Thomson: Four Saints
October 2016
Disc 1: 55:40
Disc 2: 51:48
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Gil Rose, conductor

Profundity is absurd and absurdity profound in this great 20th-century modernist collaboration.

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CD price: 35.99

Track listing

Disc 1 
 Four Saints in Three Acts
1.Prelude: A narrative of prepare for saints
 Act I
2.Tableau I: A garden at Avila
3.Tableau II: St. Teresa II with dove
4.Tableau III: St. Teresa II seated
5.Tableau IV: St. Ignatius presents flowers
6.Tableau V: St. Ignatius showing St. Teresa II the model of a Heavenly Mansion
7.Tableau VI: St. Teresa II in ecstasy
8.Tableau VII: St. Teresa II, with halo
9.Tableau VIII: No pose
 Act II
10.Might it be mountains
11.Dance of the Angels
13.Love Scene
14.Drinking Song
15.Vision of a Heavenly Mansion
Disc 2 
 Act III
2.Vision of Holy Ghost
4.Saint Ignatius predicts the Last Judgment
5.Saints’ Procession
7.Prologue to Act IV
 Act IV
8.The Sisters and Saints reassembled
9.Capital Capitals

News and Press

[CD Review] Harkening Back To 'Four Saints' During The Harlem Renaissance

The next time you see a magpie in the sky, I hope you'll remember Four Saints in Three Acts.

That there are a prologue and four acts, and 18 saints — maybe 19, depending on how you count — needn't detain us.

Four Saints in Three Acts is an opera by Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) to a libretto by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946).

What we have here is a collaboration between an aesthete Southern Baptist out of Kansas City and an American writer living in Paris whose works people talked about and no one understood.

In 2016, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Gil Rose, performed Four Saints in Three Acts, producing a terrific recording. The text and music are addictive, as I'm sure Thomson intended them to be. (Find the recording on Amazon and ArkivMusic.)

WOSU Radio Full review
[CD Review] BMOP's New Releases: Rose by any other Name

Continuing its impressive scheduled releases of new music as well as of overlooked twentieth century works, Gil Rose's Boston Modern Orchestra Project has recently completed two new recordings, David Rakowski's Stolen Moments and Piano Concerto No.2 and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts and Capital Capitals. Under its eight-year-old “BMOP/sound” independent record label, these two CDs are more evidence of the significant role of Rose in providing access to important contemporary compositions

South Shore Critic Full review