Posted on July 5, 2011 at 11:17 am
Along with the fantastic news that The Trumpet of the Swan is finally available on iTunes, the press is going wild for Louis and Serena and their amazing E.B. White journey!
Andy Propst on Theatermania.com:
The Trumpet of the Swan (PS Classics)
This “novel symphony” from composer Jason Robert Brown and playwright Marsha Norman should be beguiling children and adults alike for years to come. Brown has written some of his most mature and majestic music to date for this tale about a baby swan with no voice and the boy who befriends him. Norman’s distillation of E.B. White’s novel is genuinely moving, particularly as delivered by the likes of John Lithgow, as a man looking back on a childhood memory, and Kathy Bates in her primary roles as the boy’s and swan’s mothers.
Andy also gives a big thumbs-up to Kelli O’Hara’s new CD, Always, which features a new song of mine!
Joe Stead writes on his Chicago Stage Style blog:
New from PS Classics this month is “The Trumpet of the Swan,” subtitled “A Novel Symphony for Actors and Orchestra”. This is not a traditional musical at all, but it does come with some big theatrical names. Playwright Marsha Norman (‘Night Mother” and “The Secret Garden”) adapted E.B. White’s gentle children’s novel about a trumpet swan who finds his voice in a most unusual way. The score is composed and conducted by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years” and “Parade”) and the PS Studio recording features an incomparable cast of John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Mandy Moore, James Naughton and Martin Short in spoken roles, with Christopher Michael Venditi supplying the pivotal trumpet solos for Louis the Swan.
As Norman writes in the liner notes for this 79-minute CD, it took 15 years for her to realize her vision of a great, big American “Peter and the Wolf” derived from the author of “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little”. The result was commissioned by the Kennedy Center as a symphony for orchestra, actors and trumpet. Lithgow sensitively narrates the memories of a boy who befriended the young swan as he overcomes a disability to discover the true music in his heart and soul. At times eloquent, witty and graceful, “The Trumpet of a Swan” is as unique and wondrous a creation as its subject. It should find favor with any orchestra searching for an unconventional family friendly program. For more information on these titles and many others, visit www.psclassics.com.
And Chris Spector has this to say on Midwest Record:
THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN-A Novel Symphony for Actors and Orchestra: Holy moley, way too cool! I didn’t realize until now that Windham Hill was trying to make a new “Peter and the Wolf” with their Rabbit Ears line. Leave it to this bunch. PS has delivered the new “Peter and the Wolf”. A commissioned work with a high tone pedigree throughout, you would expect this to be too dry, too pedant and simply too precious and self conscious to go the distance but damn if this isn’t just they way you would have done it if you had the chance. Based on a story by the “Charlotte’s Web” scribe about how messed up a swan’s life was because he couldn’t honk, it follows his travails until he gets to go position. A must entertainment for kids of all ages, this is a perfect example about how discs and files aren’t the issue – making something you want to spend time and money on is. A first class recorded entertainment from top to bottom and quite cinematic in scope as well. A winner.