|Clare and Stucky in San Antonio|
There is a lot to love about this work, and after having performances in Dallas and New York City's Carnegie Hall, listeners everywhere can enjoy this recording! Especially moving is "August Fourth" sung by Kristine Jepson, Indira Mahajan and Rodney Gilfry. Central to August 4, 1964 is an all orchestra interlude Elegy - moving as Barber's Adagio and not yet overused! It serves as a perfect function, allowing the soloists rest and further setting the mood.
Gene Scheer's libretto is also fitting without bias or ornamentation. In The Secret Heart of America (movement 5) the writing shifts between President Johnson's March 1965 speech to Congress "We shall overcome" and Mrs. Chaney's family story of her grandfather's farm - absolutely brilliant! (And ironic that neither are from the actual day, August 4,1964.)
I spoke to Stucky and Scheer in Dallas the week of the premiere:
|Now released! (courtesy of Dallas Symphony)|
- Host John Clare