Barber, Samuel. (1910–1981) [Mitropoulos, Dimitri. (1896–1960)]


New York: G. Schirmer. 1958. First. Vocal Score. Piano reduction by the composer.  4to.  Softcover.  Lithograph.  [PN 44349].  Title (Licensing note); Characters (Synopsis); Synopsis (vb); 1–269 pp.  Barber has inscribed to the conductor who lead the work's premiere, "For Dear Dimitri— / with appreciation boundless / affectionately, / Sam / Capricorn [Barber's house in Mount Kisco, NY] October '58" in black ink to the title page.  Partial internal separation of wrapper from spine, general wear to cover and spine, else in fine condition.

Barber's opera Vanessa, with a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, was composed in 1956–1957 and was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, under the baton of Mitropoulos, on January 15, 1958, winning the composer the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for music.  Barber revised the opera in 1964, reducing the four acts to the three-act version most commonly performed today. The libretto, inspired by Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales, concerns a lonely woman, Vanessa, who confronts loss and the passage of time. 

Dimitri Mitropoulos was Greece’s most prolific conductor and New York Philharmonic Music Director from 1949-1958.  Widely regarded as one of the most significant conductors of the twentieth century, he is best remembered for his significant recorded legacy and for his commitment in bringing new compositions to the stage of major symphony orchestras.  Indeed, it is thanks to his efforts that many of our current symphonic standards made their way into the repertory.  He gave World and American premiers of seminal works such as Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 and Schoenberg’s Erwartung, as well as other major works by Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and many others.   (20155)

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