Author Topic: William Schuman (1910-1992)  (Read 72219 times)

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cilgwyn

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #400 on: January 24, 2019, 09:39:10 AM »
I finally bought the remaining Naxos cd's of William Schuman's symphonies,and the BMG Slatkin cd,of the tenth symphony,and other works. I 'enjoyed' the Ninth,or at least,I found it very absorbing. I am increasingly beginning to feel that if you want to listen through a cycle of symphonies,by an American composer;Schuman is the most satisfying,as a whole.  That's not to denigrate other US composers. Thanks to Delos,and Naxos,Schuman's cycle is more,immediately,accessible than some. But,I do get that satisfaction,you get,with the best symphonists;of making some kind of journey,along with the composer. It's music that seems to evolve,as it goes along. Also,Schuman's symphonies feel more varied than some of his contemporaries. Even though,none of his symphonies,go so far as to,use voices,like  the Fourth symphonies of,Mennin and Harris,for instance!
Obviously,a complete cycle,from some recording label,of the symphonies of Diamond and Piston (for,example) might alter my view?!

cilgwyn

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #401 on: January 24, 2019, 10:20:25 AM »
NB: I'm not saying I like Schuman,better. I'm just referring to taking a cycle as a whole entity.  Indeed,I like all the composers,I mentioned. Although,Harris is probably the most problematic;I like his,best symphonies,too!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #402 on: January 24, 2019, 10:22:41 AM »
A Schuman sighting

Muti/CSO are doing the Symphony No. 9 (Le fosse Ardeatine) on Feb. 21-23.

I've never heard this one myself. I gather it's not a critical favorite, but the CSO is doing war-inspired music this season (100 years since the Armistice), and it fits into that theme. Personally I wish they were doing Prayer in a Time of War instead (a very fine, brooding piece, and not overlong). But it's always good to see Big Bill Schuman get attention from our major ensembles. More please!


Excellent!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #403 on: January 24, 2019, 10:25:45 AM »
I put on Bernstein's classic recordings of William Schuman symphonies,a week,or two,ago. To my surprise,I found myself 'enjoying' (if that's the right word?) his eighth symphony. I have since,bought s/h copies of recordings of his ninth and tenth symphonies. I haven't received them yet,though. They're still in the post;and hopefully,should be here,soon! This follows my finding myself responding more positively to Mennin's eighth and ninth symphonies,than I used to. Particularly,the eighth,with it's apocalyptic imagery. It seems I'm suddenly beginning to like my symphonies a bit tougher,in my mid fifties?!! ??? ;D

Enjoying is certainly an apt response to the Eighth
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #404 on: January 24, 2019, 05:21:36 PM »
I finally bought the remaining Naxos cd's of William Schuman's symphonies,and the BMG Slatkin cd,of the tenth symphony,and other works. I 'enjoyed' the Ninth,or at least,I found it very absorbing. I am increasingly beginning to feel that if you want to listen through a cycle of symphonies,by an American composer;Schuman is the most satisfying,as a whole.  That's not to denigrate other US composers. Thanks to Delos,and Naxos,Schuman's cycle is more,immediately,accessible than some. But,I do get that satisfaction,you get,with the best symphonists;of making some kind of journey,along with the composer. It's music that seems to evolve,as it goes along. Also,Schuman's symphonies feel more varied than some of his contemporaries. Even though,none of his symphonies,go so far as to,use voices,like  the Fourth symphonies of,Mennin and Harris,for instance!
Obviously,a complete cycle,from some recording label,of the symphonies of Diamond and Piston (for,example) might alter my view?!
Interesting and encouraging me to go beyond symphonies 3, 6 and the fine New England Triptych in my exploration of Schuman.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #405 on: January 24, 2019, 10:25:50 PM »
I still feel the sting of disappointment that this old mono Mercury recording has never made it to CD.



I had it on vinyl (now I have the Digital transfer I made) but I would love to have it direct from the master tape. I think I read somewhere that it was the first recording that Fine did using what became the Mercury Living Presence technique.

cilgwyn

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #406 on: January 25, 2019, 03:28:18 AM »
After all that enthusiasm,I've got to admit,No 10,was a bit of a struggle! And,I did keep looking at the track timings ("How much is left?!") But maybe,the fact that the first cd set (Syms 1-3) of Blomstedt's Nielsen cycle,arrived the same day,didn't help?! I was itching to hear that! It was next,in the pile!
Needless to say.....I did 'enjoy' (or appreciate?) the Ninth. The story behind it probably helps! The tenth seems more like,another one of those,forgettable,orchestral works composers seem to serve up in the sixties,to fleeting praise from the critics! The only trouble is,it was composed in the 1970's! I felt the Ninth was more 'heartfelt. If that's the right word? I will have another go at No 10,soon,anyway! The Schwarz cd of 7 & 10,arrived today! But,oh dear! The second Decca set,of the Blomstedt Nielsen cycle,with symphonies 4-6,just arrived,as well!! ::) ;D Also,the Naxos cd,of No 8. With a Naxos catalogue for the cover!! ??? :( Now,I've got to pack up another return!! :( >:(

Offline Scion7

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #407 on: August 24, 2020, 04:12:15 PM »
Hm, what's up with his withdrawing the later ballets, Voyage for a Theatre (1953) and The Witch of Endor (1965)?

FOR "Endor": Not sure, even K. Gary Adams in his bio of Schuman doesn't go into a lot of detail.
It got a bad review in one paper, and I guess ol' Bill decided they were right?
Anyway, the 2018 release can be found in its entirety on YouTube.


The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Scion7

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #408 on: August 24, 2020, 07:49:24 PM »
It's been 66 years - isn't it time for a new recording of Undertow (1945)?

Joseph Levine recorded it last in '54.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #409 on: August 24, 2020, 10:14:50 PM »
It's been 66 years - isn't it time for a new recording of Undertow (1945)?

Joseph Levine recorded it last in '54.
Interesting - never heard of this work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Scion7

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #410 on: August 25, 2020, 06:26:54 AM »
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #411 on: August 25, 2020, 06:51:54 AM »
Re: "Undertow"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI0am0WSm44&t=101s

Thanks - what a fine work and one which deserves to be much better known.

PS Amazon tells me that I bought the CD in 2013, presumably for the Antheil coupling!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2020, 06:55:03 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Scion7

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #412 on: August 25, 2020, 11:54:23 AM »
Heh.  A definite case of GotSoMuchStuffCan'tRememberWhatIHavitis.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #413 on: August 25, 2020, 10:09:09 PM »
Heh.  A definite case of GotSoMuchStuffCan'tRememberWhatIHavitis.

Yes, Indeed, otherwise known as OCCDCD (Obsessive Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Scion7

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Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
« Reply #414 on: August 26, 2020, 04:13:35 PM »
Prelude for a Great Occasion, for brass & percussion --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c05atPqIqzo

- if that great occasion is the Apes invading the Forbidden Zone!   :o


Yes, this 1974 composition is interesting.  Unsettling.

The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal