Opera in Three ActsSix Characters in Search of an Author (Act III)
Opera in Three ActsSoldier Songs
for Baritone and OrchestraThe Stronger
Opera in One Act