Saturday, November 19, 2011

Music Web International Reviews Vol. 1 of The Complete Delius Songbook

"Mark Stone is rising fast in the ranks of baritones and has been heard in opera on both sides of the Atlantic. He has a powerful and affecting voice and puts a lot of thought into his conception of each song. His stated intention is to record all the Delius songs and this is good news..." ~ William Kreindler, Music Web International
Don't miss this informative review of The Complete Delius Songbook: Volume One. 217 Records is proud to be a part of this significant musical accomplishment by Mark Stone and Stone Records. Read the full review and view the tracklist at this link. Purchase the CD at this link. Look for Volume 2 coming soon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

American Record Guide Reviews The Delius Songbook

217 Records is proud to support Stone Records' The Complete Delius Songbook - Volume 1.



American Record Guide
November / December 2011 Issue

Delius: Songs 1
Mark Stone, bar; Stephen Barlow, p
Stone 80062 – 79 minutes

At long last, here is a project to record all of the composer’s songs for voice and piano. It is to encompass two volumes. Stone’s own record company has already released some impressive recitals of music by George Butterworth, Ronald Corp., and others. This will be the first time all of Delius’s 61 surviving songs have been recorded.

While many of these songs appear in collections with female performers, Stone has convincingly argued that the tests are basically gender neutral, perhaps leaning more towards the male voice. Benjamin Luxon included 12 songs on his excellent Chandon recital (J/F 1989), and other male singers have included a few as well. Not to be forgotten are the recitals of Felicity, Lott, Ruth Golden, and Yvonne Kenny. While hardly as comprehensive, they are well worth having.

Stone has decided to sing all of these songs in English, including sever in new translation (including his own). Delius, as a cosmopolitan, was well versed in German, French, and the Scandinavian languages, and there are some who will lament the use of translations. Others will applaud the decision to stick with English. Although full texts and translations are supplied, Stone is a master of skillful diction, and the clarity of the recording assures that everything is clearly understood. Moreover, his pleasant voice is ideally suited to the music, and his interpretive and expressive skills, matched beautifully by pianist Stephen Barlow, open one’s ears to this treasure trove.

Delius as songwriter combines his unique harmonic and melodic language to shape his structures. With a few exceptions the songs are relatively short and never overstay their welcome. Sometimes, as in ‘Spring, the Sweet Spring’ a song can seem embarrassingly twee, but this is partly owing to the Thomas Nashe lyrics. Most of the time the songs are quite lovely and express emotions in a heartbreaking and subtle way. Since Delius loved mountains it is not surprising that ‘Over the Mountains High’ and ‘Mountain Life’ benefit particularly well from his ever-shifting harmonies. The three songs based on poems by Shelley are very dramatic and full of love’s yearning, with emotions laid bare. The texts range all over the place with six of the 27 in this volume by the Norwegian Bjornstjerne Bjornson.

Stone has supplied his own fascinating notes and perceptive comments on each son. Both the Delius and the John Ireland Trusts are to be thanked for their sponsorship of this important recording project. Given the many hours of immense pleasure I have derived from this well filled disc, I am eager to hear Volume 2.

~ BECKER

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Lynd Ward Documentary in Production

Follow this link to view the trailer for the forthcoming documentary from 217 Films "O Brother Man: The Life and Work of Lynd Ward."

This new film by Michael Maglaras tells the story of Lynd Ward, the acknowledged father of the American graphic novel and one of the most prolific graphic artists, book illustrators, and printmakers in the history of American art.

A brilliant storyteller and engraver in wood, Lynd Ward was also a man with a deep social conscience. His works are a chronicle of American life in the 20th century.

"O Brother Man" will feature more than 150 wood engravings, drawings, and illustrations by this important American artist and storyteller.

Premieres March 2012. Follow this link for the screening schedule.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Frederick Delius Songbook CD: U.S. Release

Read press release online at this link.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

217 Records

Contact:
Tami Kennedy
207-838-0816
tami@maine.rr.com



Volume One of the Frederick Delius Songbook to be Released in the United States this September

ASHFORD, CONNECTICUT (August 22, 2011) – In honor of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great English composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934), The Complete Delius Songbook – Volume 1 will be released as a CD in the U.S. on September 13, 2011. This is the first volume in a two-volume series that will comprise the first-ever complete recording of all 61 surviving songs of Frederick Delius for voice and piano.

This recording features baritone Mark Stone accompanied by Stephen Barlow on piano. Michael Maglaras of 217 Records is Executive Producer. Produced and released first in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2011 on the Stone Records label, and produced in association with 217 Records, this eventual two-volume journey through the Delius songbook will be a delight to listeners everywhere.

“We at 217 Records cannot imagine a finer exponent of the English art song than baritone Mark Stone. That he possesses a superb instrument is clear to everyone who knows his work. But he is also a singer of rare intelligence and refinement, and this recording bears his unmistakable stamp,” said Michael Maglaras. “Stephen Barlow is the logical successor to Gerald Moore. He is a great English pianist who brings not only gracious support to this undertaking, but helps create, in every song, an immediate sense of both the drama and the deeper meaning of Delius’s work.”

Volume 1, which includes first-time recordings of five of these songs, features all of Delius’s songs to English and Norwegian texts, the latter being sung in English translation. Delius was fascinated and heavily influenced by Norwegian culture, as is evidenced by the large number of Norwegian poems he chose to set, including the ever popular songs Twilight Fancies and Young Venevil.

Volume 1’s booklet contains the full texts, together with the original Norwegian poetry and extensive notes for each song. This major classical music release is supported by the Delius Society and the Ireland Trust. Volume 2 is expected to be released in early 2012. 217 Records’ Michael Maglaras will also serve as Executive Producer of this release.

The Complete Delius Songbook - Volume 1 is available for purchase on the websites of Amazon http://ow.ly/65IG8 and Stone Records http://www.stonerecords.co.uk/.

What they’re saying:
“Stone’s engagingly natural style and immaculate diction are supported by Barlow’s sympathetic playing.” ~ The Sunday Times

“Stone proves an expert guide – not just by uncovering little-known manuscripts, but by investing Delius’s songs with verve and variety of mood.” ~ Financial Times

More about Mark Stone and Stephen Barlow: The UK’s Mark Stone is critically acclaimed for his performances on stage and in concert. His forthcoming engagements include debuts at La Scala, Oper Köln and Deutsche Oper, Berlin as well as return visits to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and The Opera Company of Philadelphia. In recital with Stephen Barlow, he has been described as "a baritone of extraordinary elegance and unforced expressiveness...versatile in his response to the varying stylistic demands” with Barlow “accompanying his voice with a genuine feeling for tone-colour and shape". View a video of Stone and Barlow rehearsing at this link.

More about 217 Records: Located in Ashford, Connecticut, 217 Records is an independent label specializing in alternative rock, jazz, and spoken word recordings. Founder Michael Maglaras was trained as an opera singer in the United States and Europe and has performed widely as a singer and opera director. Among other recordings of note, 217 Records’ discography includes a complete recording of Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha, as well as two volumes of the Whittier Bicentennial Recording Project.

On the Web:
Stone Records -- www.stonerecords.co.uk
217 Records -- www.two17records.com
217 Films – www.two17films.com

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sunday Times Reviews new Frederick Delius Songbook CD





Mark Stone, Stephen Barlow (piano)
Stone Records
Just under half of Delius’s 61 seldom programmed songs are recorded, so we can expect another volume to complete his “songbook”. The likeable British baritone Mark Stone is the founder-owner of Stone Records, but this is more than a vanity project (he is also making a Wolf edition, in which he has not participated), because he specialises in the undervalued territory of English song. He even sings Delius’s settings of Norwegian or German texts in English translations — several by Peter Pears and one of his own. The highlights here are the Four Old English Lyrics, to words by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, among others, in which Stone’s engagingly natural style and immaculate diction are supported by Barlow’s sympathetic playing. HC

Monday, August 8, 2011

Frederick Delius Remembered




Andrew Clark reviews the new CD "The Complete Delius Songbook - Volume 1" in the Financial Times.

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of Delius’s birth, but don’t expect the music business to take any note: the Bradford-born composer, who spent most of his life in self-imposed exile from England, remains deeply unfashionable. Hats off, then, to baritone Mark Stone – best known as a suave Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) – for compiling a two-CD Delius songbook, the first volume of which contains a few surprises.... Continue reading the article at this link.


This CD was released in the UK in July and will be released in the US on September 13. It is available for purchase on the websites of Amazon and Stone Records.

Featuring baritone Mark Stone and Stephen Barlow on piano. Produced in association with 217 Records and supported by the Delius Society and the Ireland Trust.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

John Marin Documentary to Screen at the Boca Raton Museum of Art








Date: September 24 and September 25, 2011
Time: 2:00pm
Film Screening: "John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!"
Location: Boca Raton Museum of Art
Boca Raton, Florida
Director Michael Maglaras of 217 Films will introduce the film.
View a clip at this link.

More about the film:
"John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!" tells the story of one of the most important artistic figures of the first half of the 20th century, and the undisputed father of American Modernism. Utilizing more than 70 of Marin's paintings, drawings, and etchings, including works in the private collection of the Marin estate which have seldom been exhibited, filmmaker Michael Maglaras tells the story of Marin's life, from his beginnings in New Jersey, and his early experiments in watercolor, to his days at Cape Split in Down East Maine, where, with his late oils, he established himself as one of the preeminent masters of American art. Written, narrated, and directed by Michael Maglaras of 217 Films. 2009.

Friday, August 5, 2011

John Marin on the Rise














"Marin, you are a mighty fine fellow, but do you know your job as well as those old boys did, and will your stuff last as long?"
~ John Marin, 1936

Terry Teachout writes about why he thinks John Marin so often gets the "John who?" treatment, and notes "Mr. Marin's stock appears at long last to be on the rise."

Wall Street Journal
How a Great American Artist Vanished From the Critical Scope

Artsjournal.com -- About Last Night
Whatever happened to John Marin?

Discover more about American master John Marin in 217 Films' latest essay on film "John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!"

View clips from the film at this link.

Order the DVD on Film Baby or Amazon.

In addition to paintings and photographs, "John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!" features extensive footage of Marin at work that has been rarely seen. Written, directed, and narrated by Michael Maglaras.

Painting above: Courtesy of Colby College Museum of Art, gift of John Marin Jr. and Norma B. Marin: "From Seeing Cape Split" by John Marin, 1935, oil on canvas, 23 by 29.5 inches.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Georgia Museum of Art Features 217 Films' Marsden Hartley Documentary

On July 28, 2011 at 7:00pm
"Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet" will screen at the
Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia. Director Michael Maglaras will introduce the film.

Film Series: Artists' Biographies
"Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet"
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: M. Smith Griffith Auditorium

Using more than 60 of Marsden Hartley’s paintings and drawings, as well as many photographs from collections around the world, director Michael Maglaras traces Hartley’s life and work from its earliest beginnings in Lewiston, Maine, through his travels in Europe and the United States and ends with his secluded life in a remote Maine fishing village. Special guest Maglaras will speak about the film. Introduced by Paul Manoguerra, chief curator and curator of American art (65 minutes, NR).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Delius Songbook - Volume 1: Now Available

Stone Records' The Complete Delius Songbook - Volume 1 will be released in the UK on July 18 and is available now on the Stone Records website at this link.

This is the first CD in a two-disc series that will comprise the first ever complete recording of the songs of Frederick Delius (1862-1934) for voice and piano.

Featuring baritone Mark Stone and Stephen Barlow on piano. Produced in association with 217 Records and supported by the Delius Society and the Ireland Trust, the series is being released in time for the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

This first volume, which includes five première recordings, features all Delius’ songs to English and Norwegian texts, the latter being sung in English translation. Delius was fascinated and heavily influenced by Norwegian culture, as is evidenced by the large number of Norwegian poems he chose to set, including the ever popular songs Twilight Fancies and Young Venevil. His English songs are equally as beautiful, although in a very different style; for each country, Delius seemed to adopt a distinct musical language.

The disc’s booklet contains the full texts, together with the original Norwegian poetry and extensive notes for each song. This disc is the result of a long period of research and preparation and is an important first for Delius enthusiasts and a must-hear for anyone interested in English song.













More about Stephen Barlow and Mark Stone: Stone is critically acclaimed for his performances on stage and in concert and his forthcoming engagements include debuts at La Scala, Oper Köln and Deutsche Oper, Berlin as well as return visits to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and The Opera Company of Philadelphia. In recital with Barlow, he has been described as "a baritone of extraordinary elegance and unforced expressiveness...versatile in his response to the varying stylistic demands” with Barlow “accompanying his voice with a genuine feeling for tone-colour and shape".

Available on CD and digital download.

Click here to hear an excerpt.

www.stonerecords.co.uk
www.markstone.info
www.two17records.com

July 7: John Marin Documentary by 217 Films to air on MPBN TV

Every week the MPBN Community Films series brings viewers independently produced films that showcase diverse people, places and topics of Maine. In July, 217 Films' "John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!" is one of the featured films on the television stations of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

July 7
9:55pm
MPBN - TV
"John Marin: Let the Paint Be Paint!"
This film tells the story of one of the most important artistic figures of the first half of the 20th century, and the undisputed father of American Modernism. Utilizing more than 70 of Marin’s paintings, drawings, and etchings, including those in private collections seldom seen anywhere, filmmaker Michael Maglaras tells the story of Marin's life, from his beginnings in New Jersey, and his early experiments in watercolor, to his days at Cape Split in Down East Maine, where, with his late oils, he established himself as one of the preeminent masters of American art. Written, narrated, and directed by Michael Maglaras of 217 Films. 2009. Not rated. 95 minutes.

To purchase a video visit this link.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Delius Songbook - Volume 1: Coming in July



Stone Records presents:

To Daffodils
Music by Frederick Delius
Words by Robert Herrick
Mark Stone - Baritone
Stephen Barlow - Piano

From the CD The Complete Delius Songbook - Volume 1 which will be released this July by Stone Records. Michael Maglaras of 217 Records is executive producer.

This is the first CD in a two-disc series that will comprise the first complete recording of the songs of Frederick Delius. Read the Bloomberg article at this link.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lynd Ward Documentary Shooting to Begin in June














Michael Maglaras, Director, in conversation with Robin Ward Savage about 217 Films’ new project "O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward”.

Shooting for this new film begins June 22.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Penn State Libraries to Digitize Lynd Ward Collection for Documentary by 217 Films

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Penn State Libraries to Digitize Lynd Ward Collection for Documentary by 217 Films













Robin Ward Savage, Michael Maglaras, and Terri Templeton

UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA (February 21, 2011) – In celebration of the art and life of American printmaker and illustrator, Lynd Ward (1905-1985), 217 Films has given a gift to Penn State University Libraries to digitize selected Ward woodcuts and wood engravings.

217 Films will showcase many of these works in a new film titled “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” The documentary, projected for release in December 2011, will feature an interview with the artist’s daughter Robin Ward Savage.

Ward, who illustrated more than 200 books, was among the foremost graphic book artists of 20th-century America, and his books, prints, and artwork are held by major museums and libraries worldwide. His “stories without words,” such as "Song Without Words: A Book of Engravings on Wood" (1930), are precursors to the modern graphic novel and are acknowledged masterpieces of that genre. Between 1929 and 1937, Ward produced six of these books, where the storyline was told entirely through wood engravings. Released recently in a two-volume edition by The Library of America, these books will be the focus of "O Brother Man," which will highlight Ward's art as well as his deep personal commitment to social justice and the plight of the working man surrounding the years of the Great Depression.

“We at 217 Films are delighted to contribute to Penn State's Libraries in support of the digitization of the works of Lynd Ward,” said director Michael Maglaras. “The best way to access works of art in our fast-moving times is to do so online, and with the digitization of even a part of Ward’s vast output, we will help to introduce him to a new audience.”

Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communication at Penn State observes, "While alerting a wider audience to this artist extraordinaire, the documentary will also point to Penn State Libraries' strong holdings in fine printing, printmaking techniques, children’s books, graphic novels, and original art work for illustrated books. Additionally 217 Films' gift will help us digitize Ward's work and expand research opportunities for scholars and students interested in learning more about the creative process, illustration, and the book arts."

More about 217 Films: 217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience. In 2005, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley's epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film. In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet”—the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that Marin was one of the fathers of American modernism. All three films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The "Sacramento Bee" called Michael Maglaras a filmmaker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” ("National Gallery of Art") “alive and fresh” ("Art New England") and “elegiac and insightful” ("Naples Daily News").

More about Penn State University Libraries:
Penn State's University Libraries, with more than 5.4 million volumes and a robust online presence, constitute a major resource for students, faculty, staff, as well as residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The largest research library in Pennsylvania, and with 23 location throughout the state, it is one of four resource libraries that provide service and collections to all other libraries and residents of the Commonwealth. The Lynd Ward Collection is housed at University Park in Rare Books and Manuscripts, The Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library. For more information, call 814-865-1793 or go to www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/speccolls/rbm.html

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

217 Films: Documentary about Lynd Ward Announced

Documentary about American Woodcut Artist and Illustrator Lynd Ward Announced

ASHFORD, CONNECTICUT (February 10, 2011) – Connecticut-based independent film makers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films announce that their new film project -- their fourth film since 2005 -- will be on the great American woodcut artist and illustrator Lynd Ward.

The film will be titled “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward” and is scheduled for release in December 2011.

Lynd Ward (1905-1985) was a prolific and accomplished woodcut artist and illustrator of international stature. In addition to illustrating more than 200 books, he is also arguably the father of the American graphic novel. Between 1929 and 1937 he produced six “novels without words” in which the action and storyline are told through wood engravings of intense detail, beauty, and singular inspiration.

“We are delighted that Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton will tell our father’s story,” said Robin Ward Savage, daughter of Lynd Ward. “My sister Nanda and I will be cooperating fully and happily with them on this film.”

Focusing particular attention on the six “novels without words” which were recently released in a two-volume edition by The Library of America, O Brother Man will highlight not only the beauty and incomparable vision of Lynd Ward, but his deep personal commitment to social justice and the plight of the working man during and after the Great Depression years.

“Lynd Ward was an artist of great gifts and, as a man of conscience, was committed to the portrayal of the human condition. Lynd Ward’s story is the story of America in the 20th century,” said Michael Maglaras, the film’s director. “Not since Goya do we see images of such beauty, pathos, and understanding of our common humanity, as we do in the best of Lynd Ward’s work. As a storyteller, he is without peer.”

Pulitzer Prize winner Art Spiegelman (Maus: A Survivor’s Tale), who was greatly influenced by Ward’s work, has written, “Wordless novels are filled with language, it just resides in the reader’s head rather than on the page.”

More about 217 Films: 217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience. In 2005, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley's epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film. In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet” – the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that Marin was one of the fathers of American modernism. All three films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a film maker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) and “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News).

www.two17films.com

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Image credits:

Self-portrait. Wood engraving. Copyright The Estate of Lynd Ward.

From Vertigo, 1937. Wood engraving.
Copyright The Estate of Lynd Ward.

Cover illustration for Frankenstein, 1986 edition. Courtesy of Sterling Publishing and Copyright The Estate of Lynd Ward.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Michael Maglaras In Performance: Snow-Bound

In this video, Michael Maglaras reads an excerpt from John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Snow-Bound." The Library of America calls Michael Maglaras's reading of this poem "The best recording of Snow-Bound...".

video

This video excerpt is taken from a full performance of this poem he made at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland, Maine on Sunday, December 12, 2010.

More about Michael Maglaras, executive producer Terri Templeton and their audio recordings and films can be found at www.two17records.com and www.two17films.com.

Maglaras recorded this poem in 2007 as part of 217 Records' Whittier Bicentennial Recording Project.

View additional videos at this link.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homer's Prouts Neck Home

Today, the 217 Films crew took a trip to Winslow Homer's Prouts Neck home in Scarborough, Maine to scout for a possible shooting location this fall.

The Portland Museum of Art acquired the Winslow Homer Studio in 2006. The Studio and the surrounding grounds are closed to the public while construction and restoration projects take place. The Museum will open the Studio in September 2012.

Read more about the studio on the Museum's website at this link.

See additional photos from today's location scout at this link.