Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New out of Big D

Clare and Stucky in San Antonio
Just out today (June 26, 2012) is Pulitzer Prize winning composer Steven Stucky's August 4, 1964. An evening length work we wrote about around the premiere, it is now available on compact disc and digital download.
 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)
From the DSO site: "Previous DSO Live releases distributed by Naxos include Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh Symphonies; Tchaikovsky's Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, Capriccio Italien and Mozartiana Suite, all conducted by Jaap van Zweden. These recordings are available for download on iTunes, Amazon.com and other leading stores and websites. The DSO released its first recording in 1946, and has since grown its catalog to more than 75 recordings under such eminent conductors as Antal Dorati, Walter Hendl, Donald Johanos, Eduardo Mata and Andrew Litton."

- Host John Clare

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