PS Classics to Release Maury Yeston's Tom Sawyer – A Ballet in Three Acts
By Adam Hetrick
PS Classics will release the world-premiere recording of Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Maury Yeston's Tom Sawyer – A Ballet in Three Acts. The 70-piece San Francisco Ballet Orchestra is featured on the two-disc recording.
Adapted from Mark Twain's classic novel, Tom Sawyer received its premiere in October 2011 with the Kansas City Ballet and the Kansas Symphony. It featured direction and choreography by William Whitener.
Martin West conducts the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for the upcoming PS Classics recording, which is produced by two-time Grammy winner Adam Abeshouse. The album is currently available for pre-order at PSClassics.com.
PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin told Playbill.com that he anticipates an Aug. 27 release date. PS Classics has previously collaborated with Yeston on the 2003 revival cast album of Nine, as well as the Off-Broadway cast album of Death Takes a Holiday. Studio albums include "The Maury Yeston Songbook," Laura Osnes' "If I Tell You: The Songs of Maury Yeston" and "December Songs."
"I wanted the music to feel visual, to reflect the great heritage of our American music, and to be accessible to people of all ages," Yeston said at the time of the Kansas City premiere. "I saw in my mind the entire scenario and began to see the mythic and central role of the great Mississippi as the core and heart of the piece, the open landscape of the Great Plains, our American yearning for an endless frontier. I never stopped developing and refining my own ideas, until fate and providence brought me and the remarkable choreographer William Whitener into the same room, and from that point on we were off to the races."
"After the premiere of the work in Kansas City, I was thrilled when the ballet and music world took notice. And then came an invitation from the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra to record the entire three-act, 85-minute work at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound, with a full complement of forty strings under the baton of Martin West. It was a genuine dream come true," Yeston said in a statement to Playbill.com.
Yeston won Tony Awards for Best Score for Titanic and Nine, and was nominated for Grand Hotel. His works also include Phantom, Death Takes a Holiday, Goya and the song-cycle December Songs.
(Numerous theatre recordings are also available at PlaybillStore.com.)
Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and an eight-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music, Sondheim on Sondheim, Follies and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song through award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by such artists as Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Steven Pasquale, Liz Callaway and Christine Andreas; and restorations of long-lost musicals, including Sweet Little Devil, Sweet Bye and Bye and Strike Up the Band 1930. Recent releases include Rebecca Luker’s solo disc "I Got Love (Songs of Jerome Kern)," the world premiere recording of Anthony Rapp’s one-man show, Without You, and the revue Noel and Cole.
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