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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on June 26, 2007, 10:43:55 PM

Title: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 26, 2007, 10:43:55 PM
Any other admireres of this fine American composer?

I just discovered Symphony 6 in a historic performance conducted by Ormandy. What a great work; decribed by one critic as "A Requiem for the twentieth century" it ends beautifully and it has been a great new discovery for me. Symphony 3 (especially in Bernstein's Sony recording) is Schuman's best known symphony (there is a good new recording on Naxos) and the Violin Concerto and more populist "New England Tryptich" are both excellent works.

Is Schuman highly regarded in the US?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: Choo Choo on June 27, 2007, 01:51:49 AM
I discovered Schuman through his Carols Of Death (a setting of Whitman poems for a cappella choir, and by no means the downer that the name suggests) which were the filler item on an LP of some Ives pieces.

I can heartily recommend this set of Symphonies 3, 5 & 8 :

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oxM3ac-2L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: david johnson on June 27, 2007, 02:05:58 AM
once you delve into "New England Tryptich", you must then hear the originals by earlier colonial composer, william billings!

dj
Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: johnQpublic on June 27, 2007, 02:58:49 AM
Is Schuman highly regarded in the US?

From my perspective, no he's not. Today's orchestra when playing "modern" works they tend to go for more recently written works. Composers of Schuman's generation get overlooked too often.

I really love his Symphomy #8 (Bernstein). The finale is unreal.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 27, 2007, 04:03:16 AM
Thanks for replies. I will listen to Symphony 8 asap. "Carols of Death" sound v interesting too and the Billings work on which the New England Tryptich is based.

British composers of the 1930s and 40s are neglected in the UK as far as concert performances are concerned (ie Bax, Bliss, Moeran, Alwyn etc). You rarely see anything in concert.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: david johnson on June 27, 2007, 10:37:08 AM
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Namedrill?&name_id=1107&name_role=1

here is arkivmusic's billings list.  you'll want 'when Jesus wept', 'chester', and 'be glad then america'.
the best, imo, is the older columbia recording by the gregg smith singers...hard to find now.

dj
Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: Joe Barron on June 27, 2007, 12:17:51 PM
Mr. Schuman was born in 1910, I believe.

The Bernstein perfromancea are indeed remarkable. I listened to the third again recently. It's the work of a young man, rather too busy and bursting with ideas, but engaging and full of spark. I've always liked it. The Fifth is also a favorite, and the Seventh shouldn't be overlooked, either.

BTW, I did meet Mr. Schuman back in the 1980s, at a concert of his works in Washington DC. A very charming man. He said something I'll wlways remember. I asked him if he thought any popular music was as good as the so-called serious concert music. He said no. He didn't believe it had the staying power. The real purpose of popular music, he said, is that it should be played at the height of your mating season.



Title: Re: William Schuman (1919-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 27, 2007, 10:05:35 PM
Mr. Schuman was born in 1910, I believe.

The Bernstein perfromancea are indeed remarkable. I listened to the third again recently. It's the work of a young man, rather too busy and bursting with ideas, but engaging and full of spark. I've always liked it. The Fifth is also a favorite, and the Seventh shouldn't be overlooked, either.

BTW, I did meet Mr. Schuman back in the 1980s, at a concert of his works in Washington DC. A very charming man. He said something I'll wlways remember. I asked him if he thought any popular music was as good as the so-called serious concert music. He said no. He didn't believe it had the staying power. The real purpose of popular music, he said, is that it should be played at the hhieght of your mating season.





Thank you Joe for the date correction, I've changed it on the header; my apologies. It doesn't surprise me to hear that Mr Schuman was a charming man and I loved his comments on popular music. The only composer I briefly spoke to was Sir Lennox Berkeley who was also very  pleasant. I received extremely nice letters from Vagn Holmboe, David Diamond, George Lloyd, Ursula Vaughan Williams (with book of her husband's essays) and John Kinsella in response to unsolicited fan mail from me.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Choo Choo on June 28, 2007, 01:35:25 AM
The only composer I briefly spoke to was Sir Lennox Berkeley who was also very  pleasant.

I knew his son Michael, in the days when I worked for the company run by Michael's wife Deborah.  He was - and, I am sure, still is - a thoroughly delightful fellow, and very entertaining company - though possessed of a hair-raising driving style:  I still recall hurtling around Berkeley Square wedged into the front seat of a microscopically small minivan with the composer at the wheel, who was waving an arm out of the window and declaring "Of course, at one time all this belonged to us" while swerving violently to avoid a cyclist.

the best, imo, is the older columbia recording by the gregg smith singers...hard to find now.

You have reminded me that the recording of Carols Of Death which I mentioned earlier was also by the Gregg Smith Singers - and which, I am delighted to say, I have now found in a 3-CD VoxBox along with other pieces by Schuman, Rorem and Talma.  Excellent.  Thanks for that.

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2007, 10:47:26 PM
Just listened to Symphony 6 again; what a great work. Don't know how I missed it all these years.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on August 02, 2007, 07:43:23 PM
I have several Schuman recordings (symphonies 3,6,7,8,9,10, pianoconcertino, violinconc.,Judith...) and find most of these works gripping. The later symphonies can be quite tough though. I cherish an old LP with a totaly enjoyable concerto for viola, women's chorus & orch. (On old English rounds). Never understood why it wasn't released as a CD....I wrote to the Schuman Society - but got only a polite answer ....

Peter
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on August 03, 2007, 01:30:29 AM
Thoroughly agree with the expressions of admiration for Schuman's symphonies! On re-checking my CD collection I find that I have 18 CDs of music by Schuman-No.3 in the versions by Bernstein(1961 and 1985) and the more recent Naxos version by Gerard Schwarz, No.4(the old Louisville version-Jorge Mester- and the more modern Albany-David Alan Miller-and Naxos versions), No.5(Bernstein and Schwarz), No.6(Hugh Keelen on Koch and the old Ormandy), No.7(Maazel and Schwarz), No.8(Bernstein), No.9(Schwarz), No.10(Slatkin and Schwarz), together with the Piano Concerto, the Violin Concerto, New England Triptych(5 different versions!), the Canticle "In Praise of Shahn"(Otto-Werner Mueller and Bernstein), "Judith"(Schwarz), Credendum(Ormandy and Miller), Prayer in Time of War(Mester), American Festival Overture, Circus Overture, Orchestra Song plus the odd Evocation for Oboe, Brass, Timpani and Strings "To Thee Old Cause"(Bernstein). Don't think that I am doing badly with this composer!

What are missing are the unrecorded Concerto on Old English Rounds(as noted), the Song of Orpheus for cello and orchestra, more of Schuman's ballet scores and his choral works.

I find Schuman a composer of enormous vigour. He certainly produced music of real energy and power but his music does require virtuoso performance from a top flight orchestra and the committment of a conductor like Bernstein if it is to communicate effectively-although, to be fair, Schwarz make an excellent fist of it in his recent recordings. There can(sometimes) seem to be a slight sense that Schuman's trademark style is being recycled in the later symphonies and there is no doubt that they do require concentration on the part of the listener! I do, however, find him a most rewarding and serious symphonist-much tougher(obviously) than Copland, Barber, Hanson or Harris-to name but four other of his (rough) contemporaries-but certainly easier than Roger Sessions, who is just too tough a nut for me to crack!

Can I recommend amongst other American symphonists the works of both Walter Piston(although his symphonies can be a trifle 'formal') and-a particular favourite of mine-Peter Mennin, who died in 1983 at the age of 60 but who produced a number of colourful and exciting works.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on August 03, 2007, 01:54:30 AM
Piston's Second and Fourth symphonies+New England Episodes are great works. I was struck by the similarity the opening of the last of the New England Episodes with the opening of Vaughan Williams's contemporaneous Ninth Symphony.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Brewski on March 11, 2009, 01:01:23 PM
In today's New Music Box, Frank J. Oteri interviews Joseph W. Polisi, whose book on William Schuman just came out called American Muse.  Sounds like a great read, and further, apparently Juilliard will be doing an all-Schuman concert next year that will include the Violin Concerto.  The article is here (http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=5903). 

--Bruce
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 11, 2009, 01:09:10 PM

What are missing are the unrecorded Concerto on Old English Rounds(as noted), the Song of Orpheus for cello and orchestra, more of Schuman's ballet scores and his choral works.


Song of Orpheus is available on Naxos in a decent recording, though it can't hope to match the peerless Leonard Rose in the first recording. I can send people an MP3 of this criminally unavailable recording of Rose if anyone wants it.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: drogulus on March 11, 2009, 01:30:40 PM

    I had the LP of Bernstein's recording of the Schuman 8th back in the '60s. I remembered it as having outstanding sonics (unusual for Columbia), and when I finally acquired the CD a few years ago I learned I wasn't wrong. This is the most dissonant of the Schuman symphonies but I think it's also very beautiful and moving.

     The 7th symphony is in a similar vein and I know it from this recording, which I can also recommend:

     (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V49f%2B3wkL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on March 11, 2009, 02:06:00 PM
His violin concerto is IMO by quite some margin the best US violin concerto. Oh how I long for Zukovskys verson with MTT/Boston on DG to be generally available again. I have the original LP coupled with Pistons 2nd symphony, what a wonderful and pathbreaking disc that was!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: J on March 11, 2009, 03:55:30 PM
His violin concerto is IMO by quite some margin the best US violin concerto. Oh how I long for Zukovskys verson with MTT/Boston on DG to be generally available again. I have the original LP coupled with Pistons 2nd symphony, what a wonderful and pathbreaking disc that was!

Myself - I consider Schuman's & Rochberg's (the original version) to be the two greatest.

How does Rochberg's concerto rate with you?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 11, 2009, 03:57:52 PM
Better than the Barber?! I must hear it!

Just ordered the Naxos CD.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Daverz on March 11, 2009, 04:34:17 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514UygqySDL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Looks like a new or reissued recording of the Schuman VC.  I found the Naxos disappointing compared to the Zukovsky.

http://www.amazon.com/Leonard-Bernstein-Serenade-William-Concerto/dp/B0016MJ3NG

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on March 11, 2009, 10:07:29 PM
Myself - I consider Schuman's & Rochberg's (the original version) to be the two greatest.

How does Rochberg's concerto rate with you?
I've scrambled the Naxos disc of it for a relisten tonight - do't know what version that is, however. Bernsteins serenade is my 2nd favorite, I'll see what I think after the relisten.

The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 11, 2009, 10:34:05 PM
I don't think the Zukovsky has been reissued though, and the Naxos is meant to be better than the one above.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on March 12, 2009, 03:55:56 AM
I'm looking forward to the Naxos release of Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great work - described by one critic as 'A Requiem for the 20th Century'.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on March 12, 2009, 04:00:19 AM
I'm looking forward to the Naxos release of Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great work - described by one critic as 'A Requiem for the 20th Century'.

Will this be a new recording, or a reissue, do you know?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on March 12, 2009, 05:51:56 AM
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities. I remember hearing the Ormandy years again and loving the piece, but when I heard the Naxos cd I was horrified-the misterioso intro was still there that I rememered, but the rising sense of hysteria-that brass in the horror movie vein, the shrieking strings-
can anyone compare the two recordings? Is there that much of a difference between them that one could be considered a masterpiece and the other a tragedy? Is it the music, or just the performance....or me?
however, sym. 6-7, and for that matter, all the other sym., I can't say enough about. just all around really great composer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: drogulus on March 12, 2009, 02:59:59 PM


     (http://www.classical.net/music/recs/images/a/alb00256.jpg)

     I'll be listening to the classic Ormandy recording of the Schuman 6th tonight, along with the Harris 7th and Piston 4th. The Schuman was recorded in '53, so I'm looking forward to the Naxos.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: J on March 12, 2009, 03:39:17 PM
I've scrambled the Naxos disc of it for a relisten tonight - do't know what version that is, however. Bernsteins serenade is my 2nd favorite, I'll see what I think after the relisten.

The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.

Yes.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 12, 2009, 04:28:44 PM
The Barber is achingly beautiful (except for the last mvt which I don't care much about) but I've always found it slightly too sweet and lacking in nourishment, like a delicious dessert which isn't quite a satisfactory meal on its own. Maybe a stumbling analogy, but I think it covers what I feel.

Hmm, I think it really depends on who plays it - but I agree it can easily be played as such. I think the most convincing version on record is Takezawa's account - her tone is ravishing, phrasing a delight, and she is also able to make the whole satisfying, and not just two adagios with a presto stuck on the end. The formal design has never bothered me, but then I am willing to forgive Barber most things - this was an early work, all three of his later concertos are masterful.

Anyway, looking forward to getting this CD - do tell me what you think of the Naxos disc.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on March 12, 2009, 05:55:27 PM
Sorry to be coming to this recent discussion a little late-I have been otherwise engaged for the last 48 hours!.

I am delighted to see that others have such a high regard for Schuman's music. The symphonies are particularly fine works although they are quite tough works too and there is an abrasive side to Schuman's most serious music which can be a little tiring at times.
Gerard Schwarz is obviously a great admirer of Schuman and deserves a great deal of credit for championing the music when very few other contemporary conductors appear to be terribly interested in doing so. The incomplete Naxos series contains worthy and, sometimes, very good performances but there is no doubt that Schwarz and the Seattle orchestra cannot match the electricity generated by the ferocious intensity of Ormandy/Philadelphia or Bernstein/NYPO.

Since, however, we cannot resurrect these gentleman, Schwarz will have to do meantime ;D

Regarding the Violin Concerto-I agree that it is one of the finest of all American Violin Concertos, and that the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).

As for the Barber Violin Concerto.......I used to listen to it repeatedly as a late teenager(a year or two ago ;D) and used to think that it contained just about the most heartbreakingly beautiful music ever composed. Perhaps I simply overdosed on the work...or just got less romantic as I aged(?)...but its 'sweetness' (as erato has commented) got too much for my palate. It is a work that I can go back to but it will probably never have quite the same meaning and resonances as it had when I was a lad ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Daverz on March 12, 2009, 08:33:42 PM
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities. I remember hearing the Ormandy years again and loving the piece, but when I heard the Naxos cd I was horrified-the misterioso intro was still there that I rememered, but the rising sense of hysteria-that brass in the horror movie vein, the shrieking strings-
can anyone compare the two recordings? Is there that much of a difference between them that one could be considered a masterpiece and the other a tragedy? Is it the music, or just the performance....or me?
however, sym. 6-7, and for that matter, all the other sym., I can't say enough about. just all around really great composer.

I have my transfer of the Ormandy around here somewhere.  I'll upload it for you.  I've tricked out my 'table since then, and I also found another copy of the Lp, but I won't have a chance to do another transfer until the end of next week.  I think this one sounds pretty good, though.

Edit: Here's an MP3 with VBR ~ 250K. (http://www.mediafire.com/?z0z0zonfowt)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on March 12, 2009, 11:15:43 PM
Hmm, I think it really depends on who plays it - but I agree it can easily be played as such. I think the most convincing version on record is Takezawa's account - her tone is ravishing, phrasing a delight, and she is also able to make the whole satisfying, and not just two adagios with a presto stuck on the end. The formal design has never bothered me, but then I am willing to forgive Barber most things - this was an early work, all three of his later concertos are masterful.

Anyway, looking forward to getting this CD - do tell me what you think of the Naxos disc.
Did listen last night - and indeed it is a very powerful, as well as moving, work. And large-scaled, perhaps a little too much? And I remember being impressed by it on the couple of other occasions I have played it. But to pronounce on its quality one need to live with the music for some time, the Schumann I have lived with for 30 years. So I'll leave it at that and will return to it.

And yes, the Pistons are very fine. And, if we go south of the border, I like Manuel Ponce's concerto a lot too.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on March 12, 2009, 11:19:34 PM
thanks to daverz
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 13, 2009, 03:36:15 AM
the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).


Second this. The first Piston is such an appealing work on first listen, I'm puzzled why it hasn't become better known. Although after knowing both of them, I now think the second is a deeper and more subtle piece.

This thread is a reminder to listen to the Rochberg, which I've only done once before (I have the uncut version on Naxos).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: DavidRoss on March 13, 2009, 04:12:40 AM
Regarding the Violin Concerto-I agree that it is one of the finest of all American Violin Concertos, and that the Rochberg is also an extremely powerful and impressive work. I would, however, want to put in a good word for the two exceptionally beautiful Piston Violin Concertos(very well played on the Naxos cd).
Seconded.  I still like Barber's VC and recommend Shaham's recording coupled with Korngold's.  I also like Glass's VC and John Adams's, recommending Kremer's recordings of both, and Adams's new cto for electric violin, The Dharma at Big Sur--only recording is with Tracy Silverman.  It's nice that EMI have reissued the Slatkin Schuman VC recording but I'd like to see DGG do the same with their MTT/Zukovsky recording.  I heard Gil Shaham play this with MTT/SFS a couple of years ago and it was terrific--wish I could buy a recording of that performance.  I also wish the Piano cto were better known with more recordings available.  And as long as I'm wishing, might as well throw in world peace.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on March 13, 2009, 04:26:37 AM
the only Schuman piece I've had problems with is sym no.9 "le fosse ardeanne(sic?)" written in the 60s after visiting in France/Italy the cave of nazi atrocities.

from Wikipedia:
The Fosse Ardeatine massacre (Italian: Eccidio delle Fosse Ardeatine) was a mass execution carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome.

Subsequently, the Cave Ardeatine[1] (also known as the Fosse Ardeatine[2]) became a National Monument and a Memorial Cemetery open daily to visitors. Every year, on the anniversary of the slaughter and in the presence of the senior officials of the Italian Republic, a solemn State commemoration is held at the monument in honour of the fallen.
....................
Popular notions of the Fosse Ardeatine are numerous, and often false. Foremost among these is the notion that the Partisans who attacked at the Via Rasella should have turned themselves in. This stems from a belief (still cultivated by neo-fascist propaganda) that the Nazis gave warning to the Roman public that a retaliation was imminent. The concept of 'ten Italians for one German' is also frequently applied to this argument, as if the Partisans could or should have realized that their attack would cost 330 Italians their lives. In fact, there were arguments among the Nazi leadership in Rome as well as between Hitler and his commanders as to whether 10, 30, or 50 Italians should be killed for every German.

Although it may be expected (and is frequently claimed) that the victims of the Fosse Ardeatine were predominantly Jewish, this is not so; only 75 of the 335 victims were Jews. Although this was one criterion for the selection of victims the main concern was simply to fill the quota; many of the prisoners at Via Tasso and Regina Coeli prisons who had the misfortune to be in Nazi hands at that moment were also included. Some of these prisoners had simply been residents of Via Rasella who were home at the time of the partisan attack; others had been arrested and tortured for suspected Resistance and other anti-fascist activities. Others had been casually picked up on the streets or arrested at their homes after fascist informants tipped the Germans. Not all of the partisans killed were members of the same group. Members of the GAP, the PA and Bandiera Rossa, in addition to the Clandestine Military Front were on the list of those to be executed. The largest group among the murdered were members of Bandiera Rossa, a Communist military Resistance group. The youngest victim was 15 years old.

The scale and even the occurrence of this retaliation was unprecedented. Since the start of the Nazi occupation of Rome (which had begun on 9-10 September 1943), anti-Fascists and members of the Resistance (including many Italian Military officers) had been organising and practicing intense guerilla warfare against the occupiers.

Ormandy's version is ( still?) available on a (Japanese import) CD - coupled with Penderecki's Utrenja. Ormandy's version has more bite and power than Schwarz's. I'd love to hear ( and see!) that work in a concert hall...
P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on March 13, 2009, 04:59:19 AM
Sorry to be coming to this recent discussion a little late-I have been otherwise engaged for the last 48 hours!

There is real life; we've all heard of it  8)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on March 13, 2009, 06:40:45 AM
How odd, Peter! I have a Japanese import cd with Penderecki's 'Utrenja'(or at least Part I of 'Utrenja'-'The Entombment') but the coupling-and indeed the reason I bought the cd-is not Schuman's 9th Symphony but Persichetti's 9th 'Sinfonia Janiculum' which was the coupling on the original LP many, many years ago.

Karl.....indeed, there is life outside GMG :o When friends visit and one sits up all night chatting GMG has to take a back seat ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on March 13, 2009, 06:43:40 AM
Ah, to sit up all night chatting!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on March 13, 2009, 07:38:25 AM
How odd, Peter! I have a Japanese import cd with Penderecki's 'Utrenja'(or at least Part I of 'Utrenja'-'The Entombment') but the coupling-and indeed the reason I bought the cd-is not Schuman's 9th Symphony but Persichetti's 9th 'Sinfonia Janiculum' which was the coupling on the original LP many, many years ago.

Karl.....indeed, there is life outside GMG :o When friends visit and one sits up all night chatting GMG has to take a back seat ;D

My mistake ! Indeed Persichetti, not Schuman. however, the original LP had the Schuman 9th...sorry!

Peter
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on March 14, 2009, 01:59:45 AM
Will this be a new recording, or a reissue, do you know?

Karl,
I thought that Naxos were doing a whole new cycle - but maybe they are simply reissuing old Delos recordings - in which case Symphony No 6 may not appear as there was no Delos version, as far as I know.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on March 14, 2009, 06:46:40 AM
To clear this up-

Delos issued Schwarz and the Seattle SO in a recording of Schuman's 5th Symphony(Symphony for Strings) made in 1992. Naxos have reissued this coupled with a new recording of Symphony No.3 made in 2005.

The Naxos recordings of Symphony No. 4 coupled with No.9 'Le fosse ardeatine' and No.7 coupled with No.10 'American Muse' are new recordings made between 2003 and 2004. The intention is clearly to issue a complete set-which means that Nos. 6 and 8 will be issued together at some point. If they were also recorded around the same time as the others I am surprised that Naxos has not yet issued the cd but who knows-the ways of record companies are often very strange!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on March 14, 2009, 07:00:58 AM
To clear this up-

Delos issued Schwarz and the Seattle SO in a recording of Schuman's 5th Symphony(Symphony for Strings) made in 1992. Naxos have reissued this coupled with a new recording of Symphony No.3 made in 2005.

The Naxos recordings of Symphony No. 4 coupled with No.9 'Le fosse ardeatine' and No.7 coupled with No.10 'American Muse' are new recordings made between 2003 and 2004. The intention is clearly to issue a complete set-which means that Nos. 6 and 8 will be issued together at some point. If they were also recorded around the same time as the others I am surprised that Naxos has not yet issued the cd but who knows-the ways of record companies ae often very strange!


Thanks Colin.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 16, 2009, 08:54:31 AM
Just listened to the Schumann violin concerto - as people have been saying it's a fantastic piece with beautiful lyric sweep and a powerful sense of drama. Must look out this Rochberg concerto too!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 18, 2009, 04:38:46 AM
Addicted to the violin concerto now and thirsting for more - which Symphonies are most similar to this piece? I have heard no.3 but wasn't as enthralled as most other as seem to be.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on March 18, 2009, 09:40:33 AM
Addicted to the violin concerto now and thirsting for more - which Symphonies are most similar to this piece? I have heard no.3 but wasn't as enthralled as most other as seem to be.

The Third Symphony is Schuman's most famous, is the work with which he achieved his real breakthrough and is often regarded as one of the 'Great American Thirds'(along with the Roy Harris 3rd and Copland 3rd). I am less keen on the 4th-although some people esteem it highly-while the 5th is an intense Symphony for Strings.

The three most powerful, dark, gripping works are Nos. 6, 7 and 8. Unfortunately Nos. 6 and 8 are the two as yet unreleased by Naxos. No.6 can only be found either in a mono recording by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy  from 1953 re-released on an Albany disc coupled with the Harris 7th and the Piston 4th or on a Koch disc(possibly difficult to find) played by the New Zealand SO and again coupled with the Harris 7th. No.8 is only available in a Sony recording of the New York Philharmonic under Bernstein from 1962(albeit an incandescent performance) coupled with Nos. 3 and 5.
At least, however, No.7 is on Naxos(coupled with No.10). If I had to recommend one of these three symphonies I would probably go for No.6.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Guido on March 18, 2009, 10:27:15 AM
Cheers for the info! I think I'll order that Bernstein recording with the fifth and eighth (and third). The Ormandy recording of the sixth is out of print and is £38 on Amazon!! I'll have to look out for it. Koch recording also out of print, but slightly more reasonable.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on December 06, 2009, 02:41:42 AM
Just a plug for the new Naxos CD of William Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great, visionary score which I find darkly moving. Not as immediately appealing as Symphony No 3 perhaps, but just as fine a work IMHO.  The couplings are very good too, including 'The New England Triptych' and the powerful 1943 'Prayer in Time of War' which was new to me.  I have seen Schuman's 6th Symphony described as a 'Requiem for the 20th Century' in the notes accompanying the Ormandy CD - an appropriate comment on the gravity and eloquence of this fine work.  This is the best version since Ormandy and the recording is much more recent.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on December 06, 2009, 02:24:57 PM
This is the best version since Ormandy
Who else is there? :D

And how does it compare with Ormandy in terms of,...mmm...bladness and epic grandeur? I kinda like the "old" Ormandy sound for this piece, though, I can imagine the sonics here should put it over the top. I AM thankful that 6 & 8 weren't on the same cd, just for personal reasons.

The Prayer was on the Albany disc w/Harris & Becker, no?

And, how does the New England Triptych compare to,...mmm...who is there, Bernstein? Hanson? Of course, this IS Schwarz country after all.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on December 07, 2009, 03:27:32 AM
Who else is there? :D

Hugh Keelan, NZSO (Koch).

Yes, Schuman's 'Prayer' is on the old Albany CD.

The new CD has a similar gravity, eloquence and urgency as the old Ormandy version of Symphony No 6 and the recording is much better.  I found the performance of the 'New England Triptych' to be equally convincing, although I have not played the other recordings for some time.  Basically, this CD gripped me throughout and I greatly enjoyed all three works.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Benji on December 07, 2009, 11:47:15 AM
Hugh Keelan, NZSO (Koch).

Ah, but is that as expensive as all the other OOP Koch discs with the NZSO? Some great stuff from that orchestra on Koch - Rózsa orchestral music, the Randall Thompson symphonies (love those!), and on Koch but not the NZSO: Bernard Herrmann's symphony coupled with Schuman's Triptych (my favourite Schuman work in fact, or perhaps In Praise of Shaan, I can't decide).

Sorry, mostly off topic there.  :-X

I'll have a listen to the 6th and see how I like it. I think it was a Gramophone or BBC Music mag review that said they liked the music... but could imagine a better performance. I don't think they like Schwarz. Doesn't seem to be well-liked in this country at all, poor man!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on December 08, 2009, 04:44:17 AM
Ah, but is that as expensive as all the other OOP Koch discs with the NZSO? Some great stuff from that orchestra on Koch - Rózsa orchestral music, the Randall Thompson symphonies (love those!), and on Koch but not the NZSO: Bernard Herrmann's symphony coupled with Schuman's Triptych (my favourite Schuman work in fact, or perhaps In Praise of Shaan, I can't decide).

Sorry, mostly off topic there.  :-X

I'll have a listen to the 6th and see how I like it. I think it was a Gramophone or BBC Music mag review that said they liked the music... but could imagine a better performance. I don't think they like Schwarz. Doesn't seem to be well-liked in this country at all, poor man!

OT

Must listen again to the Randall Thompson symphonies and yes, the Herrmann Symphony/Schuman New Englant Triptych is a great disc.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on December 08, 2009, 04:48:18 AM
Hugh Keelan, NZSO (Koch).

Yes, Schuman's 'Prayer' is on the old Albany CD.

The new CD has a similar gravity, eloquence and urgency as the old Ormandy version of Symphony No 6 and the recording is much better.  I found the performance of the 'New England Triptych' to be equally convincing, although I have not played the other recordings for some time.  Basically, this CD gripped me throughout and I greatly enjoyed all three works.

This Prayer is a reissued recording, then? (Or do I misunderstand?)  Sounds like a recording I will want to investigate nevertheless.
 
FWIW, the New England Triptych strikes me as a light work which poses no great problems to Getting It Right.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on December 08, 2009, 04:49:21 AM
Review here. 'Prayer' is new recording Karl.


http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2009/Nov09/Schuman6_8559625.htm
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 02, 2010, 09:41:12 AM
SQs 2, 3, & 5/Lydian SQ (Harmonia Mundi (1992)



This is the classic HM release, which I just got on Ebay for $8 (which is important since it runs @$40 on Amazon!). I enjoyed SQ No.3 from the old Kohon/VoxBox, but, of course, this recording is, well, I think it's one of the most sensuous (sensual?) SQ recordings I've ever heard. The viola sound is drool worthy. The whole image is so intimate, yet there is ample acoustic. I don't know, can anyone else witness for me here?

I AM SAVING THE 1985 NO.5 for a cozy evening here shortly, but I was so impressed with No.2 (1937) that I'd like to lift it up as the best Hindemith styled SQ I've yet heard. Schuman's integrated style is very smooth and sophisticated, even at such an early stage (really, No.3 only came 2 years later). I don't know, as I was listening, I could just feel the pre war American years. This recording could become a sentimental favorite.

Really, I'm just in love with this recording. I've been looking at it since it came out, always convinced that there was nobility in spades within it's grooves. Boy, do I need a witness!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Brewski on April 02, 2010, 10:08:34 AM
That CD of the three quartets is excellent.  I haven't heard it in awhile, but recall being immediately taken with it.  It's a shame Schuman seems to be on the "unfashionable" side at the moment, given the high quality of his work. 

Just last night, coincidentally, I was at a superb concert with three of his works, marking what would have been his 100th birthday.  Leonard Slatkin and the Juilliard Orchestra did a great job with the Circus Overture, Violin Concerto and Third Symphony, and all of these should be played more often.  Schuman's music is really well crafted, definitely rooted in that mid-20th century American style that seems to be off the radar for many people at the moment.  (As David Ross noted, Tilson Thomas is another fan; Bernstein was another.)

In any case, now I need to revisit that quartets recording, with last night still in my ears.  Glad you are enjoying it!

--Bruce

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 13, 2010, 09:59:24 PM
Thoughts on re-hearing Schuman

I hadn't listened to this composer in years. Since this year is his 100th anniversary (and curiously, the 200th anniversary of his near-namesake), I pulled out the Bernstein recording of the 3rd and 8th Symphonies and the Symphony for Strings and have been listening to it this week.

Listening to the 3rd Symphony for the first time in ages reminded me how one's listening habits can change one's perceptions of music. I always liked this piece for its brashness and bursting-at-the-seams vitality. Now, after immersing myself in Baroque and late Renaissance music, I hear it from a new angle - Schuman uses these ancient forms (passacaglia, fugue, etc.) but loads them with an expression that is aggressively modern. This creates a fascinating tension between the rigor and gravity of the form and the dissonance and force of the substance.

The String Symphony made a similar impression, though it is more restrained and modest in its dimensions. The heavily contrapuntal nature of the three movements again brought ancient music to mind, though the overall sound of the piece puts it squarely in the mainstream of mid-century symphonism.

The 8th Symphony is still a puzzler. When I first heard it years ago, I was put off by its excessively dour sound. Also, it seemed to contain a major structural flaw: the first two movements sound too much alike, so you get over 20 minutes of unrelieved gloom before the finale comes thundering in. For these reasons, I still have problems with it, although I like parts of the symphony. I know this piece has fans here: what do you hear in it?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: drogulus on May 14, 2010, 12:40:17 PM


The 8th Symphony is still a puzzler. When I first heard it years ago, I was put off by its excessively dour sound. Also, it seemed to contain a major structural flaw: the first two movements sound too much alike, so you get over 20 minutes of unrelieved gloom before the finale comes thundering in. For these reasons, I still have problems with it, although I like parts of the symphony. I know this piece has fans here: what do you hear in it?

      This music is so exciting and the mood is so tense that the Lento > Largo aspect never even impinges on my consciousness unless my attention is drawn to it by a comment like yours. I guess this falls under the exception rule, that anything brilliantly done can violate the rule forbidding it, if there is a rule. There are a number of points in the movements where there are climaxes as well as faster passages, so it's not all unrelieved gloom, just slightly relieved gloom.

      You're right that this is not the ideal way to proceed. Since I've loved this symphony since long before I had any fixed idea of what a proper structure was supposed to be, I didn't really bother about it. I did notice the anomaly, but figured that it didn't matter.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 25, 2010, 11:11:16 PM
Just a plug for the new Naxos CD of William Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great, visionary score which I find darkly moving.

I just got this disc, and had my first listen of the 6th Symphony. My first impression is Wow, what a powerhouse score. There is a great deal of angst in it (reminds me of Berg, late Mahler or even Pettersson at times). However, the structure, with its series of contrasting episodes, keeps everything tight and in focus, so I never felt the music was meandering or wallowing in the anguish. Maybe not as immediately appealing or as flashy as the 3rd, but in terms of structure, it may actually be superior.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 25, 2010, 11:38:35 PM
I just got this disc, and had my first listen of the 6th Symphony. My first impression is Wow, what a powerhouse score. There is a great deal of angst in it (reminds me of Berg, late Mahler or even Pettersson at times). However, the structure, with its series of contrasting episodes, keeps everything tight and in focus, so I never felt the music was meandering or wallowing in the anguish. Maybe not as immediately appealing or as flashy as the 3rd, but in terms of structure, it may actually be superior.

I very much agree with this anaysis, I think that No 6 is my favourite work by William Schuman - the ending I find very moving and I like one critics description of this work as 'A Requiem for the 20th Century'. No 3 is more immediately appealing, and a fine score, but I think that No 6 may be the greater work. The new Naxos is very good - the best since Ormandy.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 26, 2010, 01:00:04 AM
The new Naxos is very good - the best since Ormandy.

Not that there's a lot of competition out there  :D Still, I'm very pleased with the production - it sounds great (quite up-front and "present" without being annoying), and the orchestra plays very well. Kudos all around.

I look forward to delving into this symphony more. Another impression I have is that Schuman managed to turn his compositional deficiencies (a certain clunkiness and dourness in his style) to his advantage. This is why I already like the 6th much better than the 8th, which is marred by a structure that emphasizes the heavy, dour nature of his style too much and lacks sufficient contrast.

Regarding the "requiem" aspect - that didn't really occur to me, as the symphony's general mood is one of struggle rather than elegy and reflection for the most part. But of course other listeners might hear it differently than I do.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2010, 04:49:25 PM
Any other admireres of this fine American composer?

I just discovered Symphony 6 in a historic performance conducted by Ormandy. What a great work; decribed by one critic as "A Requiem for the twentieth century" it ends beautifully and it has been a great new discovery for me. Symphony 3 (especially in Bernstein's Sony recording) is Schuman's best known symphony (there is a good new recording on Naxos) and the Violin Concerto and more populist "New England Tryptich" are both excellent works.

Is Schuman highly regarded in the US?

Thanks so much for starting this thread!!! I have just recently gotten into Schuman's music. I did a lot of research on his music before making any purchases and I listened to a lot of audio samples (which are NEVER long enough). I bought the whole Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony Schuman series on Naxos. I just received them in the mail today, so I will be doing some heavy listening tomorrow.
 
He is often lumped into the same group as Piston, Creston, Thomson, Diamond, etc. and it is surprising to find out that he, like the composers I just mentioned, are seldom performed in the United States. I don't mean to demean my own country, but the United States isn't exactly the musical center of excellence it once was with American orchestras playing less and less of their own country's music and more of the same old warhorses they've been playing forever, but I know the board of these American orchestras have a lot to do with it, which is a seperate issue altogether.
 
Anyway, I will hopefully make some comments in the next couple of days, so until then I'm going to enjoy reading all of the posts.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on June 26, 2010, 07:06:36 PM
. . . He is often lumped into the same group as Piston, Creston, Thomson, Diamond, etc. and it is surprising to find out that he, like the composers I just mentioned, are seldom performed in the United States. I don't mean to demean my own country, but the United States isn't exactly the musical center of excellence it once was with American orchestras playing less and less of their own country's music and more of the same old warhorses they've been playing forever, but I know the board of these American orchestras have a lot to do with it, which is a seperate issue altogether.

There are (or, were) larger forces in motion . . . for whatever passel of reasons, the US symphonists of the mid-20th century were relegated to a sort of musical ghetto.  Schuman and Mennin are the ones I am keenest on exploring at present.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2010, 07:07:40 PM
There are (or, were) larger forces in motion . . . for whatever passel of reasons, the US symphonists of the mid-20th century were relegated to a sort of musical ghetto.  Schuman and Mennin are the ones I am keenest on exploring at present.

I would like to explore Mennin as well. He seems like an interesting composer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on June 29, 2010, 08:22:27 PM
I'm able to report back as currently I have heard many of Schuman's works. So far I have heard Symphonies Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9. Of his other orchestral works I've heard "Circus Overture," "Prayer in Time of War," "Judith," "New England Triptych," and "Orchestra Song." I'm most impressed with "Symphony No. 4" and "New England Triptych." I'm less enthusiastic about the other works I've heard, but I still have Symphonies Nos. 7 and 10 to hear. One of the things that I'm not impressed with is the lack of motivic development in his music. There seems to be an almost academic dryness that permeates much of the music. "New England Triptych" was an enjoyable work, but the themes were not his own. It seems when the melodies aren't his own, he's able to find something unique and creative to say. He's a great orchestrator --- anyone with ears will be able to detect this just within a few measures. It seems he's spent a great deal of time thinking about which section is going to play this or what section will be playing that. "Symphony No. 4" was particularly enjoyable for me. As it's slow movement is probably the most honest emotion I've heard in any of his symphonies so far. The melody line just aches with sadness and loneliness.
 
These, of course, are just my first impressions and I haven't even finished absorbing what I've heard and I still have some more works to hear. But right now, I can't say I'm quite turned onto his soundworld yet. In due time I suppose.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 29, 2010, 09:11:02 PM
Mirror,

I also have some problems with Schuman's basic style, which you call "academic" and which to me seems kind of dour, harsh and arid. He's also not much of a tunesmith. These are not always deficiencies though - at his best, as in the 3rd and 6th symphonies, he actually turns that harsh style to his advantage - in the 3rd by exploiting it in the context of baroque musical forms, and in the 6th by building a 1-mvt. structure with sufficient contrast between episodes (at least, that's my first impression of the 6th). But I can understand why his basic style turns some people off.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 30, 2010, 03:08:40 AM
Very interesting recent posts and I'm pleased to have started the thread  :) It has made me want to investigate Symphony No 4 which I've hardly ever played.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scarpia on June 30, 2010, 06:56:54 AM
There are (or, were) larger forces in motion . . . for whatever passel of reasons, the US symphonists of the mid-20th century were relegated to a sort of musical ghetto.  Schuman and Mennin are the ones I am keenest on exploring at present.

My only exposure to Schumann is the "New England Triptych" which I found to be dry as sawdust (Hanson's recording on Mercury).  One of those cases when I want to set the CD player to display "time remaining" so I can see the countdown until it will finally end.  I wonder if this is typical or atypical of Schumann's work.  (I think, somewhere, I have a Sony disc with Bernstein conducting a few symphonies by Schumann.)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on June 30, 2010, 06:58:25 AM
My only exposure to Schumann is the "New England Triptych" which I found to be dry as sawdust (Hanson's recording on Mercury).  One of those cases when I want to set the CD player to display "time remaining" so I can see the countdown until it will finally end.  I wonder if this is typical or atypical of Schumann's work.  (I think, somewhere, I have a Sony disc with Bernstein conducting a few symphonies by Schumann.)


No, the Triptych is a minor work, and to some degree an arrangement.  One example of a much stronger piece is the Violin Concerto.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Brewski on June 30, 2010, 07:03:00 AM
No, the Triptych is a minor work, and to some degree an arrangement.  One example of a much stronger piece is the Violin Concerto.

Yes, I'd agree (although I haven't heard the Triptych in years).  But I did just hear the Violin Concerto recently--fantastic piece--and would also urge you to try the Third and Fifth Symphonies. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 30, 2010, 08:56:17 PM
My only exposure to Schumann[sic] is the "New England Triptych" which I found to be dry as sawdust (Hanson's recording on Mercury). 

I've now listened to it twice; it comes with Schwarz's version of the 6th Symphony. While my reaction isn't nearly so negative, I do like the middle mvt. ("When Jesus Wept") a lot better than the other two. In particular, the oboe-bassoon interplay is really nice. The other two mvts. are not bad really, but seem a little forced at times.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on June 30, 2010, 09:57:54 PM
The opening of the New England Tryptich is very evocative and yes, the middle movement is very fine - so I think more highly of this work than some here  :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 01, 2010, 02:36:17 AM
I've now listened to it twice; it comes with Schwarz's version of the 6th Symphony. While my reaction isn't nearly so negative, I do like the middle mvt. ("When Jesus Wept") a lot better than the other two. In particular, the oboe-bassoon interplay is really nice. The other two mvts. are not bad really, but seem a little forced at times.

My recollection of my own impressions is much in line with this.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2010, 04:03:10 AM
Of course it's no masterpiece but I love the New England Triptych. I admit it's partly for extramusical reasons. I'm a student of military history and battle hymns fascinate me: Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott (Thirty Years War), Battle Hymn of the Republic (the American Civil War), Chester (the Revolutionary War). I think that last movement is thrilling, the Billings' anthem on which it's based one of America's treasures.

I have several versions but have been listening to Schwarz/Seattle since yesterday, playing the Triptych and Sixth Symphony over and over. I'm not yet ready to say the Sixth is finer than the Third but it certainly rivals it.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2010, 05:10:38 AM
Of course it's no masterpiece but I love the New England Triptych. I admit it's partly for extramusical reasons. I'm a student of military history and battle hymns fascinate me: Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott (Thirty Years War), Battle Hymn of the Republic (the American Civil War), Chester (the Revolutionary War). I think that last movement is thrilling, the Billings' anthem on which it's based one of America's treasures.

I have several versions but have been listening to Schwarz/Seattle since yesterday, playing the Triptych and Sixth Symphony over and over. I'm not yet ready to say the Sixth is finer than the Third but it certainly rivals it.

Sarge

Sarge,

I'm not sure it's finer either, but it is a very deep work which gives up its secrets less easily - I often return to it as I find it to be a searching, eloquent and visionary score (Symphony No 6).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 01, 2010, 06:05:39 AM
Someone alert me when Arkivmusic has a Naxos sale, please : )
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2010, 06:10:13 AM
Someone alert me when Arkivmusic has a Naxos sale, please : )

When they do, Karl, stock up, definitely. Their American Classics series is superb. Ordered more today (Morton Gould).

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: not edward on July 01, 2010, 08:04:47 AM
I have the Sixth, played it once and it didn't make a great impression on me. Must give it another spin, as I do like some of Schuman's symphonies. (I'm not totally convinced by Schwarz, who seems a pale substitute for Bernstein in the 3rd and 5th. I didn't even bother with Schwarz's 8th for that reason.)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 01, 2010, 08:20:46 AM
I have the Sixth, played it once and it didn't make a great impression on me. Must give it another spin, as I do like some of Schuman's symphonies. (I'm not totally convinced by Schwarz, who seems a pale substitute for Bernstein in the 3rd and 5th. I didn't even bother with Schwarz's 8th for that reason.)

Yeah, Lenny's Sony disc with 3, 5, and 8 is definitive. Still, I like the sound of Schwarz's cycle and may yet buy his versions too.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on July 01, 2010, 08:47:34 PM
If you can be lucky enough to find it, or hear it somewhere, there was a wonderful performance of Slatkin conducting the third Schuman symphony which outdoes both of the Bernstein recordings of that same work. It has all of the excitement and bravura of the Bernstein recordings, but with the surgeon-like precision of the Schwarz recording (which is all that recording has, really). I think that precision is needed for such a tight work, though. I love Lenny's recordings of that work, but he is outdone by Slatkin in his performance. I know there are a lot of Slatkin naysayers here, but if you ever come across this, either by broadcast or whatever, do keep an ear open.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2010, 11:19:31 PM
If you can be lucky enough to find it, or hear it somewhere, there was a wonderful performance of Slatkin conducting the third Schuman symphony which outdoes both of the Bernstein recordings of that same work. It has all of the excitement and bravura of the Bernstein recordings, but with the surgeon-like precision of the Schwarz recording (which is all that recording has, really). I think that precision is needed for such a tight work, though. I love Lenny's recordings of that work, but he is outdone by Slatkin in his performance. I know there are a lot of Slatkin naysayers here, but if you ever come across this, either by broadcast or whatever, do keep an ear open.

How interesting - what label was it on?I like Slatkin very much and find his VW cycle to be underrated and his recording of Shostakovich Symphony No 8 is the one I return to most - also his recording of Copland's Third Symphony (I saw a terrific performance given by Slatkin at the Proms a few years back).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2010, 05:47:52 AM
Just a plug for the new Naxos CD of William Schuman's 6th Symphony - a great, visionary score which I find darkly moving. Not as immediately appealing as Symphony No 3 perhaps, but just as fine a work IMHO.  The couplings are very good too, including 'The New England Triptych' and the powerful 1943 'Prayer in Time of War' which was new to me.  I have seen Schuman's 6th Symphony described as a 'Requiem for the 20th Century' in the notes accompanying the Ormandy CD - an appropriate comment on the gravity and eloquence of this fine work.  This is the best version since Ormandy and the recording is much more recent.

Thanks to the discussion here, I've fetched this 'un in, and am enjoying the Sixth Symphony a great deal, indeed.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2010, 05:48:13 AM
How interesting - what label was it on?I like Slatkin very much and find his VW cycle to be underrated and his recording of Shostakovich Symphony No 8 is the one I return to most - also his recording of Copland's Third Symphony (I saw a terrific performance given by Slatkin at the Proms a few years back).

Slatkin never recorded Schuman's "Symphony No. 3." He recorded "Symphony No. 10," but I can't find anything about an alleged "Symphony No. 3" recording. Anyway, his performance of "Symphony No. 10" is on RCA.

Personally, I'm not fond of Slatkin, so I'm not too interested in hearing his Schuman performance. Here is the cover:


(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/24/54/fc7792c008a0a6710868b010.L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2010, 06:07:52 AM
Thanks to the discussion here, I've fetched this 'un in, and am enjoying the Sixth Symphony a great deal, indeed.

This is really one great piece!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2010, 06:18:27 AM
I know there are a lot of Slatkin naysayers here...

Not just here. In 1985 I picked up the Slatkin recording of the Prokofiev Fifth in the PX (the army store) in Augsburg Germany. A guy next to me, uninvited, unasked, preceding to lecture me, telling me I was making a major mistake. Slatkin was terrible, he said scornfully ;D  I Ignored him; it's still one of my favorites (and one of my first CD purchases actually--number 57 in my database). Vandermolen mentioned the Copland Third which I think is great too. Also love the Slatkin/St.Louis Mahler Second.

I have his CD of the 10th (premiere recording according to the cover).

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/june2010/Schu10slat.jpg)

Edit: I see MI has beat me to the cover.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2010, 06:23:49 AM
According to Wikipedia, the following are among early works which the composer subsequently withdrew:
 
Symphony № 1 (1935)
Strinq Quartet № 1 (1935)
Symphony № 2 (1937)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2010, 06:31:56 AM
Slatkin never recorded Schuman's "Symphony No. 3." He recorded "Symphony No. 10," but I can't find anything about an alleged "Symphony No. 3" recording.

I can't find a Slatkin recording of the Third either. Here's the Schuman he has recorded (according to the discography on his website):

SCHUMAN         Symphony No. 10   RD 61282
            New England Triptych
            American Festival Overture
            Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

SCHUMAN, Bill/IVES   Schuman: American Festival Overture    09026 61282-2
            Ives: Variations on 'America'
            Schuman: Symphony No. 10 'American Muse'
            (world premiere recording)

SCHUMAN/SCHWANTNER   Schuman: American Hymn    Nonesuch 79072
            Schwantner:  Magabunda (Four Poems of Agueda Pizzarro)
            Lucy Shelton, soprano

SCHUMAN/BERNSTEIN   Schuman: Violin Concerto   Angel/EMI 49464
                                      Bernstein: Serenade
                 Robert McDuffie, violin
             Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Maybe lescamil has heard an unofficial version? a pirated broadcast maybe?

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 02, 2010, 06:33:50 AM
According to Wikipedia, the following are among early works which the composer subsequently withdrew:
 
Symphony № 1 (1935)
Strinq Quartet № 1 (1935)
Symphony № 2 (1937)


That explains the lack of recordings. I was wondering.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2010, 06:47:45 AM
IIRC, Wuorinen withdrew his first two symphonies, too.  He wrote them as somewhat a younger man, though . . . Schuman wrote his in his late 20s, I think Wuorinen may have written his first whlie yet a teenager.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 02, 2010, 07:33:18 AM
I can't find a Slatkin recording of the Third either.

I vaguely recall reading that the Slatkin Schuman 3rd is contained in some CSO broadcast box special issue. Don't trust me on that, though.

Glad you're enjoying the 6th, Karl. It seems to be Piece of the Week on this board  ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: drogulus on July 02, 2010, 12:55:48 PM
     The only CD I ever returned for general hatefulness was a Slatkin (Elgar 2nd). I have his Schuman 10th, a Barber disk and the Hanson 2nd. They are all very good.

     I have the Ormandy recording of the 6th. I'd like a recording in stereo sound (the Ormandy is good mono).

I didn't even bother with Schwarz's 8th for that reason.)

     I won't bother with it. Lenny owns this one, to the extent any conductor can own a work. Schwartz deserves immense gratitude for his service to the cause of American music, yet his recordings are often undistinguished. I would be happy to hear that his 6th is a good one, though.

     For the 6th you should hear the Ormandy recording. It will most likely convince you of the works merit.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on July 02, 2010, 01:16:33 PM
RE: that Slatkin recording of the 3rd I mentioned: it was never commercially recorded, but rather broadcasted on my local classical station, for it was a recorded performance that was done in early 2009 (January 31 in Disney Hall, Los Angeles).

Maybe lescamil has heard an unofficial version? a pirated broadcast maybe?

Yes, I do, actually, which is what I mentioned, albeit not in the same vocabulary. It is not the same as the one on that CSO boxset.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 02, 2010, 09:55:34 PM
I vaguely recall reading that the Slatkin Schuman 3rd is contained in some CSO broadcast box special issue.

Here's where I read it:

http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/c/cso04677a.php

The reviewer though doesn't like the performance very much: " I am sorry, but even though Slatkin's Chicago brasses are exquisite, Lenny grasps the emotion inherent in the music so much more so that it is not even close. Bernstein brings an intensity (there's that word again) to the music that makes Slatkin sound flat footed."
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on July 03, 2010, 11:30:30 PM
This is really one great piece!

Glad you like this Karl - I love the eloquent ending in particular. I shall listen to it and the 'Prayer in Time of War' today.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 20, 2010, 03:17:25 AM
It will mean a redundancy, but thanks to this recording of the Sixth, and the wicked coincidence that when I found Naxos on sale at Arkivmusic, they show the Schuman symphonies box at a pre-order price of $30 for the 5-disc set . . . I went right ahead.  Great thing is that, while the site advised that it would be available 27 July, e-mail came yesterday that it has shipped.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 10:23:32 AM
TTT

It will mean a redundancy, but thanks to this recording of the Sixth, and the wicked coincidence that when I found Naxos on sale at Arkivmusic, they show the Schuman symphonies box at a pre-order price of $30 for the 5-disc set . . . I went right ahead.  Great thing is that, while the site advised that it would be available 27 July, e-mail came yesterday that it has shipped.

I've started listening to this box, and to the Violin Concerto again.  Liking it better than ever.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: DavidRoss on July 28, 2010, 10:26:08 AM
I've started listening to this box, and to the Violin Concerto again.  Liking it better than ever.
;D 8)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 10:33:24 AM
Funny to think, but I believe that at this point there are only three of the eight symphonies I have never listened to (nos. 7, 9 & 10).  Of course, I am still in the Initial Absorption Phase.

When I first listened to the Violin Concerto . . . oh, must be ten years ago, if it's a day . . . I liked it, was quite impressed by it, but my ears resisted considering it flat-out great.  Listening to it this summer — I have no idea why. I do think it simply a great concerto.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on July 28, 2010, 01:36:31 PM
mmm, Naxos has finished their cycle, now in a box?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 01:58:00 PM
Aye. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg435399.html#msg435399)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scarpia on July 28, 2010, 02:23:13 PM
Aye. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg435399.html#msg435399)

Must have been well received, now on back-order.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on August 03, 2010, 08:13:36 PM
Let's hope Naxos finds time and money to record this wonderful score :
Concerto for viola, female chorus and orchestra "On old English Rounds" (1974)

Bernstein recorded it for CBS...but it was never reissued on CD.

It is Schuman in a gentle, poetical mood! Great - and original.
Peter
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scarpia on August 04, 2010, 05:44:46 AM
Was listening to this mono LP release on Mercury Living Presence.  No date anywhere on the disk or jacket, but I think 1950 or '51 is likely.  Contains scores for two ballets written for Martha Graham, Judith and Undertow.  Both are very dynamic scores and (upon first impression) very well performed by the Louisville Kentucky Orchestra under Robert Whitney or the composer himself.  The scenario for Judith, in particular, seems compelling, judging from the album notes.  The Louisville Orchestra had commissioned a number of important works around that time.

A shame that these works have been apparently lost in their original form.  This recording of the original interpretation of the works has never been reissued (there are modern recordings) and I can find no visual record of the ballet Judith itself.  I'd be interested to see it.
Title: William Schuman would have been 100 today
Post by: Brewski on August 04, 2010, 07:11:10 AM
Thanks for posting that cool LP cover.  And on his 100th birthday, too!

--Bruce
Title: Re: William Schuman would have been 100 today
Post by: Scarpia on August 04, 2010, 07:17:13 AM
Thanks for posting that cool LP cover.  And on his 100th birthday, too!

My pleasure.  Got it for $2.99 at Princeton record exchange.  I think I selected it because I was interested in any mono Mercury releases. 
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scarpia on August 04, 2010, 09:13:18 AM
I have made an mp3 of Judith available on rapidshare:

http://rapidshare.com/files/411032788/WilliamSchumannJudith.mp3

Hope that works.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Brewski on August 04, 2010, 09:18:37 AM
Thank you!   :D

PS, on Facebook, some folks have been weighing in on Schuman, and several musicians have mentioned playing in Undertow, and how much they liked that, too. 

Thanks again.

--Bruce
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on August 22, 2011, 05:41:19 AM
There is a saying: 'you wait ages for a bus and then two come along at the same time'.

Two record companies have almost simultaneously released recordings of Schuman's "A Free Song"(sometimes additionally titled Secular Cantata No.2). This relatively short-13 minute-work won Schuman the 1943 Pulitzer Prize for music, the first time a Pulitzer was awarded in this branch of the arts. It is a setting of texts from Walt Whitman's 'Drum Taps'(also used, of course, for example in Vaughan Williams' 'Dona Nobis Pacem') and is very much a wartime piece.  'A Free Song' is certainly both impressive and moving and I am delighted to have heard it at last.

The version I have is a Cedille recording of three Pulitzer Prize winning compositions. The others are Aaron Copland's 'Appalachian Spring' and the Chicago composer Leo Sowerby's
Cantata 'The Canticle of the Sun'. They are played by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus under Carlos Kalmar.

Bruce has alerted me however to the other recording of 'A Free Song' which has been released by Albany(and is also billed as a 'world premiere recording'). This version-which I haven't been able to hear yet-is coupled with 'On Freedom's Ground: an American Cantata'(1985). This is a much bigger piece(40 mins.) for baritone, chorus and orchestra. The Sinfonia da Camera is accompanied by the University of Illinois Chorale and Oratoria Society and conducted by Ian Hobson. This disc also includes the American Festival Overture and the unaccompanied Prelude for Full Chorus.

It is great that some of Schuman's choral music is at last being recorded! Now we could do with 'This is Our Time-Secular Cantata No.1'(1940), the Concerto on Old English Rounds for viola, women's chorus and orchestra(1973) and 'The Young Dead Soldiers' for soprano, horn, woodwind and strings(1975).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 14, 2012, 06:07:33 PM
I've got to revive this thread since there seems to be some Schuman love going on in the forum lately. I relistened to Symphony No. 4 earlier this morning and really enjoyed this time around. It has a gorgeous slow movement that is surely the heart of the work. The recording of the 4th I listened to was Gerard Schwarz but I bought a new recording today with David Alan Miller conducting the Albany Symphony Orchestra that sounded really good so I'm anticipating that recording. This recording also contains his Piano Concerto which I never heard before and Credendum which I listened via YouTube thanks to Bill (Bogey). A really fantastic piece. I plan to listen to his symphonic cycle again and give it more of a fighting chance this time around.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 14, 2012, 08:18:49 PM
By the way, for those interested, there's a great new article about Schuman in this year's spring issue of Listen: Life with Classical Music magazine.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2012, 10:19:20 PM
I think that Symphony No 6 is a great one - although less immediately approachable than the better known No 3 I think that it is a very profound work. One critic called it a 'Requiem for the 20th Century'.  Also there is a great Naxos CD with it on (Schwarz, Seattle SO), which also contains 'Prayer in Time of War' and 'New England Tryptich' - probably my favourite William Schuman disk. Parts of Symphony No 6 remind me of Honegger. The darkly searching end of the symphony I find very moving, though devoid of any sentimentality - which is part of Schuman's appeal for me.

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 15, 2012, 02:32:12 AM
I was introduced to Schuman's music only last Friday, through a BBC 'Composer of the Week' podcast, and instantly became really fascinated by the excerpts they included, I really enjoyed them.
I am hopefully going to buy the Naxos Schuman symphony box very soon, as the 3rd, 5th and 10th symphonies interested me in particular. Also, the violin concerto which sounded brilliant.

Another work I was particularly impressed and moved by was the Concerto for viola, female chorus and orchestra "On old English Rounds". I saw it briefly mentioned here on the thread. I was listening to the excerpt they included, thinking... 'wow... this is absolutely beautiful. I must hear the work in full'. And then once the excerpt had finished, the presenter reluctantly sighed 'well, there's something you won't hear again for a long time...'.  :'(
So, does anyone know this work? Are there any hopes of it being released again?

Looking forward to exploring Schuman further! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 15, 2012, 05:41:26 AM
I think that Symphony No 6 is a great one - although less immediately approachable than the better known No 3 I think that it is a very profound work. One critic called it a 'Requiem for the 20th Century'.  Also there is a great Naxos CD with it on (Schwarz, Seattle SO), which also contains 'Prayer in Time of War' and 'New England Tryptich' - probably my favourite William Schuman disk. Parts of Symphony No 6 remind me of Honegger. The darkly searching end of the symphony I find very moving, though devoid of any sentimentality - which is part of Schuman's appeal for me.



I plan on revisiting that disc, Jeffrey. Kudos for the mention of it. New England Tryptich is probably Schuman's most well-known work with Symphony No. 3 (apart of the so-called "American trinity of 3s"). I bought the newer Albany disc and I haven't actually heard his Piano Concerto so this will be something new for me as will be Credendum. I can't recall the 6th or Prayer in a Time of War so I'm anxious to hear this again.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 15, 2012, 03:29:12 PM
I was introduced to Schuman's music only last Friday, through a BBC 'Composer of the Week' podcast, and instantly became really fascinated by the excerpts they included, I really enjoyed them.
I am hopefully going to buy the Naxos Schuman symphony box very soon, as the 3rd, 5th and 10th symphonies interested me in particular. Also, the violin concerto which sounded brilliant.

Another work I was particularly impressed and moved by was the Concerto for viola, female chorus and orchestra "On old English Rounds". I saw it briefly mentioned here on the thread. I was listening to the excerpt they included, thinking... 'wow... this is absolutely beautiful. I must hear the work in full'. And then once the excerpt had finished, the presenter reluctantly sighed 'well, there's something you won't hear again for a long time...'.  :'(
So, does anyone know this work? Are there any hopes of it being released again?

Looking forward to exploring Schuman further! :)

Delighted that you have discovered Schuman, Daniel :) He is one of the very finest of American composers but your chances of hearing his music in the concert hall are virtually nil.

The Concerto on Old English Rounds is the most serious gap in the Schuman cd dicography and I know of no plans to record it. However....I have an off-radio recording which I shall gladly make available to you, if you are interested ???
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 15, 2012, 06:42:29 PM
...your chances of hearing his music in the concert hall are virtually nil.

This could be said of many major American composers though, Colin. I mean how often do people in Scotland get to hear Ives?

The Concerto on Old English Rounds is the most serious gap in the Schuman cd dicography and I know of no plans to record it. However....I have an off-radio recording which I shall gladly make available to you, if you are interested ???

I find this odd. I mean I'm surprised an enterprising label like Naxos or Albany hasn't taken up this work. I do wish there were some better choices for his Violin Concerto, but I haven't heard the Slatkin recording. Slatkin is usually pretty reliable in American music, but I have had issues with his Barber recordings for years. His Ives, Copland, and Piston recordings, however, are quite good.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 16, 2012, 01:35:12 AM
I do wish there were some better choices for his Violin Concerto....

The Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas recording, on a 1990 DG 20th Century Classics CD, is a great performance of the concerto.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugschupistMTT.jpg)

OOP, of course, but used copies are available. Eleven years later DG re-released the Ruggles and Piston as part of the Originals series but dropped the Schuman in favor of Ives. Unfortunate.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugglesivespiston.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 16, 2012, 02:47:06 AM
The Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas recording, on a 1990 DG 20th Century Classics CD, is a great performance of the concerto.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugschupistMTT.jpg)

OOP, of course, but used copies are available. Eleven years later DG re-released the Ruggles and Piston as part of the Originals series but dropped the Schuman in favor of Ives. Unfortunate.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugglesivespiston.jpg)

Two great discs which I have in my collection. I do, however, think that the performance of the Ives work is the best I have heard - but yes, pity about the Schuman.


Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Lethevich on April 16, 2012, 05:16:03 AM
Eleven years later DG re-released the Ruggles and Piston as part of the Originals series but dropped the Schuman in favor of Ives. Unfortunate.

Brr, hipsters! We have plenty of Ives already :( I feel that this practice stretches the designation "Originals" a bit thinly.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 16, 2012, 05:32:08 AM
You chilly there, Sara? You're Brrrr-ing a lot! ; )
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 16, 2012, 05:33:19 AM
The Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas recording, on a 1990 DG 20th Century Classics CD, is a great performance of the concerto.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugschupistMTT.jpg)

Good to know, thanks, Sarge!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 16, 2012, 05:42:45 AM
The Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas recording, on a 1990 DG 20th Century Classics CD, is a great performance of the concerto.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugschupistMTT.jpg)

OOP, of course, but used copies are available. Eleven years later DG re-released the Ruggles and Piston as part of the Originals series but dropped the Schuman in favor of Ives. Unfortunate.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/jan11/rugglesivespiston.jpg)

Yeah, I've seen that recording before, but I already own the re-release, remaster with the added Ives. I personally don't find it unfortunate that Ives was included instead of Schuman. I am an Ives too! :) But I do wish DG would release a recording that has that Schuman performance on it and couple it with some other performances by MTT which perhaps had never been released before. Now that would be an enterprising release!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 16, 2012, 06:19:55 AM
I personally don't find it unfortunate that Ives was included instead of Schuman. I am an Ives too! :)

I love Ives too but the Schuman is the rarer work. And this is the Schuman thread...so, I'll stick with "unfortunate."

Brr, hipsters! We have plenty of Ives already

Precisely.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 16, 2012, 06:24:13 AM
Brrr, I need to hunker down and listen to the rest of the Schuman symphonies . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 16, 2012, 07:15:46 AM
Delighted that you have discovered Schuman, Daniel :) He is one of the very finest of American composers but your chances of hearing his music in the concert hall are virtually nil.

The Concerto on Old English Rounds is the most serious gap in the Schuman cd dicography and I know of no plans to record it. However....I have an off-radio recording which I shall gladly make available to you, if you are interested ???

Thank you, Colin. Yes, I had barely even heard of Schuman's name before the podcast, let alone heard any of his music. It was a wonderful surprise to me! Before that podcast, I had only heard of Schuman from just a few posts here on GMG.

Oh yes, please do send that recording. I would absolutely love to listen to it. The excerpt included in the podcast sounded absolutely divine. Is it the Bernstein performance you have? :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 16, 2012, 02:35:23 PM
Your wish is my command ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on April 17, 2012, 06:56:48 AM
Was listening to this mono LP release on Mercury Living Presence.  No date anywhere on the disk or jacket, but I think 1950 or '51 is likely.  Contains scores for two ballets written for Martha Graham, Judith and Undertow.  Both are very dynamic scores and (upon first impression) very well performed by the Louisville Kentucky Orchestra under Robert Whitney or the composer himself.  The scenario for Judith, in particular, seems compelling, judging from the album notes.  The Louisville Orchestra had commissioned a number of important works around that time.

A shame that these works have been apparently lost in their original form.  This recording of the original interpretation of the works has never been reissued (there are modern recordings) and I can find no visual record of the ballet Judith itself.  I'd be interested to see it.
These sound VERY intriguing. Unfortunately,the Louisville cd is only available as a download;not that I mind,but it's a pity! Also,while some of the Louisville performances are usually pretty good,indeed better than some much newer ones,you need state of the art recording for music like this!
  There is an emi alternative for 'Undertow',but it's not exactly ideal,is it?!!! :(

I wish Albany would pull their finger out of their proverbial & record stuff like this! Don Gillis symphony cycles?!!!! For crying out loud! :o >:D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 17, 2012, 07:18:11 AM
Your wish is my command ;D

Thank you again, Colin! I can't wait to hear it! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on April 18, 2012, 01:11:16 AM
read more about Schuman at :

http://www.williamschuman.org/frames/fr_disc.htm

I wrote them several years ago and asked why the Viola concerto never was re-issued. Alas, they were not able to give an answer.
So it is/was CBS that holds the secret, I suppose.
The concerto is indeed a superb work and I definitely would like to have it on cd again. Bernstein's recording (with Mc Innes) is excellent. But this lovely work could easily do with a new recording.

P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 05:02:03 PM
I've been digging this recording a lot:



Anyone who doesn't own this recording run, don't walk to Amazon and buy it now! It's currently my favorite Schuman disc although I haven't heard Bernstein's earlier recording of Symphonies 3, 5, and 8 yet which I heard was excellent. Anyway, this performance of Credendum is something else. The Piano Concerto is becoming a favorite of mine as well. I've always enjoyed Symphony No. 4, but I think I like this Miller/Albany performance better than the Schwarz. The outer movements are especially given more life in this performance than Schwarz's. I'll have to do more side-by-side comparisons later.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 19, 2012, 05:18:15 PM
I've been digging this recording a lot:



Anyone who doesn't own this recording run, don't walk to Amazon and buy it now! It's currently my favorite Schuman disc although I haven't heard Bernstein's earlier recording of Symphonies 3, 5, and 8 yet which I heard was excellent. Anyway, this performance of Credendum is something else. The Piano Concerto is becoming a favorite of mine as well. I've always enjoyed Symphony No. 4, but I think I like this Miller/Albany performance better than the Schwarz. The outer movements are especially given more life in this performance than Schwarz's. I'll have to do more side-by-side comparisons later.

Glad this recording worked out, MI.  I may consider it to go with my LP.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 05:26:47 PM
Glad this recording worked out, MI.  I may consider it to go with my LP.

Yeah Bogey, I've already listened to this recording three times. :) This is such a strong program of music that I don't even know which work would be considered the main reason to buy this recording. All of the works are so well performed. I also want to say the audio quality is superb.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 19, 2012, 05:28:12 PM
Yeah Bogey, I've already listened to this recording three times. :) This is such a strong program of music that I don't even know which work would be considered the main reason to buy this recording. All of the works are so well performed. I also want to say the audio quality is superb.

Key.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 05:35:12 PM
Key.

Yeah, I'm a stickler for good audio too. By the way, I understand that Ormandy LP of Schuman you bought is in mono, is this correct? If yes, how is the mono on that recording? It's been reissued on CD but I'm not a big fan of these historical mono recordings.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 19, 2012, 06:04:17 PM
Yeah, I'm a stickler for good audio too. By the way, I understand that Ormandy LP of Schuman you bought is in mono, is this correct? If yes, how is the mono on that recording? It's been reissued on CD but I'm not a big fan of these historical mono recordings.

Well, I find certain lps sound great on my system.  I repeat, my system.  The Mercury Living Presence, Denon, Connoisseur Society, and Columbia 6 eye monos are some of the best (RCA Living Stereos are a crap shoot for my system, but usually work out).  In fact, that is why I bought the Schumann platter.  Not for the recording, as it was not known to me, but I knew the sound would be superior and I was willing to take the risk.   I ended up loving the piece after hearing it.  So, the sound lead me to Shumann.  Kind of like buying Pearl cds....they just work for me in almost every case.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 06:08:45 PM
Well, I find certain lps sound great on my system.  I repeat, my system.  The Mercury Living Presence, Denon, Connoisseur Society, and Columbia 6 eye monos are some of the best (RCA Living Stereos are a crap shoot for my system, but usually work out).  In fact, that is why I bought the Schumann platter.  Not for the recording, as it was not known to me, but I knew the sound would be superior and I was willing to take the risk.   I ended up loving the piece after hearing it.  So, the sound lead me to Shumann.  Kind of like buying Pearl cds....they just work for me in almost every case.

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, everyone's system will sound different for sure. It seems like it worked out for you. Is this your first exposure to Schuman's music?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 07:05:41 PM
Getting back to Schuman, has anyone read this book per chance?

(http://img.etonals.com/p/large/HL_00331747.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 07:21:14 PM
It seems that I'm favoring Schuman's earlier works over his later ones. I seem to be attracted to the works written in '40s and '50s. All three compositions from this Albany recording I've been praising come from this period. Schuman didn't really compose that much music after the '50s. He was still writing music up into the '80s but it seems that he worked at a slower pace as he got older. I think the quality of his work suffered as he got older, but this is just a general observation. I really need to hear his 10th symphony subtitled American Muse before making such a judgement, but his 9th symphony was just horrible. I mean I couldn't find any redeeming qualities about it other than to say it would a good work to get rid of guests at your house. :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2012, 07:29:02 PM
Here's a cool little portrait of William Schuman that was nicely put together:

http://www.youtube.com/v/MzBtHOlkWw8
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992), for the uninitiated
Post by: Scion7 on April 20, 2012, 12:40:36 AM
I'm going to post what the 2010 New Grove has to say about Schuman here - his music, almost never performed and pretty much zilch on American classical FM (most of the requests come from listeners whose tastes tend more towards the 'melodic'), and seemingly relegated to the college classroom, needs to be heard more often:

Schuman, William (Howard)
(b New York, 4 Aug 1910; d New York, 15 Feb 1992). American composer, teacher and administrator.
 
1. Life.
At the age of 16 Schuman wrote his first piece, a tango, and widened his practical experience by taking up various instruments and organizing and performing in jazz bands. He wrote many popular songs to lyrics by Edward B. Marks and Frank Loesser, including the latter’s first published song, In Love with a Memory of You. After hearing Toscanini conduct the New York PO on 4 April 1930 Schuman abruptly left the School of Commerce of New York University, where he had been studying for two years, and began private harmony lessons with Max Persin and, in 1931, counterpoint lessons with Charles Haubiel in New York.
While Schuman continued to write popular music until 1934, his study and composing veered increasingly towards concert music. He took summer courses with Bernard Wagenaar and Adolf Schmid at the Juilliard School (1932, 1933), spent a summer in the conducting programme at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1935), and in 1933 enrolled in Columbia University Teachers College (BS 1935, MA 1937). During 1932–5 Schuman had begun composing seriously, and after hearing Roy Harris’s Symphony 1933 he studied with Harris at Juilliard (summer 1936) and then privately (until 1938); Harris remained for some years an important influence on Schuman’s orchestral music.
In 1938 Schuman won an American composition contest (in support of Republican Spain) with his Second Symphony. On the jury was Aaron Copland, who brought the work to the attention of Koussevitzky. Koussevitzky became a champion of Schuman’s compositions, conducting the Second Symphony with the Boston SO in 1939, and first performances of the American Festival Overture (1939), the Symphony no.3 (1941, awarded the first New York Music Critics’ Circle Award), A Free Song (1943, awarded the first Pulitzer Prize in music), and the Symphony for Strings (1943). The public and critical success of the Symphony no.3 established Schuman as a leading American composer and since that time his music has been widely performed. He remains among the most honoured figures in American music, having received 28 honorary degrees, 2 consecutive Guggenheim fellowships (1939–41), membership in the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1946) and later the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1973), the first Brandeis University Creative Arts Award in music (1957), the Horblit Award from the Boston SO and Harvard University (1980), the gold medal from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1982) and a second, special Pulitzer prize (1985). Credendum (1955) was the first composition to be commissioned by the US government. In 1981 Columbia University established the William Schuman Award, a $50,000 prize to a composer for lifetime achievement; Schuman himself was the first recipient.
Schuman’s work as a teacher and administrator has had wide and lasting influence. At Sarah Lawrence College, where he taught from 1935 to 1945, he initiated an approach to general arts instruction aiming at students’ self-discovery of the nature of the creative process; he went on to evolve a similar approach to the teaching of other subjects, including composition. Schuman also conducted the chorus at Sarah Lawrence (1939–45), commissioning and composing works for women’s voices. In 1945, after leaving Sarah Lawrence for a three-year term as director of publications at G. Schirmer, Schuman was invited to become president of the Juilliard School. He left the Schirmer position (though he remained as a special editorial consultant until 1952), and began an extensive reorganization of the School: he merged the Institute of Musical Art with the Juilliard Graduate School to form the Juilliard School of Music, founded the Juilliard String Quartet (which became the model for many quartets-in-residence at American colleges), revived the opera theatre, added a dance division, and, most importantly, instituted the ‘Literature and Materials of Music’ curricular programme, which fused theory and history into a single coherent four-year course with the music itself as the basis for study. An exposition of his approach to music education appeared as The Juilliard Report (1953). Schuman also invited a number of distinguished composers to join the faculty, among them Bergsma, R.F. Goldman, Peter Mennin, Norman Lloyd, Vincent Persichetti, Robert Starer, Robert Ward and Hugo Weisgall.
In 1962 Schuman was made president of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a position which gave him considerable influence in the administration of the arts and one which he exercised in a characteristically imaginative and forceful manner. He encouraged the commissioning and performing of American works, and the importance he placed on the centre’s service to urban communities led to the Lincoln Center Student Program, which instituted concerts in schools and opened the centre’s halls for young people’s concerts. He founded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Film Society and a summer series of special musical events. He fought a long and successful battle to have the Juilliard School housed in Lincoln Center and to add a drama division to its offerings. At the end of 1969 Schuman left his post at Lincoln Center to devote himself to composition, but he has continued to champion the cause of the arts as a public speaker and as an adviser to numerous organizations, including the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Naumburg Foundation and the Charles Ives Society. He was chairman of the MacDowell Colony (1974–7, 1980–83) and became honorary chairman in 1984; he was the founding chairman of the Norlin Foundation (1975–85). He received the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League (1985), the National Medal of Arts (1987) and the Kennedy Center Honors (1989). Schuman continued to compose despite a painful inherited bone disease. He maintained his legendary personal charm and gifts as a public speaker to the end.
 
2. Works.
While Schuman has written extensively in many media, his orchestral music, especially the symphonies, forms the core of his work. He employs a broad nonrepetitive cantilena, a tonal idiom ranging from nonfunctional triadic harmony to free melodic chromaticism and polytonality (aspects of diatonicism hold his interest even in later works), and expansive musical and orchestral gestures. The vigorous drive, febrile rhythms and bonhomie of the symphonies and the American Festival Overture are also characteristic. Schuman considers melody the main element in his work. Arching lines unfold and motifs reappear in new guises, generating new material; their harmonic clarity and buoyancy is retained by displacing rhythmically their repetitions. Schuman writes for full orchestra, which he generally uses in homogeneous groups, with similar material tossed from one choir to another. He is inclined to superimpose up to three distinct layers moving at different speeds: his slow movements often present rich successions of triads or polychords in the lower register with one or more weaving melodic strands above. In fast sections, principal melodies are frequently accompanied by sharp, rhythmically irregular chordal strokes. Fugato and ostinato procedures figure prominently, and the subjects of fugues and passacaglias may undergo substantial change during the course of a movement. Sections frequently begin with canonic statements of long, legato melodies, as in the Third and Ninth Symphonies. Other typical elements are timpani solos and almost apocalyptic finales.
Schuman’s harmonic development can be traced through the symphonies. In the Third, chords built on major or minor triads with one or two nontriadic tones in a lower or high register predominate, as do melodic perfect 4ths; in the Symphony for Strings, more consistent use is made of polytriads; and in the Sixth Symphony (1948), perhaps Schuman’s finest achievement, major-minor chords (a hallmark of Schuman’s style) permeate the complex and chromatic texture. 12 years separated the Seventh from the Sixth Symphony, and during this period Schuman composed in diverse styles and for various forces; more probing works, such as the choral Carols of Death (1958), alternated with the ‘baseball opera’ The Mighty Casey (1951–3) and the popular New England Triptych (1956), based on hymn tunes by William Billings. The Triptych, its recastings for concert band and the many choral works are representative of Schuman’s concern for indigenous American subjects and also for practical performance groups. He thought that his Seventh (1960), Eighth (1962) and Ninth (1968) Symphonies were ‘somehow connected’; each lasting about half an hour, they share a brooding, chromatic idiom. In the Seventh and Eighth Schuman continued the new directions explored in the Carols. There are long stretches of harmonic stasis, and dense sonorities are insistently reiterated. In the first movement he unfolds a 12-note theme which soon fragments into 4-note cells, and uses material from a 1959 film score and his Three Piano Moods (1958). In the second movement of the Eighth, in which he also employs intervallic cells, a 12-note theme beginning with an inversion of B–A–C–H is featured. Slow, melancholy music predominates, as do march-like dotted rhythms, intense string adagios and bell-like sounds in the orchestra. The emotion-filled Ninth Symphony ‘Le fosse ardeatine’ (1968) is perhaps the finest of the later works; its dark and solemn mood, unity of form and detail, and slow–fast–slow plan recall the Sixth Symphony. During the 1960s he produced two smaller concertante works – A Song of Orpheus, based on a song of 1944 (Orpheus and his Lute), and To thee Old Cause, a bleak ‘evocation’, the first performance of which was given in memory of Martin Luther King, jr, and Robert Kennedy (3 October 1968).
Schuman’s overall output appears ever more unified as works of the 1970s and 80s refer back to the forms, idioms, materials and even poets that concerned him earlier. Large-scale vocal pieces and vocally inspired works form a major part of his compositions after the mid-1970s. Concerto on Old English Rounds (1974), ostensibly a viola concerto, employs women’s chorus and borrows primary material from the traditional round Amaryllis (which also provided the basis of the Amaryllis variations for string trio). In Sweet Music, a chamber work with voice of 1978, is an extensive reworking of the earlier song Orpheus and his Lute. In the introspective Three Colloquies (1979), for horn and orchestra, the soloist takes on a vocal eloquence; the work seems to reconcile the complex, elegiac harmonies of the Carols with the simpler though no less expressive idiom of Orpheus. American Hymn (1980) explores a more diatonic vein. The witty Esses: Short Suite for Singers on Words Beginning with S (1982) followed the more serious Perceptions (1982), a choral cycle on a text of Whitman. Schuman’s last completed work, A Question of Taste (1987–9), was commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, whose summer opera house is in Cooperstown, NY, the home of baseball’s Hall of Fame. The one-act comedy was intended to complete a double bill with The Mighty Casey. Despite McClatchy’s witty, rhymed libretto and Schuman’s boisterous waltz (suggested by the plot), the music shares with the symphonies a slow, nostalgic lyricism.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
GroveA (B. Saylor) [incl. further bibliography]
J. Clark: ‘William Schuman on his Symphonies: an Interview’, American Music, iv/3 (1986), 328–36
J.E. Steele: William Schuman’s ‘Literature and Materials’ Approach: a Historical Precedent for Comprehensive Musicianship (diss., of Florida, 1988)
M. Brown: ‘Enduring Wisdom from William Schuman’, The Instrumentalist, xlviii/4 (1993), 26–9
J.D. McClatchy: ‘William Schuman: a Reminiscence’, OQ, x/4 (1994), 21–37
K.G. Adams: William Schuman: a Bio-Bibliography (Westport, CT, 1998)
P. Rosenfeld: ‘Copland, Harris, Schuman’, MQ, xxv (1939), 372–81
L. Bernstein: ‘William Schuman’, MM, xix (1942), 97–9
N. Broder: ‘The Music of William Schuman’, MQ, xxxi (1945), 17–28
[R.F. Goldman]: The Juilliard Report (New York, 1953)
F.R. Schreiber and V. Persichetti: William Schuman (New York, 1954) [incl. further bibliography]
C. Rouse: William Schuman: Documentary (New York, 1980) [incl. list of works, discography, bibliography]
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 20, 2012, 01:07:38 AM
Getting back to Schuman, has anyone read this book per chance?

I haven't read it, but here are 2 reviews of it from Classical.net:

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/1574671731b.php

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/1574671731a.php

It seems that I'm favoring Schuman's earlier works over his later ones. I seem to be attracted to the works written in '40s and '50s.

Generally speaking, that's been my impression too. I haven't been impressed by symphonies 7 and 8: a lot of noise, but structurally they seem weak. On the other hand I love nos. 3 and 6, and like the String Symphony (#5 I think) quite a lot.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 20, 2012, 03:39:28 AM
It seems that I'm favoring Schuman's earlier works over his later ones. I seem to be attracted to the works written in '40s and '50s. All three compositions from this Albany recording I've been praising come from this period. Schuman didn't really compose that much music after the '50s. He was still writing music up into the '80s but it seems that he worked at a slower pace as he got older. I think the quality of his work suffered as he got older, but this is just a general observation. I really need to hear his 10th symphony subtitled American Muse before making such a judgement, but his 9th symphony was just horrible. I mean I couldn't find any redeeming qualities about it other than to say it would a good work to get rid of guests at your house. :)

I think that you are being overly harsh on Schuman's later music :) Like many composers, Schuman's idiom developed as time went by and the later music is more dissonant and acerbic. It is also true to say that he wrote less in the last couple of decades of his life.

This list is extracted from my complete catalogue of the Schuman orchestral and choral music:

1960:      Symphony No.7: 28 minutes   
1961:      Fantasy “A Song of Orpheus” for Cello and Orchestra: 21 minutes
1962:      Symphony No. 8: 31 minutes     
1963:      Variations on “America” for orchestra: 8 minutes   
              “The Orchestra Song” for orchestra: 4 minutes     
1965:      Ballet “The Witch of Endor”: 30 minutes
                Philharmonic Fanfare for orchestra  (withdrawn)
1968:      Symphony No. 9 “Le Fosse Ardeatine”: 30 minutes   
                Evocation “To Thee, Old Cause” for Oboe, timpani, brass, piano and strings: 17 minutes       
1969:      “In Praise of Shahn-Canticle for Orchestra: 18 minutes   
1972:      Voyage for Orchestra: 25 minutes         
1973:      Concerto on Old English Rounds for Viola, women’s chorus and orchestra: 40 minutes   
1975:      Symphony No.10 “American Muse”: 33 minutes   
                Lamentation “The Young Dead Soldiers” for soprano, French horn, 8 woodwinds and 9 strings: 15 minutes     
1976:      “Amaryllis-Variants on an old English round” for string orchestra:8 minutes
                “Casey at the Bat” (a Baseball Cantata) for soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra: 40 minutes
1979:      Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra: 24 minutes
1981:      “Night Journey-Choreographic Poem for fifteen instruments”:  20 minutes       
                “American Hymn” (Orchestral Variations on an Original Melody for orchestra: 26 minutes
1985:      “On Freedom’s Ground” (An American Cantata) for baritone, chorus and orchestra: 40 minutes   
1986:      “Showcase- a Short Display for Orchestra”: 4 minutes
1988:      “Let’s Hear it for Lenny”(Variations on ‘New York, New York’) for orchestra: 2 minutes


Of these pieces the "Song of Orpheus" and the Concerto on Old English Rounds are beautiful works and I also like the Evocation "To Thee, Old Cause" and "In Praise of Shahn". Equally, there is no doubt that "Voyage for Orchestra" is a pretty tough and intractable work. "American Hymn" I have not yet heard-but will shortly be able to remedy that ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 07:37:57 AM
I haven't read it, but here are 2 reviews of it from Classical.net:

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/1574671731b.php

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/1574671731a.php

Generally speaking, that's been my impression too. I haven't been impressed by symphonies 7 and 8: a lot of noise, but structurally they seem weak. On the other hand I love nos. 3 and 6, and like the String Symphony (#5 I think) quite a lot.

Thanks Velimir. I'll check those out. Have you heard Symphonies 9 & 10. Talk about a bunch of hot air. It seems that Schuman's fame, as a composers, rests almost entirely on his 3rd symphony and New England Triptych. I do love the 4th a lot. Need to become more familiar with the Symphony for Strings "Symphony No. 5". Thankfully, there's a lot of good music outside of Schuman's symphonies.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 08:09:35 AM
I think that you are being overly harsh on Schuman's later music :) Like many composers, Schuman's idiom developed as time went by and the later music is more dissonant and acerbic. It is also true to say that he wrote less in the last couple of decades of his life.

I'm well aware of Schuman's development as a composer. I'm just being honest in my dismissal of the later symphonies. I'm listening to Symphony No. 8 right now and it's actually pretty good. Not outstanding mind you, but merely good.
Title: Re: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2012, 09:58:04 AM
Thanks Velimir. I'll check those out. Have you heard Symphonies 9 & 10. Talk about a bunch of hot air.

Unlike a certain chap's posts, here.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 20, 2012, 10:04:40 AM
Have you heard Symphonies 9 & 10. Talk about a bunch of hot air.

I haven't. But the reviews I've read of the 9th do not make me want to hear it.

On the other hand, this thread has been useful in highlighting the Schuman I do want to hear, like the Violin Cto and the string 4tets.
Title: Re: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 10:27:56 AM
Unlike a certain chap's posts, here.

 :P
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 10:32:16 AM
I haven't. But the reviews I've read of the 9th do not make me want to hear it.

On the other hand, this thread has been useful in highlighting the Schuman I do want to hear, like the Violin Cto and the string 4tets.

The 9th isn't for the faint of heart. It's probably the most dissonant American symphony, outside of Sessions, I've heard. It just seems generally weak of thematic material and sounds completely uninspired. This is not prime Schuman that's for sure. The 8th is actually not a bad work after I listened to it. I'm listening to Bernstein's performance of it now and it's quite good.

I just bought a recording of Schuman's VC with McDuffie/Slatkin on EMI. I don't know but the Naxos recording of the VC didn't sound very appealing plus it contained yet another performance of New England Triptych and how many of those do I need? ::) :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2012, 10:33:28 AM
I'm well aware of Schuman's development as a composer. I'm just being honest in my dismissal of the later symphonies.

Honest in not liking them, were honesty.  Blathering about their being hot air is not, in the strict sense of the term, honesty.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2012, 10:34:35 AM
. . . generally weak of thematic material and sounds completely uninspired. This is not prime Schuman that's for sure.

Open your mouth wider, there's got to be room for more feet in there.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 10:35:32 AM
Honest in not liking them, were honesty.  Blathering about their being hot air is not, in the strict sense of the term, honesty.

I shouldn't have made that comment, Karl. It wasn't right of me to do that. I'm actually enjoying the 8th quite a bit.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2012, 10:37:14 AM
I shouldn't have made that comment, Karl. It wasn't right of me to do that. I'm actually enjoying the 8th quite a bit.

Graciously conceded.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 10:42:47 AM
You know the more I think about it the more I could be blaming the music instead of blaming the performances. I mean Schwarz isn't exactly my favorite conductor. I respect what he has done for American music, but I imagine another conductor getting more out let's say Night Journey for example. I nominate David Alan Miller with the Albany Symphony Orchestra to perform all of Schuman's symphonies and orchestral works. :D Too bad Bernstein never recorded the 4th. :( Anyway, I'm just thinking here that Schwarz isn't always convincing. His 3rd was incredibly underpowered as was his 4th.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 20, 2012, 10:44:33 AM
No ideal alternative.  One is grateful to Schwarz that there is a complete cycle;  one wishes that he had been more uniformly good through the whole cycle.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 10:49:31 AM
No ideal alternative.  One is grateful to Schwarz that there is a complete cycle;  one wishes that he had been more uniformly good through the whole cycle.

Oh, don't get me wrong I'm grateful for what Schwarz has done, I'm just not impressed with several of the performances, which may have been why I turned my back to Schuman a year or so ago when I was making my way through the cycle for the first time. It hasn't been until recently that things started clicking with me and I'm able to look past Schwarz's shortcomings and get to the heart of the music.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 01:50:12 PM
I'm really enjoying Schuman's Piano Concerto. What a fantastic work. The slow movement is especially beautiful. The recording I have of it with John McCabe on piano and David Alan Miller conducting the Albany Symphony is really something else. Such a thrilling performance. Bogey, buy this recording now! 8)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on April 20, 2012, 02:07:10 PM
yeah, love how NAXOS records  non-"star" ensembles and gives the underdogs a chance - most of the time, it works out very well
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 02:12:06 PM
yeah, love how NAXOS records  non-"star" ensembles and gives the underdogs a chance - most of the time, it works out very well

I wouldn't call Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony underdogs though. Schwarz is certainly a good conductor. I just found his performances, as I mentioned earlier, variable in quality. I think sometimes Naxos does a good job in selecting their conductors/orchestras but many of the orchestras they have used are certainly no slouches like the Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, or the Warsaw Philharmonic. Each of these orchestras are top-notch. They may not have the same kind of profile the CSO, Concertgebouw, or Berliners have, but they're not lesser ensembles because of this.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on April 20, 2012, 02:21:27 PM
I'm really enjoying Schuman's Piano Concerto. What a fantastic work. The slow movement is especially beautiful. The recording I have of it with John McCabe on piano and David Alan Miller conducting the Albany Symphony is really something else. Such a thrilling performance. Bogey, buy this recording now! 8)

You know, I actually don't like that recording very much. The recording could have benefited from a bit of reverb in the mixing room. There is no depth in either the piano or orchestra. I have an old recording with Gary Steigerwalt doing the Schuman concerto that sounds much better, despite the date. There is absolutely nothing wrong with John McCabe's playing, though! Such a great work. It should be played more.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 02:30:31 PM
You know, I actually don't like that recording very much. The recording could have benefited from a bit of reverb in the mixing room. There is no depth in either the piano or orchestra. I have an old recording with Gary Steigerwalt doing the Schuman concerto that sounds much better, despite the date. There is absolutely nothing wrong with John McCabe's playing, though! Such a great work. It should be played more.

I think the recording sounds great and I like it's clarity. I think you're just nitpicking.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 06:31:19 PM
Getting back to Schuman, has anyone read this book per chance?

(http://img.etonals.com/p/large/HL_00331747.jpg)

I bought this book tonight for $10. I can't wait to look it over.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on April 20, 2012, 07:02:31 PM
I've taken the liberty and uploaded my rip of the A side of the LP that has Schuman's Piano Concerto. The B side has Gary Steigerwalt playing the Walter Piston Piano Concertino (another excellent work very similar to the Schuman), which I believe is available on CD. The Schuman never made it to CD, as far as I know. Only John McCabe and Rosalyn Tureck's recordings are available on CD, and the Tureck has horrid sound quality. This Steigerwalt recording has excellent, sensitive piano playing, and the orchestral accompaniment (David Epstein conducting the MIT Symphony Orchestra) has a bit more fire and flare than the McCabe recording. I cleaned up of the clicks and pops, but it's still not a perfect rip of it. I hope you all enjoy, and I'd love comments on how my LP ripping can possibly be improved.

http://www.mediafire.com/?t2zy52ji0vj9b6t
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 07:19:54 PM
Thanks, but I'm perfectly fine with the McCabe/Miller recording on Albany which I don't think will be bettered any time soon.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 20, 2012, 07:58:54 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, everyone's system will sound different for sure. It seems like it worked out for you. Is this your first exposure to Schuman's music?

Indeed it is.  But not my last. :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 08:01:50 PM
Indeed it is.  But not my last. :)

This is certainly good to hear. I highly recommend his 3rd, 4th, and 5th symphonies next, Bogey. The Bernstein Century recording of Schuman's Symphonies 3, 5, and 8 is such a sizzling recording. This can be bought very cheaply from an Amazon MP seller.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 08:14:30 PM
I usually dig Lenny.  I might go this direction though:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SCHUMANN-Symphony-No-3-Rhenish-LP-COLUMBIA-6-EYE-ML-5694-BERNSTEIN-/200651948586?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item2eb7c9c22a#ht_500wt_1360

Ummm...you do know we're talking about William Schuman right? Not Robert Schumann the German composer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 20, 2012, 08:16:51 PM
Ummm...you do know we're talking about William Schuman right? Not Robert Schumann the German composer.

Just caught that.  Removed.  Get excited when I see those 6 eye Columbias. ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 08:20:57 PM
Just caught that.  Removed.  Get excited when I see those 6 eye Columbias. ;D

 :P

Edit: Bogey, since you're an LP guy, how about considering this:

(http://991.com/newgallery/William-Schuman-Symphony-for-Stri-539886.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 20, 2012, 08:21:09 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WILLIAM-SCHUMANN-Violin-Concerto-Zukofsky-PISTON-Symphony-2-TILSON-THOMAS-DGG-LP-/310351049218?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item48425d3202#ht_2228wt_1342

There is the above, but DG tends to sound fuzzy on my system. :P
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2012, 08:42:16 PM
Bogey if you can get away from vinyl, buy the Bernstein Century recording Schuman's 3rd, 5th, and 8th. You won't be sorry. Trust me on this one.
Title: Re: vinyl rip of Gary Steigerwalt and the MIT Symphony
Post by: Scion7 on April 20, 2012, 09:29:37 PM
          click to inflate
(http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/henrymusicplus/0102011ebay_026.jpg)

Not bad at all, lescamil.  Could you rip it again at 320kps constant bit rate?  And possibly take a digital pic of the back cover?  Thanks.
This one's chances of a CD issue are probably nil and nil.   :(   And we'd never get that fine cover reproduced if it was.  Steigerwalt's always been a fine player.

William Schuman's piano concerto is a lot of fun, but it's not a major piece in his catalogue. In the decades following its 1943 première (Tureck's performance), he himself almost had forgotten about it. It took an account by Gary Steigerwalt in 1978 to remind the composer and to inspire him to write more piano music.  ClassicalNet - 2001
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 20, 2012, 10:50:28 PM

I just bought a recording of Schuman's VC with McDuffie/Slatkin on EMI.

Hm, I didn't even know this recording existed. Please let us know if it's any good, OK?

I wouldn't call Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony underdogs though. Schwarz is certainly a good conductor. I just found his performances, as I mentioned earlier, variable in quality.

The only Schwarz/Schuman I've heard was the 6th, and I was very impressed by it. Didn't feel it was lacking in anything, really. But I've never heard the classic Ormandy, so can't compare.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 20, 2012, 11:00:18 PM
Hm, I didn't even know this recording existed. Please let us know if it's any good, OK?

The only Schwarz/Schuman I've heard was the 6th, and I was very impressed by it. Didn't feel it was lacking in anything, really. But I've never heard the classic Ormandy, so can't compare.

Both performances of No 6 are excellent.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Drasko on April 20, 2012, 11:53:58 PM
The only Schwarz/Schuman I've heard was the 6th, and I was very impressed by it. Didn't feel it was lacking in anything, really. But I've never heard the classic Ormandy, so can't compare.

You can get Ormandy here:

http://shellackophile.blogspot.com/2012/03/ormandy-three-american-symphonies.html
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 21, 2012, 02:27:26 AM
Glad to get another version of the Schuman Piano Concerto :) Thanks :)

How many American Piano Concertos of that era are still played ::) Yet all or almost all of the toweriing figures of the generation of American composers born during the first two decades of the 20th century wrote at least one-in addition to the Schuman, Piston's Concertino(1937) and Double Concerto(1959), Sessions(1956), Harris(with string orchestra 1936, 1st 1944, Double 1946, 2nd 1953, amplified piano 1971), Creston(1949), Diamond(1950), Mennin (1957)- to name but a few.

The trouble with all these fine composers-as I am getting thoroughly fed-up saying-is that, these days, their music is apparently too conservative and conventional for those who espouse modernism, the avant-garde, minimalism, et al and too tough and acerbic (leaving Harris aside, of course) for those who are happier to embrace full-blown romanticism.neo-romanticism. Who would ever have thought that composers as different as Roy Harris and Roger Sessions could suffer the same fate :o
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on April 21, 2012, 02:38:37 AM
Yeah, but how popular is the extreme avant-garde?  Try to stage a concert tour of that stuff.  Good luck!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 04:22:59 AM
Glad to get another version of the Schuman Piano Concerto :) Thanks :)

How many American Piano Concertos of that era are still played ::) Yet all or almost all of the toweriing figures of the generation of American composers born during the first two decades of the 20th century wrote at least one-in addition to the Schuman, Piston's Concertino(1937) and Double Concerto(1959), Sessions(1956), Harris(with string orchestra 1936, 1st 1944, Double 1946, 2nd 1953, amplified piano 1971), Creston(1949), Diamond(1950), Mennin (1957)- to name but a few.

The trouble with all these fine composers-as I am getting thoroughly fed-up saying-is that, these days, their music is apparently too conservative and conventional for those who espouse modernism, the avant-garde, minimalism, et al and too tough and acerbic (leaving Harris aside, of course) for those who are happier to embrace full-blown romanticism.neo-romanticism. Who would ever have thought that composers as different as Roy Harris and Roger Sessions could suffer the same fate :o

Don't forget Persichetti's PC, which I haven't heard. :) I agree with you, Colin. People who listen to avant-garde music shouldn't have any problems listening to Schuman or Piston. Why would it give them any problems? I think composers like Schuman, Piston, Creston, Mennin, Diamond, etc. are only conservative in the sense that they stuck with the symphonic form and embraced it with open arms. Whereas to find a composer who actually wants to write a symphony these days is pretty slim. Has this, at one time hugely popular form taken a backseat? The entire symphonic literature is truly daunting if you examine it from the beginning. Do composers today feel threatened by it? Do they feel that the medium has been exhausted? Whatever the case may be, thank goodness for these American composers who stuck to the form.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 04:24:26 AM
Yeah, but how popular is the extreme avant-garde?  Try to stage a concert tour of that stuff.  Good luck!

Define extreme avant-garde.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 04:26:18 AM
Hm, I didn't even know this recording existed. Please let us know if it's any good, OK?

Will do, Velimir. It was reissued on EMI with Bernstein's Serenade.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on April 21, 2012, 04:28:42 AM
Define extreme avant-garde.

A string quartet that sounds like it is emulating a swarm of bees, for example.  There's more than one of those!

Some of Ligeti's more extreme things, which I find unlistenable.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 04:36:17 AM
A string quartet that sounds like it is emulating a swarm of bees, for example.  There's more than one of those!

Some of Ligeti's more extreme things, which I find unlistenable.

I like Ligeti, but I like his larger ensemble works the best. I think he's truly one of the only avant-garde composers I can seriously enjoy.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Bogey on April 21, 2012, 05:25:11 AM
:P

Edit: Bogey, since you're an LP guy, how about considering this:

(http://991.com/newgallery/William-Schuman-Symphony-for-Stri-539886.jpg)

Where did you find that?  Cool.  However, if it is a later Columbia pressing, it may not be worth it unless I am planning on playing frisbee in the park. ;)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 05:40:43 AM
Where did you find that?  Cool.  However, if it is a later Columbia pressing, it may not be worth it unless I am planning on playing frisbee in the park. ;)

Searching Google images, I just typed in Schuman: Symphony No. 3 Bernstein Vinyl and it brought up this image.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on April 21, 2012, 07:25:52 AM
I said some of his more extreme things (Ligeti) - not everything!   :D
Title: Re: vinyl rip of Gary Steigerwalt and the MIT Symphony
Post by: lescamil on April 21, 2012, 07:55:31 AM
Not bad at all, lescamil.  Could you rip it again at 320kps constant bit rate?  And possibly take a digital pic of the back cover?  Thanks.
This one's chances of a CD issue are probably nil and nil.   :(   And we'd never get that fine cover reproduced if it was.  Steigerwalt's always been a fine player.

William Schuman's piano concerto is a lot of fun, but it's not a major piece in his catalogue. In the decades following its 1943 première (Tureck's performance), he himself almost had forgotten about it. It took an account by Gary Steigerwalt in 1978 to remind the composer and to inspire him to write more piano music.  ClassicalNet - 2001

I actually ripped it to a WAV file, but I only converted it because I didn't want to upload such a huge file. I will have a go at ripping it again probably, but not for a while. Also, I don't have quite a good enough camera to take good pics of the covers. I always have light problems and such when I try. Anyhow, I'm glad this recording is getting more attention, at least!

Don't forget Persichetti's PC, which I haven't heard. :)

You must hear it sometime, for it's a great piece. It's a bit grittier and denser than a lot of these other American Piano Concertos from this time. If you've heard Persichetti's later symphonies, you know what to expect. The Mennin is rather similar to it, actually. It is not boring and conventional by any means, either!
Title: Re: vinyl rip of Gary Steigerwalt and the MIT Symphony
Post by: Scion7 on April 21, 2012, 08:39:02 AM
I actually ripped it to a WAV file, but I only converted it because I didn't want to upload such a huge file. .... Also, I don't have quite a good enough camera to take good pics of the covers. I always have light problems and such when I try.

Yes, there's no need for a WAV or FLAC - 320 kps CBR is more than good enough listening - and won't be much larger than the Variable Bit Rate you used before.
You can use your existing WAV and just convert it.
What if you took the cover outside and took a pic in the sun?  Should eliminate the light problem.  A scanner would also be very nice!  ;D Just wanted to see what it looked like - Turnabout often had magnificent covers/notes.  I think I like this version a slight bit better than the McCabe.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 21, 2012, 05:38:05 PM
You must hear it sometime, for it's a great piece. It's a bit grittier and denser than a lot of these other American Piano Concertos from this time. If you've heard Persichetti's later symphonies, you know what to expect. The Mennin is rather similar to it, actually. It is not boring and conventional by any means, either!

I'll have to check this out. Thanks! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 23, 2012, 06:03:11 AM
We've probably posted this before, but time to bring it forth again:

http://www.youtube.com/v/TXH6Qcak4Zo
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 23, 2012, 05:53:40 PM
We've probably posted this before, but time to bring it forth again:

http://www.youtube.com/v/TXH6Qcak4Zo

William Schuman seems like a nice guy or at least from this appearence here on "What's My Life?" I'm really looking forward to reading his biography. I'm especially interested in his rivalry with Peter Mennin. From what Colin told me, they despised each other. That will be some juicy reading.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2012, 01:15:36 AM
Composer rivalries in The Big Apple is a heartbreak . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: eyeresist on April 24, 2012, 01:37:45 AM
Composer rivalries in The Big Apple is a heartbreak . . . .

Some one should make it into an opera.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 24, 2012, 05:53:02 AM
Composer rivalries in The Big Apple is a heartbreak . . . .

I don't know if they had a rivialry or not. Colin told me they despised each other, but, again, I'm going to be studying this as I would like to know why these two composers disliked each other.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2012, 05:58:47 AM
I don't know if they had a rivalry or not. Colin told me they despised each other, but, again, I'm going to be studying this as I would like to know why these two composers disliked each other.

A fair distinction (and my post was not entirely serious).

I believe Mennin succeeded Schuman as President of the Juilliard Music School; I've no idea how that fact plays in how well (or poorly) the two liked one another.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 24, 2012, 06:26:13 AM
A fair distinction (and my post was not entirely serious).

I believe Mennin succeeded Schuman as President of the Juilliard Music School; I've no idea how that fact plays in how well (or poorly) the two liked one another.


THEY WERE LOVERS!! :o!! :o!! :o!!









or not
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 24, 2012, 02:15:40 PM
Since I am being quoted as the source of the information regarding the Schuman/Mennin relationship let me be clear about this-

I have not read Walter Simmons's book "Voices of Stone and Steel: The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin". I would love to buy and read a copy but at £44.95 it is a bit outside my price range for a single volume :(

I have read many of the reviews of the book, of which the best is probably-

http://www.classical.net/music/books/reviews/0810857480a.php

In his review in "Tempo" however Bret Johnson writes:

"Much is made of Schuman's career as an administrator, both as President of Julliard and Director of the Lincoln Center, where he had frequent personality clashes with Mennin (his successor at Julliard), who detested what he saw as Schuman's opportunism and vulgar courting of publicity".

It is worth noting that Schuman was a popular figure. He could count among his friends both Persichetti and, most importantly, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein performed and recorded many Schuman works with the NYPO. Schuman appears to have had an outgoing personality.

Mennin, on the other hand, was notoriously secretive and reticent about his own music. He was single-minded, utterly determined to be his own man regardless of fashion or popularity. Populism was anathema to Mennin. He loathed self-promotion or any form of "dumbing-down". He was a perfectionist and expected perfection in the ethos he instilled at the Julliard, where he scrapped many aspects of his predecessor's curriculum. Since that predecessor was the same William Schuman one can envisage a degree of tension between the two composers ;D

But that is the limit of my knowledge and-without accessing Simmons's book- I can add nothing further.

It is not, of course, uncommon for composers to dislike each other or to resent the success that another enjoys. One thinks immediately of the adulation enjoyed by Benjamin Britten in post-war Great Britain and the bitterness of other composers-Vaughan Williams, Bliss, Walton-all of whom regarded Britten as competent but over-rated.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2012, 03:17:55 PM
. . . It is not, of course, uncommon for composers to dislike each other or to resent the success that another enjoys.

Did I mis-read, Colin, or is there more that you've not cited here?  I don't see from the selection that Mennin resented the success that Schumann enjoyed. It almost seems that you exceeded the text in that, but perhaps there's more that I have missed..

Or maybe I've mistaken you, in thinking that you imputed this ignoble motive to Mennin . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 24, 2012, 03:59:32 PM
No...I certainly did not intend to impugn Mennin's personal or professional integrity by suggesting that he resented Schuman's relative popularity.

Indeed, in the brief character sketch I tried to paint I would have thought that the clear inference to draw was that Mennin cared not a whit for popularity or critical acclaim.

The last paragraph, in that sense, was a non-sequitur for which I apologise if it led you or anyone else to infer that the observation about composers resenting the success enjoyed by others applied to Mennin.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2012, 04:11:07 PM
Very good. Glad to find that I had somehow got hold of the wrong end of the stick!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 24, 2012, 04:53:23 PM
Thanks for coming to rescue me Colin! :) I got tired of saying well Colin said this or Colin said that, so now, at least, people can read it from the horse's mouth. :D

Changing gears and getting back on topic, how about that Violin Concerto? What do you guys think about it?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 24, 2012, 06:57:26 PM
Pulled out No.5 (Sony). The slow movement is typically beautiful in that astringent neo-classic way, but I do find the outer movements of string orchestra works like this to be so 'giant string quartet'-ish. I have yet to hear Pettersson's. I recall a string orchestra work by Stanley Wolfe, I think, on a CRI disc, called Canticle (1958?), that had the Schuman slow movement in spades.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 24, 2012, 07:27:01 PM
Pulled out No.5 (Sony). The slow movement is typically beautiful in that astringent neo-classic way, but I do find the outer movements of string orchestra works like this to be so 'giant string quartet'-ish. I have yet to hear Pettersson's. I recall a string orchestra work by Stanley Wolfe, I think, on a CRI disc, called Canticle (1958?), that had the Schuman slow movement in spades.

"Giant string quartet-ish." Hmmm...interesting terminology. :) The last movement of Schuman's 5th ("Presto") never fails to bring a smile to my face, especially a motif that begins towards the end where the double basses begin a phrase and repeat over and over while the violins provide some energetic counterpoint. It's a very cool part that I seem to always repeat many, many times over before I finish listening to the whole movement.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on April 24, 2012, 09:59:52 PM

Changing gears and getting back on topic, how about that Violin Concerto? What do you guys think about it?
The best violin concerto written by an US composer in my opinion.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 03:28:04 AM
Changing gears and getting back on topic, how about that Violin Concerto? What do you guys think about it?

I've had an inconstant tussle with the Violin Concerto.  Was prepared to like it when I first heard it, but somehow it was "other" (I suppose) than what my ears were actually after. (At the time, anyway, I don't think I knew any Schuman, apart from the New England Triptych, at the time.)  So, while I certainly did not hate it, I reserved my highest opinion from it.

Now, aware that the air needed clearing . . . I'm trying it again this morning.


The best violin concerto written by an US composer in my opinion.

Without denigrating the Schuman Concerto at all (my opinion is no great distance from yours), do you know the Wuorinen Concerto for Amplified Violin? I think very highly of it, and not just because I am a former student (fair disclosure).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on April 25, 2012, 04:05:08 AM
The Wuorinen is unknown to me. I prefer to amplify my music myself.  ;D

PS: I should have said; the best US violin converto known to me (and i've heard a fair deal).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 04:20:20 AM
You may well have heard more than I have!  I need to revisit the Carter concerto for vn . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 05:50:00 AM
Just played the samples from that Credendum disc, John; sounds very nice!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 06:31:03 AM
The best violin concerto written by an US composer in my opinion.

Better than the Barber? Hmmm...must be good. 8)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 06:32:48 AM
I've had an inconstant tussle with the Violin Concerto.  Was prepared to like it when I first heard it, but somehow it was "other" (I suppose) than what my ears were actually after. (At the time, anyway, I don't think I knew any Schuman, apart from the New England Triptych, at the time.)  So, while I certainly did not hate it, I reserved my highest opinion from it.

Now, aware that the air needed clearing . . . I'm trying it again this morning.

I have yet to hear the Schuman's VC, so that's one reason why I asked how people like it here to get some feedback on it. Let me know if you've changed your opinion of it now that you've got some more of Schuman's music under your belt.

P.S. Credendum is a fine work. I think you'll enjoy it, Karl.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 06:39:14 AM
Yes, liking the Vn Cto even better this time around.  Top-drawer Schuman, to be sure.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 07:11:16 AM
Yes, liking the Vn Cto even better this time around.  Top-drawer Schuman, to be sure.

Good to hear, Karl. I look forward to digging into the McDuffie/Slatkin performance once I receive it. What performance do you own of it?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 07:44:50 AM
Quint/Bournemouth/Serebrier on Naxos.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on April 25, 2012, 08:49:48 AM
I have that as well, and good as it is, it cannot quite touch the fantastic Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas version I have on DG vinyl.

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/PAUL-ZUKOFSKY-Schuman-Violin-Piston-Symphony-NM-Tilson-Thomas-DGG-Shrink-DG-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqNHJEwE88eJ1GV7BP,V3SBfbg~~60_12.JPG)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 25, 2012, 08:57:23 AM
I have that as well, and good as it is, it cannot quite touch the fantastic Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas version I have on DG vinyl.

Yes, I've my eye on that recording. Zukofsky, by the way, played the recording of the Wuorinen concerto which I mentioned.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Brewski on April 25, 2012, 09:05:17 AM
I have that as well, and good as it is, it cannot quite touch the fantastic Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas version I have on DG vinyl.

(http://i.ebayimg.com/t/PAUL-ZUKOFSKY-Schuman-Violin-Piston-Symphony-NM-Tilson-Thomas-DGG-Shrink-DG-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqNHJEwE88eJ1GV7BP,V3SBfbg~~60_12.JPG)

Wow, I have this as well, and hadn't thought about it in years. (Zukovsky was marvelous; I still treasure his performance of Reich's Violin Phase, too.)

And I agree: the piece is sensational. I heard it recently on an all-William Schuman concert, and it struck me: the reason it isn't performed much is...it's too hard!

--Bruce
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 09:14:00 AM
...scurries across the Internet for a copy (at a cheap price) of the Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas performance of Schuman's VC..
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 25, 2012, 09:48:06 AM
The best violin concerto written by an US composer in my opinion.

Better than Barber, Rochberg, Piston? That's quite an achievement then.

the fantastic Zukofsky/Tilson Thomas version I have on DG vinyl.

Ah, the good old days, when DG was willing to step outside its comfort zone, and give unusual music a chance. I am interested to know how it compares to McDuffie/Slatkin, which our mirrored colleague just acquired. Can anyone compare them?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on April 25, 2012, 10:11:31 AM
Better than Barber, Rochberg, Piston? That's quite an achievement then.

I know them all, and in my opinion, yes.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 10:39:47 AM
I know them all, and in my opinion, yes.

What is about the Schuman VC that you admire so much, Erato? I mean saying it's the finest American VC is a bold statement, but I'm just curious because I haven't heard the work yet.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on April 25, 2012, 11:06:13 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516oNfCwX8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have the Schuman violinconcerto in this cd-incarnation.

It is indeed a great work. But it is the kind of music many people would call " masculine, muscular, hard, tough & brillant...". Yet (and I'm listening now) there's ( in the first movement) a wealth of soft , exquisitely lyrical music ( wood winds & soft strings + soloviolin) that just melts the heart. The second movement hovers between poetry and hard-driven anger, only to explode in a typical percussion-laden climax.
This music is good and personal enough on its own and doesn't need to be compared.

If only the viola concerto would be recorded or re-issued!
P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 25, 2012, 11:20:33 AM
Ah, the good old days, when DG was willing to step outside its comfort zone, and give unusual music a chance. I am interested to know how it compares to McDuffie/Slatkin, which our mirrored colleague just acquired. Can anyone compare them?

I have both (Zukofsky and McDuffie). Haven't heard McDuffie yet (just arrived a few days ago) but I'll compare them soon.

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: The new erato on April 25, 2012, 11:39:23 AM
What is about the Schuman VC that you admire so much, Erato? I mean saying it's the finest American VC is a bold statement, but I'm just curious because I haven't heard the work yet.
The combination between hard driven dynamics and lyrical parts. And all movements are very fine (the Barber eg has a very weak last movement). Superbly orchestrated.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 12:41:26 PM
The combination between hard driven dynamics and lyrical parts. And all movements are very fine (the Barber eg has a very weak last movement). Superbly orchestrated.

I'm excited to this, Erato. Yes, the last movement of the Barber VC is very disappointing especially in contrast with the movements that preceded it.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 05:37:32 PM
Has anyone heard A Song of Orpheus for cello and orchestra? This is a great work IMHO.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 25, 2012, 06:18:23 PM
Has anyone heard A Song of Orpheus for cello and orchestra? This is a great work IMHO.

Found it on Spotify, listening to it now. First listen.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 06:42:13 PM
Found it on Spotify, listening to it now. First listen.

I think the performance I own of it is merely adequate. I could imagine a better conductor and cellist getting more out of it, but we're lucky to have what we have I suppose.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: listener on April 25, 2012, 06:51:39 PM
will put on tomorrow,maybe - Rose, cello  Cleveland O.    Szell
Same performance?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 25, 2012, 07:00:10 PM
I think the performance I own of it is merely adequate. I could imagine a better conductor and cellist getting more out of it, but we're lucky to have what we have I suppose.

I listened to the Naxos recording.

That sums it up for me, John, I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-5 minutes, but afterwards lost some interest, the cello seemed to aimlessly continue on, although there was some lovely supportive harmonies from the orchstra. Perhaps it could be the performance, a tad more of an emotional statement would go a long way.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 07:06:18 PM
will put on tomorrow,maybe - Rose, cello  Cleveland O.    Szell
Same performance?

No, this is from a Naxos recording with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 07:13:54 PM
I listened to the Naxos recording.

That sums it up for me, John, I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3-5 minutes, but afterwards lost some interest, the cello seemed to aimlessly continue on, although there was some lovely supportive harmonies from the orchstra. Perhaps it could be the performance, a tad more of an emotional statement would go a long way.

I could imagine more of a sustained intensity being projected throughout the work. This will give it more emotional weight I think.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 08:16:35 PM
I'd like to call up Gerard Schwarz and ask him why didn't he conduct all of Schuman's concerti? I mean WTF? ???
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 25, 2012, 09:33:22 PM
One thing that I enjoy about Schuman's music is that unlike Harris, Barber, or Copland, there is a darkness that runs deep through his music perhaps not New England Triptych or Variations on 'America', but works like Judith, parts of Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 8, Symphony No. 9, Song of Orpheus, all of these have an ominous sound to them. Critics writing reviews on Shuman's music always seem to love to use the word "optimism" when describing Schuman's music but this word has very little to do with the actual music in my opnion. This music isn't optimistic, I think it is pessimistic, bitter, and quite pithy but the bright surface sheen suggests otherwise. I suppose this is why I struggled with Schuman at first because I wasn't quite sure of what to make of the music even though it was direct with it's expression. I just found that I was missing something, but, now, I feel like I understand his style more. Hopefully, the book I have coming will reveal more about his music. One thing I have always admired about Schuman and this was from the very start was his honesty and you might say his stubbornness to ignore trends and what's currently hip in music. He reminds me of another favorite composer in this regard: Michael Tippett.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 08:12:14 AM
Has anyone heard Lorin Maazel's performance of the 7th with the Pittsburgh Symphony? I've heard it surpasses Schwarz.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 08:28:56 AM
I let my Dad make a copy of the Albany recording I was raving about many days ago and he listened to it the other day. I asked him what he thought about Schuman, he had never heard any of his music, and his reply was "What an awesome composer!" He then followed this up with "What else do you own by him because I want to make copies of everything you own." My Dad being a former trumpeter probably relates to the music because Schuman always wrote stupendous brass parts. The first work he heard was Credendum and the first movement of this work bombards the ear with heavy brass and percussion.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 26, 2012, 08:43:27 AM
Critics writing reviews on Shuman's music always seem to love to use the word "optimism" when describing Schuman's music but this word has very little to do with the actual music in my opnion. This music isn't optimistic, I think it is pessimistic, bitter, and quite pithy but the bright surface sheen suggests otherwise. I suppose this is why I struggled with Schuman at first because I wasn't quite sure of what to make of the music even though it was direct with it's expression. I just found that I was missing something, but, now, I feel like I understand his style more.

I agree with your assessment. It was precisely the bitter aspects of the music (that arid, harsh sound) that put me off him for a while. But I learned to like it. I don't think the 3rd Symphony falls into that category though - it's a piece bursting with energy and indeed a feeling of optimism.

What we really need is for the major American orchestras to re-discover him. I like him quite a bit more than Barber or Copland.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 09:02:42 AM
I agree with your assessment. It was precisely the bitter aspects of the music (that arid, harsh sound) that put me off him for a while. But I learned to like it. I don't think the 3rd Symphony falls into that category though - it's a piece bursting with energy and indeed a feeling of optimism.

What we really need is for the major American orchestras to re-discover him. I like him quite a bit more than Barber or Copland.

The only thing most American orchestras are concerned with right now seems to be money, so which is why they continue to trot out the workhorses day by day, year by year. We need major US orchestras playing Schuman, but there needs to be a conductor who is more than up to the challenge. As for the 3rd, yes, I do think it's an optimistic work, but there are parts of it, like I said, that don't sound this way at all, but this may just be my own ears.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 26, 2012, 09:16:42 AM
Interesting, gents.  I don't characterize that aspect of the sound as dark, nor as bitter. I find it bracing, and to that extent, can pretty much nod in agreement when it is generally characterized as optimistic.
 
Wonderful how we hear the same music in such curiously different ways, wot?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 26, 2012, 09:24:06 AM
The only thing most American orchestras are concerned with right now seems to be money, so which is why they continue to trot out the workhorses day by day, year by year. We need major US orchestras playing Schuman, but there needs to be a conductor who is more than up to the challenge. As for the 3rd, yes, I do think it's an optimistic work, but there are parts of it, like I said, that don't sound this way at all, but this may just be my own ears.

This is very true, but they have to in order to survive.

But yes, seeing Ives, Schuman, even a Piston or Diamond piece in the repatoire would be nice.

How would you compare other Shuman pieces to Song of Orpheus, considering I found it quite droll and lacking emotion, but found his style unique enough to possibly explore more.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 26, 2012, 09:46:00 AM
Interesting, the Song for Orpheus he wrote some 15 years after the Violin Concerto, and about the same time as the Eighth Symphony. (Just thinking out loud . . . .)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 09:50:45 AM
How would you compare other Shuman pieces to Song of Orpheus, considering I found it quite droll and lacking emotion, but found his style unique enough to possibly explore more.

Song of Orpheus isn't a work I found lacking anything. The only thing I found lacking is the performance which didn't serve it well. I would imagine that a renowned cellist and conductor could bring a lot of emotion out in the work. There emotion is there, the performers just didn't find it. There is emotion in every one of his works that I've heard thus far. That's the one thing I can count on Schuman for is being emotionally direct.

Let this be your first Schuman recording:



It can bought very cheaply through Amazon Marketplace.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 26, 2012, 09:51:30 AM
Interesting, the Song for Orpheus he wrote some 15 years after the Violin Concerto, and about the same time as the Eighth Symphony. (Just thinking out loud . . . .)

Shhh, you're thinking too loud.  :P ;)

Is that an indication to a change in style with Schuman's compositions?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 26, 2012, 09:53:26 AM
The Maazel performance of the Schuman 7th is a good one. Say what you like about Maazel-and many have ;D- he was prepared, at least when he was a bit younger, to perform some American music. The issue today seems to be that few conductors at the helm of American orchestras appear to be interested in the music of Schuman, Piston, Diamond etc.
Perhaps JoAnn Falletta in Buffalo might take up the banner, or David Allan Miller in Albany-he has certainly shown a lot of interest in American composers of that generation.

I cannot say that I personally find much in Schuman's 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th symphonies which could be described as "optimistic". Powerful, eloquent, sombre, grim, tragic, violent.....yes, all of these but the bracing optimism of the early Schuman does not really reaappear for me until his 10th symphony, a somewhat unsuccessful return to aspects of the earlier style.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 26, 2012, 09:55:35 AM
Song of Orpheus isn't a work I found lacking anything. The only thing I found lacking is the performance which didn't serve it well. I would imagine that a renowned cellist and conductor could bring a lot of emotion out in the work. There emotion is there, the performers just didn't find it. There is emotion in every one of his works that I've heard thus far. That's the one thing I can count on Schuman for is being emotionally direct.

A recording which I think you should is this one:



It can bought very cheaply through Amazon Marketplace.

And that's what I mentioned earlier, perhaps a better performance would suit better...because there were elements of the piece that interested me.

This is a disc I've seen many times in years past, and I've enjoyed many of Bernstein's American-born composer recordings on Sony.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 26, 2012, 10:26:33 AM
Shhh, you're thinking too loud.  :P ;)

Is that an indication to a change in style with Schuman's compositions?

Well, that were the question, indeed, Greg of the Sock Monkey. I want to listen to Song for Orpheus and to the rest of the symphonies before attempting an intelligent answer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 26, 2012, 10:28:07 AM
I cannot say that I personally find much in Schuman's 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th symphonies which could be described as "optimistic".

But then, we're not looking for optimism in the Ninth, are we, Colin? : )
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 26, 2012, 10:41:59 AM
But then, we're not looking for optimism in the Ninth, are we, Colin? : )

Indeed not :(
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 10:49:20 AM
The Maazel performance of the Schuman 7th is a good one. Say what you like about Maazel-and many have ;D- he was prepared, at least when he was a bit younger, to perform some American music. The issue today seems to be that few conductors at the helm of American orchestras appear to be interested in the music of Schuman, Piston, Diamond etc.
Perhaps JoAnn Falletta in Buffalo might take up the banner, or David Allan Miller in Albany-he has certainly shown a lot of interest in American composers of that generation.

I cannot say that I personally find much in Schuman's 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th symphonies which could be described as "optimistic". Powerful, eloquent, sombre, grim, tragic, violent.....yes, all of these but the bracing optimism of the early Schuman does not really reaappear for me until his 10th symphony, a somewhat unsuccessful return to aspects of the earlier style.

The 9th and 10th are the only Schuman symphonies that give me problems right now. The 9th especially because of it's almost unrelenting gloom, but I'm going to try it again later one tonight and see how things go this time around.

It's good to hear the Maazel performance of the 7th is good because I bought it today. :) The Balada Steel Symphony should be a nice little bonus.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 10:51:06 AM
This is a disc I've seen many times in years past, and I've enjoyed many of Bernstein's American-born composer recordings on Sony.

BUY IT!!! COME ON!!!! YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!!!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 26, 2012, 10:51:20 AM
The 9th especially because of [its] almost unrelenting gloom . . . .

Well it is elegiac music, because of the historical reference.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 10:55:40 AM
Well it is elegiac music, because of the historical reference.

Yes, I know, Karl, but that still doesn't help matters. It's the music itself that I'm still struggling with. It's still a fascinating work though but it's just a tough nut for me to crack right now.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 12:11:32 PM
I'm listening to Schuman's VC right now (w/ McDuffie/Slatkin) and I see what Erato means by tough, turbo charged passages and then those subsiding for something more lyrical. I'm enjoying it very much.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: eyeresist on April 26, 2012, 05:28:49 PM
One thing that I enjoy about Schuman's music is that unlike Harris, Barber, or Copland, there is a darkness that runs deep through his music

I'd say there's plenty of darkness in Barber. Maybe not "darkness" in the Nietschean sense, but constant underlying melancholia.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 05:36:48 PM
I'd say there's plenty of darkness in Barber. Maybe not "darkness" in the Nietschean sense, but constant underlying melancholia.

Yes, I suppose you are right. There's certainly a sadness in Barber's music.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 26, 2012, 07:54:59 PM
Schuman fans check this out when you have the time:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZRPHGUrHjAo&feature=fvst

I didn't watch all of this video but it contained some interesting information.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on April 26, 2012, 09:59:41 PM
Indeed interesting. I stumbled on it a couple of days ago- actually while searching for Maurice Abravanel's version ( with the Utah SO) of that 7th symphony.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Q3bLfbg8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EET4HZMDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on April 27, 2012, 02:48:55 AM
That Turnabout LP looks interesting.  I bet the surface of the vinyl is probably a minefield?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 27, 2012, 04:29:15 AM
Thanks very much for the link to the lecture on the Schuman 7th :)  Extremely interesting.

I do hope that Professor Swayne is correct in his assertion that some day Schuman will be recognised as the major American symphonist (although I do happen to think that Piston,
Diamond and Mennin have equal claims ;D). He goes on to point out however that Slatkin was conducting the 3rd symphony at the Julliard School in preference to the 6th, 7th or 8th. Schuman is much less of a "one symphony composer" than, say, Roy Harris ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 27, 2012, 05:04:03 AM
Oh, Schuman is not a one-symphony composer, at all!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 27, 2012, 06:12:14 AM
Thanks very much for the link to the lecture on the Schuman 7th :)  Extremely interesting.

I do hope that Professor Swayne is correct in his assertion that some day Schuman will be recognised as the major American symphonist (although I do happen to think that Piston,
Diamond and Mennin have equal claims ;D). He goes on to point out however that Slatkin was conducting the 3rd symphony at the Julliard School in preference to the 6th, 7th or 8th. Schuman is much less of a "one symphony composer" than, say, Roy Harris ;D

You're welcome. I did finally finish the video and I found many of Swayne's commentary interesting. I particularly enjoyed the letters he wrote to other people. This always reveals so much about a person.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on April 27, 2012, 06:34:25 AM
That Turnabout LP looks interesting.  I bet the surface of the vinyl is probably a minefield?

yes, but the cd (same performance/ can be bought via Amazon from ca 5 dollar) should be OK.
I will try anyway.
P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 27, 2012, 06:35:56 AM
Indeed interesting. I stumbled on it a couple of days ago- actually while searching for Maurice Abravanel's version ( with the Utah SO) of that 7th symphony.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Q3bLfbg8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EET4HZMDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


P.

I find it better than the NewWorld disc.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 27, 2012, 11:20:09 AM
I'm enjoying Schuman's 9th a lot more now. That last movement is eerily beautiful. Very expressive music.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 27, 2012, 01:46:59 PM
I find it better than the NewWorld disc.

In what way? I heard Maazel smoked the 7th symphony.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 27, 2012, 05:17:19 PM
It's certainly fascinating how the mind works and how opinions can change over time. I disliked Schuman and Tippett almost equally, but there was something in both composer's music that brought be back ad now they're two of my favorites! Koechlin was the same way for me. I wasn't particularly impressed with his music on first hearing, but now I can't get enough of it. Anyway, I'm just sharing a thought.

How about Schuman's 6th, eh? What a symphony!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2012, 07:31:00 AM
Incidentally, I think highly of both Mennin and Schuman. Their music, I mean;  I have no opinion about their respective personalities.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: not edward on May 02, 2012, 08:33:25 AM
A bit of extra reading: http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/A-Conversation-with-Joseph-W-Polisi-Author-of-American-Muse/

(Apologies if it's been posted before.)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2012, 08:42:04 AM
Many thanks, Edward; I had not seen that before.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2012, 09:36:51 AM
A bit of extra reading: http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/A-Conversation-with-Joseph-W-Polisi-Author-of-American-Muse/

(Apologies if it's been posted before.)

Thanks for posting this, Edward. Most interesting.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: eyeresist on May 02, 2012, 05:51:27 PM
A bit of extra reading: http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/A-Conversation-with-Joseph-W-Polisi-Author-of-American-Muse/

(Apologies if it's been posted before.)

We need to hear the 2nd symphony, dammit!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2012, 05:56:02 PM
We need to hear the 2nd symphony, dammit!

And the 1st!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: eyeresist on May 02, 2012, 07:43:35 PM
And the 1st!

But does that even exist anymore?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2012, 07:56:16 PM
But does that even exist anymore?

Yes, I believe the William Schuman Trust owns the manuscripts to the first two symphonies, but obeying Schuman's wishes, it will never be released for performance.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: eyeresist on May 02, 2012, 08:07:20 PM
Yes, I believe the William Schuman Trust owns the manuscripts to the first two symphonies, but obeying Schuman's wishes, it will never be released for performance.

I'm sure their release could be - ahem -  "facilitated".

(http://ultimatereviews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Ethan_Hunt_Dangling_Cruise.jpg)

Just scan the manuscripts to PDF and post them on the internet. They'd never get the genie back in that bottle :D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2012, 08:15:47 PM
I'm sure their release could be - ahem -  "facilitated".

(http://ultimatereviews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Ethan_Hunt_Dangling_Cruise.jpg)

Just scan the manuscripts to PDF and post them on the internet. They'd never get the genie back in that bottle :D

 :P
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dundonnell on May 03, 2012, 04:30:06 AM
The Polisi interview is indeed very interesting :) Thanks for making the link available. Especially interesting to me for what Polisi has to say about the Schuman-Mennin relationship ;D
I hope to find out more about that soon since I have been invited to make  personal contact with Walter Simmons-who wrote about both in "Voices of Stone and Steel" :)

(Incidentally, I find it perfectly possible to like the music of both Schuman and Mennin :). I can understand that others have a preference between the two composers but comparing and contrasting their music is an exercise which I find, ultimately, unedifying. They are different composers, they wrote music which sounds different because it is different. I admire both and I appreciate both. End of.)

Regarding the Schuman Symphony No.2...Polisi has some interesting comments on the unlikelihood of it being performed again. That makes it even more gratifying that there is a recording of the work available: the CBS Symphony Orchestra/Howard Barlow broadcast from 1940 (albeit in ancient sound quality!). I like the work but I can understand Polisi's point. Even if Schuman's family lifted the embargo on performance it might put people off the composer. The Second is a furiously angry, driven, extremely powerful piece. Unlike the later symphonies (6-9) it is not however quite so "brass-dominated" and the use of the brass sounds different. It certainly sounds nothing like the 3rd ;D

One Schuman piece which has really surprised me recently is American Hymn from 1981-in its full orchestral incarnation. Voyages from 1972 is an extremely tough work to grasp but American Hymn is much more lyrical and attractive. It should be reissued on cd or re-recorded.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Elnimio on May 03, 2012, 07:35:00 AM

Regarding the Schuman Symphony No.2...Polisi has some interesting comments on the unlikelihood of it being performed again. That makes it even more gratifying that there is a recording of the work available: the CBS Symphony Orchestra/Howard Barlow broadcast from 1940 (albeit in ancient sound quality!). I like the work but I can understand Polisi's point. Even if Schuman's family lifted the embargo on performance it might put people off the composer. The Second is a furiously angry, driven, extremely powerful piece. Unlike the later symphonies (6-9) it is not however quite so "brass-dominated" and the use of the brass sounds different. It certainly sounds nothing like the 3rd ;D


Sounds right up my alley (unlike the vast majority of his other work). Too bad I can't find any recordings.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 06, 2012, 10:57:00 AM
Haha, I pulled out the VC/DG, being prompted by the Thread, and dutifully tracked passed Suntreader and began to listen. My, what a dramatic opening, and oh my! I didn't know Schuman like this, it must be his Masterpiece,... and my! the introduction goes on, it must be a Symphony for Violin & Orchestra!

Then I realized I was listening to Track 2-3, which are simply part of Suntreader!

I'll have to get around to that VC. ??? :-[ ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on May 06, 2012, 02:47:16 PM
"..... not always likable ... " - well, it's rare that anyone is, 24/7.    You can't be a powderpuff and run the Julliard school, either.   Interesting interview.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992): Symphony No.8
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2012, 06:41:27 AM
Again checked out the 9th on YT (Naxos). I seem to recall really enjoying it on LP with Ormandy, but can't stand it now. So I popped in the 8th again, and this must be my favorite Schuman, with its moody opening (I thought I really liked the moody opening of the 9th with Ormandy,... but the Naxos just is missing... something). This is what I want out of my '60s Symphonies!

Still, I like 6-7 too. All three are huge American Symphonies.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992): Symphony No.8
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2012, 06:49:51 AM
Again checked out the 9th on YT (Naxos). I seem to recall really enjoying it on LP with Ormandy, but can't stand it now. So I popped in the 8th again, and this must be my favorite Schuman, with its moody opening (I thought I really liked the moody opening of the 9th with Ormandy,... but the Naxos just is missing... something). This is what I want out of my '60s Symphonies!

Still, I like 6-7 too. All three are huge American Symphonies.

The 9th is still a hard pill for me to swallow. I just can't get into it at all. It probably wouldn't matter who conducted it because it's the music itself that I'm having problems with. I listened to it again a week or so ago and things fared better, but not by much. It's still an ugly ear sore.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 07, 2012, 06:52:51 AM
Sorry that you lads don't, but I like the Ninth very well. Nyaaah! ; )
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992): Symphony No.8
Post by: eyeresist on May 07, 2012, 04:38:16 PM
Again checked out the 9th on YT (Naxos). I seem to recall really enjoying it on LP with Ormandy, but can't stand it now. So I popped in the 8th again, and this must be my favorite Schuman, with its moody opening

Yes, the 8th is one of the ones I've ripped to my work PC. It gives the lie to the idea that late Schuman is grey and dour. The mood is mostly fairly downbeat, but there's a lot to charm the ear here (the modern recording helps). I love that part in the finale with the piano and tuned percussion - fairyland for a moment.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992): Symphony No.8
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2012, 05:30:52 PM
The 9th is still a hard pill for me to swallow. I just can't get into it at all. It probably wouldn't matter who conducted it because it's the music itself that I'm having problems with. I listened to it again a week or so ago and things fared better, but not by much. It's still an ugly ear sore.

mm hmm ;)

I could go on about the 8th though,... that is such a good cd,... I think the 9th starts off well like the 8th but then gets hysterical. Both have that misterioso opening though, but the 8th just carries out the feeling into a great '60s Symphony.

I finally got the VC on but stopped it when I recalled the opening, with that certain slapping sound that Schuman was fond of. I just didn't have the 30 minutes.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2012, 05:58:55 AM
Symphonies 3/5/8 (Sony)

Got around to No.3 last night, and will have to compare to the DG later. No.3 is such a good, solid Symphony, so very much like Harris's 3rd, yet more traditionally structured. The brooding opening truly opens up the midland vistas of a semi-tragic nation. Though I somewhat prefer the Sony Harris, I hear the same orchestral placement here, and I wonder if the DG sound is a bit more integrated. Anyhow, the music is tops! (as you know)


I would really be bold to get the Albany No.4. I did enjoy the OLD version, but a new 4th, with Miller, must be something.


So far, Schuman is shaping up as my favorite go to Symphonist of the time. 3-4 and 6-8 are all great monuments (especially 6-7), great slabs of...

oh, I've got nothing to say :-[ ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 26, 2012, 06:45:18 AM
Symphonies 3/5/8 (Sony)

Got around to No.3 last night, and will have to compare to the DG later. No.3 is such a good, solid Symphony, so very much like Harris's 3rd, yet more traditionally structured. The brooding opening truly opens up the midland vistas of a semi-tragic nation. Though I somewhat prefer the Sony Harris, I hear the same orchestral placement here, and I wonder if the DG sound is a bit more integrated. Anyhow, the music is tops! (as you know)


I would really be bold to get the Albany No.4. I did enjoy the OLD version, but a new 4th, with Miller, must be something.


So far, Schuman is shaping up as my favorite go to Symphonist of the time. 3-4 and 6-8 are all great monuments (especially 6-7), great slabs of...

oh, I've got nothing to say :-[ ;D

Bernstein's first go-around with Schuman's 3rd is much, much better than his remake IMHO. There's a youthful intensity about this performance that cannot be bettered. I thought Schwarz's performance of the 3rd was overall weak and lacked that emotional drive that Bernstein had. Schwarz also cannot better Miller's performance of the 4th on Albany. Bernstein also owns the Symphony for Strings and the 8th. As I have said many times, I'm grateful for Schwarz, but wished that he had given his performances more energy. That said, Schwarz did provide us with many well-performed extras like Prayer for a Time of War and Night Journey. I always wished Bernstein would have conducted Credendum, but Miller's on Albany is excellent. Ormandy's is very good too but in mono.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2012, 02:25:32 PM
Bernstein's first go-around with Schuman's 3rd is much, much better than his remake IMHO. There's a youthful intensity about this performance that cannot be bettered. I thought Schwarz's performance of the 3rd was overall weak and lacked that emotional drive that Bernstein had. Schwarz also cannot better Miller's performance of the 4th on Albany. Bernstein also owns the Symphony for Strings and the 8th. As I have said many times, I'm grateful for Schwarz, but wished that he had given his performances more energy. That said, Schwarz did provide us with many well-performed extras like Prayer for a Time of War and Night Journey. I always wished Bernstein would have conducted Credendum, but Miller's on Albany is excellent. Ormandy's is very good too but in mono.

I have a soft spot for that Delos 5th,... back in the day, haha,... the sound is exemplary!

And you're really making me want that new 4th. ;)


btw- I have the giant 7th with... is it Abramaval?,.. which is much better than the one on NewWorld (with Balada); the sound is old, but vivid. The NewWorld has an cool, icy sound, though, that works well with this music. 6-7 could use Modern Transcendence. 6, of course, has only Ormandy, alas (though there's nothing wrong with this mono recording).

Still, it's the 8th that haunts me right now.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mountain Goat on July 05, 2012, 09:24:25 AM
We need to hear the 2nd symphony, dammit!

The elusive 2nd symphony is now on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z68zIz2cyMI
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 05, 2012, 09:43:48 AM
Bernstein's first go-around with Schuman's 3rd is much, much better than his remake IMHO. There's a youthful intensity about this performance that cannot be bettered. I thought Schwarz's performance of the 3rd was overall weak and lacked that emotional drive that Bernstein had. Schwarz also cannot better Miller's performance of the 4th on Albany. Bernstein also owns the Symphony for Strings and the 8th. As I have said many times, I'm grateful for Schwarz, but wished that he had given his performances more energy. That said, Schwarz did provide us with many well-performed extras like Prayer for a Time of War and Night Journey. I always wished Bernstein would have conducted Credendum, but Miller's on Albany is excellent. Ormandy's is very good too but in mono.

Have you been reading the book, John?  What are your thoughts?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 05, 2012, 06:28:40 PM
Have you been reading the book, John?  What are your thoughts?

Hey Karl, I'm afraid I haven't. I haven't actually had the chance to read much lately. I've been listening more than reading. It's very hard for me to just sit down with a book. I suppose I just don't have the discipline, but my ADD from childhood has also been nagging away at me for quite some time.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 06, 2012, 01:01:37 AM
Well, whenever you get the chance. We're interested : )
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on January 02, 2013, 08:08:36 PM
Slatkin never recorded Schuman's "Symphony No. 3." He recorded "Symphony No. 10," but I can't find anything about an alleged "Symphony No. 3" recording. Anyway, his performance of "Symphony No. 10" is on RCA.

Personally, I'm not fond of Slatkin, so I'm not too interested in hearing his Schuman performance. Here is the cover:


(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/24/54/fc7792c008a0a6710868b010.L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I remember this back in the day, but I just got it again. The first movement of the 10th wasn't what I remembered, but the slow movement is quite majestic. Still, the RCA recording seems a touch lontano.

I also got the three pieces for horn and orchestra, which is on an old NewWorld disc with Crumb's 'Haunted Landscape'. These pieces are in the best traditions of the house, and I find them mighty impressive.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 12, 2013, 02:56:37 PM
Made a cdr of his 4th,5th & Seventh Symphonies out of my cds,so I can listen to them in order,without the distraction of other pieces (however wonderful!). Schuman certainly gets my vote for greatest American symphonies;although I hate comparisons.Really,I do!!! ;D Unlike some critics,I can't really find anything much wrong with his Fourth & like someone else on this thread (I forget who) I think I prefer it to the more famous third. But then again,I love both! Unlike some American symphonists,particularly Roy Harris,there is a lot of variety in these symphonies. In fact,you only to have to listen to a few minutes of Schuman to see (hear) what's wrong with you're average Harris symphony. Some marvellous,brooding slow movements & exciting orchestration,particularly in the Sixth. Wow! I just can't understand why the Americans aren't performing these in their concert halls!
But that's just me of course!! ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 12, 2013, 03:09:35 PM
. Some marvellous,brooding slow movements & exciting orchestration,particularly in the Sixth. Wow! I just can't understand why the Americans aren't performing these in their concert halls!

Chicago Symphony is playing the 6th next season (under Slatkin). Maybe a revival in the works? I certainly plan to be there.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2013, 06:06:32 PM
Oh dear, not Slatkin. ::)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: NJ Joe on February 12, 2013, 06:41:17 PM
Bernstein's first go-around with Schuman's 3rd is much, much better than his remake IMHO. There's a youthful intensity about this performance that cannot be bettered. I thought Schwarz's performance of the 3rd was overall weak and lacked that emotional drive that Bernstein had. Schwarz also cannot better Miller's performance of the 4th on Albany. Bernstein also owns the Symphony for Strings and the 8th. As I have said many times, I'm grateful for Schwarz, but wished that he had given his performances more energy. That said, Schwarz did provide us with many well-performed extras like Prayer for a Time of War and Night Journey. I always wished Bernstein would have conducted Credendum, but Miller's on Albany is excellent. Ormandy's is very good too but in mono.

Based on this post, Bernstein's NYPO recording of 3, 5, and 8 has just been added to my wish list.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2013, 06:51:24 PM
Based on this post, Bernstein's NYPO recording of 3, 5, and 8 has just been added to my wish list.

It's a damn fine recording. Probably one of my favorite recordings of an American composers music. No joke. It's that good.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on February 12, 2013, 07:32:07 PM
Oh dear, not Slatkin. ::)

Say what you want about him, but his Schuman 3rd is outstanding.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2013, 08:11:30 PM
Say what you want about him, but his Schuman 3rd is outstanding.

I didn't know Slatkin recorded Schuman's 3rd. News to me.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on February 12, 2013, 10:07:31 PM
I didn't know Slatkin recorded Schuman's 3rd. News to me.

He hasn't. I recorded it off SymphonyCast years ago. It was a live performance with the LA Phil. I've heard talk that there is another recording on a limited release CD, but haven't actually seen it.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on February 12, 2013, 10:24:54 PM
Made a cdr of his 4th,5th & Seventh Symphonies out of my cds,so I can listen to them in order,without the distraction of other pieces (however wonderful!). Schuman certainly gets my vote for greatest American symphonies;although I hate comparisons.Really,I do!!! ;D Unlike some critics,I can't really find anything much wrong with his Fourth & like someone else on this thread (I forget who) I think I prefer it to the more famous third. But then again,I love both! Unlike some American symphonists,particularly Roy Harris,there is a lot of variety in these symphonies. In fact,you only to have to listen to a few minutes of Schuman to see (hear) what's wrong with you're average Harris symphony. Some marvellous,brooding slow movements & exciting orchestration,particularly in the Sixth. Wow! I just can't understand why the Americans aren't performing these in their concert halls!
But that's just me of course!! ;D

Schumania!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on February 13, 2013, 04:38:09 AM
Yes! And,unlike the Roy Harris thread,no need to make dozens of posts along the lines of,"Did he compose anything as good as No3?".....thank goodness!!! ::) :( ;D
Still like Harris's Sixth,though,and.....(contd on p.982 of the Roy Harris thread!!! :( :laugh: ;D)

Schumania,indeed!! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on February 13, 2013, 09:07:31 AM
Yes! And,unlike the Roy Harris thread,no need to make dozens of posts along the lines of,"Did he compose anything as good as No3?".....thank goodness!!! ::) :( ;D
Still like Harris's Sixth,though,and.....(contd on p.982 of the Roy Harris thread!!! :( :laugh: ;D)

Schumania,indeed!! :)

Haha, yea, no problems here, haha! choo! choo!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 08, 2013, 07:03:31 AM
snypsss, you out there?

Have you heard the Schuman third quartet?  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 10, 2013, 10:17:22 AM
snypsss, you out there?

Have you heard the Schuman third quartet?  Any thoughts?


It's fine. You can't go wrong with either the VoxBox (you actually need that for the Session No.2, and a host of other fun stuff) or the HarmoniaMundi, which has the really wonderful No.5, and the recording has a burnished to that'll make you pee when you hear the viola! No.4 has not been recorded. >:D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 10, 2013, 10:19:52 AM
Man, I hate peeing when I hear the viola . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on April 10, 2013, 01:19:51 PM
Man, I hate peeing when I hear the viola . . . .

it all depends :laugh:...
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 18, 2013, 06:54:02 AM
I'm most impressed with "Symphony No. 4" and "New England Triptych." I'm less enthusiastic about the other works I've heard, but I still have Symphonies Nos. 7 and 10 to hear. One of the things that I'm not impressed with is the lack of motivic development in his music. There seems to be an almost academic dryness that permeates much of the music. "New England Triptych" was an enjoyable work, but the themes were not his own. It seems when the melodies aren't his own, he's able to find something unique and creative to say. He's a great orchestrator --- anyone with ears will be able to detect this just within a few measures. It seems he's spent a great deal of time thinking about which section is going to play this or what section will be playing that. "Symphony No. 4" was particularly enjoyable for me. As it's slow movement is probably the most honest emotion I've heard in any of his symphonies so far. The melody line just aches with sadness and loneliness.

Symphony No.4 (1941)

Even though I would probably consider it Schuman's weakest Symphony, No.4 is still so good that I'm tempted to pair it with Piston's 2nd. With its three delineated movements, it also looks like a Piston.

Surely no one can forget the plaintive opening, with, is that a cor anglais? I'll just call it the low-boe(!), but, isn't it such a perfect Shostakovian opening, all brooding basses? Then, the melody is augmented with other instruments, and the familiar Schuman harmonizations are heard. Is there ANYONE who has not been touched by this wonderful Symphonic Opening? Is there a Symphony that starts like this?,... DSCH 10 is like it but ratcheted up a few notches. Still, the opening to this music is what's always brought me back here.

And, yes, the slow movement is Schuman's most delectable, though I need to check No.5 again. The Finale, too, is very well characterized, and every time I hear it I'm pleased to remember all the little bits.

So, I still tend to think of this as a Piston work, and, as such, it's wonderful. I'd compare it to other Composers, but not to Schuman himself. Huh.


We now have three recordings:

1) Lousiville/Whitney (1959?)

2) Naxos (w/No.9)

3) Miller/Albany

Of course I'm sure EVERYBODY either has or is familiar with the Whitney. I was just re-hearing, and, is the newer, First Edition release at a lower wattage than the original Albany (was it Albany or CRI?)? I really had to crank it up, but then of course the climaxes were a bit loud. Either way, it's definitely from 1959! One can hear a gaggle of woodwind clicks-and-clacks that is at once humorous and distracting. Still, there is a searing intesity that might just be lacking from the other two.

I had the Naxos, but couldn't stand the No.9 (don't ask), though I remember still liking No.4 a lot. I have listened to the samples of Miller, and he seems to milk the Symphony for all its worth, but I wonder if the intensity is still there? The music needs a solid recording, but doesn't need to be coddled. Still, if I want to pass Whitney, which should one go for: Naxos or Miller/Albany?


I tried making it through the Thread for some comment on No.4, and MI's Post was the first I got to, so I can't remember if there's been discussion yet, but, would you like to chat No.4?

Like I said, it may be his weakest, but it's still as good as many others' finest efforts. I think it's quaintly appealing in a 1941 kind of way. And you?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 21, 2013, 06:35:07 AM
Symphony No.4 (1941)

Even though I would probably consider it Schuman's weakest Symphony, [typically creative review snypped].

Thanks for this. I've never heard the 4th. BTW, I spotted at my local vinyl emporium a copy of the Schuman 7th, conducted by Abravanel. Worth getting?

Quote
I think it's quaintly appealing in a 1941 kind of way. And you?

That's one of the things I like about Schuman's music. It makes me think of big cars with tail fins, men in fedoras, and Edward Hopper paintings.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2013, 06:39:38 AM
Have I yet listened to the Fourth?

Lemme put her on, and see if I recognize her.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2013, 07:15:18 AM
I like it very well (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg718130.html#msg718130); and I think Schwarz and Seattle come through nicely.

[ ... ]

Like I said, it may be his weakest, but it's still as good as many others' finest efforts. I think it's quaintly appealing in a 1941 kind of way. And you?

The piece does the composer more than mere credit.  Ought to be programmed!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 21, 2013, 05:23:57 PM
I like it very well (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg718130.html#msg718130); and I think Schwarz and Seattle come through nicely.

The piece does the composer more than mere credit.  Ought to be programmed!

I think it, and No.5, remind me of Piston. I listened again to that whole Albany disc of Piston 4, Schuman 6, and Harris 7. I love the giant slab of the Schuman 6: perhaps it's his first 'Late' Work?,... it has a lot of what becomes standard in 7, 8, & 9.

(Schuman's) 4 & 5 definitely belong to the earlier era, in this respect. Even No.3 seems more 'advanced' than 4 or 5, but, as I said, 4 & 5 are two of Piston's greatest, haha! I'm not saying there's 'weakness',... his later work is just so much more advanced.



Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 21, 2013, 05:38:53 PM
Symphony No.7

The winds are given such cooling and thick icy chords here, following 6's lead. This whole Symphony to me sounds like a massive 'American' Symphony of post-WWII character, very Industrial sounding. If No.6 is a 'Requiem for the 20th Century', then surely No.7 is affirmation.

I have always loved the Mazaal(?), though I chose the the Abramavel(?) over the icy and delicious NewWorld sound. I would probably be willing to get the NewWorld back, and I'd surely like to hear the Naxos.

Some say No.7 is predictable Schuman (and know nothing Reviewers at Amazon trash him), but I love it verve, and the wonderful brass. It was written in 1960 for Boston's 75th. It's one of the last pre-JFK American Symphonies; it's sentiments I find wonderfully nostalgic.

I'm starting to like Schuman and Sessions equally, like two sides of a coin.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 22, 2013, 06:44:48 AM
Symphony No.7

The winds are given such cooling and thick icy chords here, following 6's lead. [enticing description snypped]

Is this as good or interesting as the 6th in your view? If so, I'll have to pick up that Abravanel (assuming nobody has scooped me on that).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 22, 2013, 07:50:15 AM
Is this as good or interesting as the 6th in your view? If so, I'll have to pick up that Abravanel (assuming nobody has scooped me on that).

Short answer: No, but...

6 has its own special thing which makes it so good. Obviously every Symphony can't be the top-of-the-mountain, otherwise there'd be no sides or valleys. Like I said about 4: if all you heard were 4, and I said it was the 'weakest', you'd be pretty impressed, no? Same here. 7 is not 6, BUT!...

The 'cooling, icy' stuff IS what 7 is made of, though, and, in a way, it's solid, expansiveness is what rocks me. With the sonics of the NewWorld (I still prefer Abramavel), the music sounds like the delicious wave of icy coolness that you get when you open your freezer door on a hot day! OF COURSE!, this is ME speaking,... anyhow, the coolness I feel here is perfected in the introductions to both 8 & 9 (the 'mining' sound).

7 reminds me of Florida: flat, tropical Americana,... humid with afternoon storms outside, cool air conditioning inside,... the people of 1960 (when it was written) playing in the park by the beach,... Dragnet,... oh, I'm drifting,...

If 6 was written in 1949, and 7 in 1960, think about how Schuman's 'American Imagery' changed over the course of the '50s. If 6 was valedictory, 7 bursts on the scene in fully recovered vigor. Sure it's 'just' Schuman, but it's Schuman invigorated with the idealism of the '50s (soon to be crushed with JFK, etc.,...).

I feel like I'm overstating my case, but, for me personally, this Symphony is the epitome of pre-JFK sentiment that really speaks to the naivete of the 'American Dream'. I would DIG for the tragedy in this one,... I'd pair it with Harris's 3rd!! :o
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:07:13 AM
Cooling, icy reminds you of Florida? (Just checking . . . .)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:10:24 AM
Cuing up the Seventh even now . . . .
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 22, 2013, 08:15:11 AM
the music sounds like the delicious wave of icy coolness that you get when you open your freezer door on a hot day!

Well, that sounds wonderful now that we're heading into summer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 22, 2013, 08:16:49 AM
Cooling, icy reminds you of Florida? (Just checking . . . .)

Air conditioned car looking at scenery!!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:21:18 AM
Air conditioned car looking at scenery!!

Well done!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 22, 2013, 08:22:11 AM
Undertow
Night Journey
Judith


I don't know how much I'm liking this 1959 recording of 'Judith'. Is it the music or mono sound I don't like? (First Edition FECD-0011) I haven't heard 'Undertow' (EMI) or 'Night Journey' (CRI).

Schuman has a LOT of minor celebratory pieces that I'm not even interested in. The Ballets,... what do you like?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 22, 2013, 08:26:34 AM
Does anyone have both RCA and Naxos on the 10th? Thoughts?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:30:37 AM
Solamente Naxos here.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:50:34 AM
Undertow
Night Journey
Judith


I don't know how much I'm liking this 1959 recording of 'Judith'. Is it the music or mono sound I don't like? (First Edition FECD-0011) I haven't heard 'Undertow' (EMI) or 'Night Journey' (CRI).

Schuman has a LOT of minor celebratory pieces that I'm not even interested in. The Ballets,... what do you like?

Judith in the Naxos box I find beautiful.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 22, 2013, 08:52:45 AM
Hm, what's up with his withdrawing the later ballets, Voyage for a Theatre (1953) and The Witch of Endor (1965)?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 23, 2013, 05:25:07 AM
Solamente Naxos here.

I only have RCA. Listened again. Any sound issues I had were corrected with the volume knob!

That's a BIG slow movement!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 24, 2013, 06:20:22 AM
In Praise of Shahn
To Thee Old Cause


I'm curious about that Bernstein/Sony. Anyone on these pieces?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on May 24, 2013, 03:02:38 PM
I've heard In Praise of Shahn, which is excellent. I don't know the other one, though. Hard to be disappointed with Schuman's programmatic works, though.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on May 25, 2013, 08:19:08 AM
I've heard In Praise of Shahn, which is excellent. I don't know the other one, though. Hard to be disappointed with Schuman's programmatic works, though.

I'm having trouble locating Song of Orpheus, Schuman's cello 'concerto'. This seems to be the rarest piece so far???... heard it?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 25, 2013, 09:28:07 AM
I'm having trouble locating Song of Orpheus, Schuman's cello 'concerto'. This seems to be the rarest piece so far???... heard it?

Yes! in this 'un:



It's a beauty.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 25, 2013, 09:49:59 AM
I especially like the dialogue between the oboe and the soloist near the start; a big horn declamation a little ahead of the midpoint; and the writing for the soloist is expert . . . for all the BIG passages, he always gives the soloist space.  The man was a master of the orchestra.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 29, 2013, 03:19:02 PM
Symphony No.7

The winds are given such cooling and thick icy chords here, following 6's lead. This whole Symphony to me sounds like a massive 'American' Symphony of post-WWII character, very Industrial sounding. If No.6 is a 'Requiem for the 20th Century', then surely No.7 is affirmation.

I went ahead and got that Abravanel on vinyl. First listen last night.

I'm not hearing that refrigerator-door icy coldness you talk about. It does sound very industrial though. I would say this is a less focused work than the 6th, but more so than the 8th (which I've never managed to like). More listens needed to come to a verdict.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Dashiell2007 on August 03, 2013, 11:39:14 AM
Coming a bit late to the party. But here are a few thoughts about Schuman and particluarly the 3rd Symphony.
This is my second attempt to come to terms with some Schuman. I was obviously not the the right mood last time as I can't stop listening to him over the past 2 weeks. I've been going through a 20th century American phase and Schuman has hit a nerve. I have listened to all the symphonies but keep returning the the 3rd in Bernstein's recording.
I find it interesting that at the time of it's premiere many people an trouble accepting it as a true symphony due to it's baroque influence and particularly it's section titles.
Personally I was most drawn to it because of the titles. I find composers who seem to attempt to fuse elements of different eras most intriguing.
In the case of this symphony it seems to work particularly well. Just because each section has a baroque starting point does not make it unsuitable as a symphonic movement. Indeed there is much in the symphony that shows the continual development of material that has become the norm for 20th century symphonic writing.
Indeed the fact that Schuman uses baroqie forms to contain this developmental process seems to me the essence of a symphony.
There are so many wonderful moments within this symphony but I would like to highlight just a few.
The opening building of tension as the passacaglia subject is introduced at a higher pitch each time is wonderful and creates a very expectant opening.
The moment in the fugue when the rest of the orchestra stops leaving just a polyphonic texture of woodwind I find breathtaking.
The wonderful section in the toccata scored for woodwind playing a modal medlody with rhythm provided by snare drum with the snare off is my favourite moment. I can't quite tell why but it seems to drag us back in time and I love it.
I'm intrigued by the section in the toccata for strings which is in effect a cadenza for the whole string section. Very unusual and very striking. Particularly the pizzicato chords. It sets up the final chase to the end brilliantly.
Well, there are just a few reasons why I like Schuman at the moment.

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 03, 2013, 02:57:01 PM

In the case of this symphony it seems to work particularly well. Just because each section has a baroque starting point does not make it unsuitable as a symphonic movement. Indeed there is much in the symphony that shows the continual development of material that has become the norm for 20th century symphonic writing.
Indeed the fact that Schuman uses baroqie forms to contain this developmental process seems to me the essence of a symphony.

I agree with this. The combination of baroque forms and modernistic style is one of the things that makes this piece so impressive (new wine in old bottles).

Meanwhile my own Schumanistic exploration is continuing. I got hold of the old LP with A Song of Orpheus, played by Leonard Rose with Szell/Cleveland. A very nice work, lyrical but with enough grit to keep things interesting.

BTW the flip side is Barber's Piano Concerto, which sounds quite aggressive and Bartokian, very unlike his popular Violin Concerto. I think I prefer the PC, in fact.

The interesting thing about this album is that both composers are playing against type: Barber more modern and dissonant than usual, and Schuman more restrained and romantic than usual.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on August 03, 2013, 03:18:59 PM
BTW the flip side is Barber's Piano Concerto, which sounds quite aggressive and Bartokian, very unlike his popular Violin Concerto. I think I prefer the PC, in fact.

The interesting thing about this album is that both composers are playing against type: Barber more modern and dissonant than usual, and Schuman more restrained and romantic than usual.

Barber's Piano Concerto has always been a huge favorite of mine. I've always liked harsher Barber more than romantic, gushy Barber. Give me the Piano Concerto and 3rd Essay over the Violin Concerto and symphonies any day.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: kyjo on August 03, 2013, 05:47:26 PM
Let me just put a plug in for Schuman's music. He is one of my favorite American composers, and, in my view, one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century. I love the exciting rhythmic drive and dark emotional intensity of his music. Symphonies 3-5, the Violin Concerto and the New England Triptych are vigorous, immediately appealing works which first made me fall in love with Schuman's music. The later symphonies are tougher nuts to crack, having passages of dense dissonance, but they have a craggy power which was revealed to me on subsequent listenings which is very powerful. And boy, did Schuman write some great timpani parts! Just listen to the Toccata from Symphony no. 3 or the second movement of the VC and you'll see what I mean! I really wish someone would resurrect the withdrawn first two symphonies to give us a better picture of Schuman's development as a composer.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 03, 2013, 06:12:03 PM
Good to see another Schuman fan! I love all those works you mentioned, but I also love Credendum, Prayer in Time of War, Night Journey, Undertow, among others.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: kyjo on August 03, 2013, 06:29:35 PM
I also love Credendum, Prayer in Time of War, Night Journey, Undertow, among others.

As do I :) I just didn't feel like listing out all the Schuman works I love because I love so many of them :D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 03, 2013, 06:56:25 PM
As do I :) I just didn't feel like listing out all the Schuman works I love because I love so many of them :D

Certainly! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: lescamil on August 03, 2013, 07:41:51 PM
Don't forget Schuman's Piano Concerto, which is a sadly overlooked work of his. He shows that he can write with more economical forces and still give great support to the soloist. His usage of bitonality in the middle movement is particularly beautiful, and the angular themes in the outer movements are among his most infectious that he has written. This work needs to be revived, and it could use another recording, not that there is anything wrong with John McCabe and Gary Steigerwalt's recordings (the latter is my preferred one).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: kyjo on August 03, 2013, 07:52:10 PM
Don't forget Schuman's Piano Concerto, which is a sadly overlooked work of his. He shows that he can write with more economical forces and still give great support to the soloist. His usage of bitonality in the middle movement is particularly beautiful, and the angular themes in the outer movements are among his most infectious that he has written. This work needs to be revived, and it could use another recording, not that there is anything wrong with John McCabe and Gary Steigerwalt's recordings (the latter is my preferred one).

Another fine Schuman work, that. I really enjoy its interesting use of counterpoint and elements of jazz.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on August 05, 2013, 06:10:45 AM
I went ahead and got that Abravanel on vinyl. First listen last night.

I'm not hearing that refrigerator-door icy coldness you talk about. It does sound very industrial though. I would say this is a less focused work than the 6th, but more so than the 8th (which I've never managed to like). More listens needed to come to a verdict.

You say 'industrial',... I'm probably getting the 'refrigeration' image from that same place,... 'Objective' instead of 'Subjective',... hence, the 'distance',... the 'coldnees'. I suppose we agree, just different descriptions for 'Objective'??

But, I was thinking, and this 'industrial' piece really does come across as a perfect 'Corporate' Music of the '50s, when America was bustling. I wonder what it would sound like TODAY??, haha... uh?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 14, 2014, 08:19:04 PM
Dear Mr. Schwarz,

Will you for the love of all things musically good please go back into the studio with the Seattle Symphony and record the ballet Undertow? I'm begging you!

Sincerely,


John
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 20, 2014, 07:23:13 PM
I was at this concert last night:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, violinist
Barber: School for Scandal Overture
Schuman: Symphony No. 6
Bates: Violin Concerto
Gershwin: An American in Paris

The whole concert was great, but this being the Schuman thread, I'm going to restrict myself to the performance of the 6th Symphony. Slatkin gave a brief talk about the piece, with "what to listen for" examples played by the orchestra. He also made a statement in favor of playing not only more Schuman but also other composers of his period and ilk (Piston, Mennin, Hanson and the like). With that, I can heartily agree.

The performance was excellent. There was some great solo work from flute and timpani, indeed from pretty much every part of the orchestra, with the brass giving their usual industrial-strength efforts. Slatkin's control over the structure was solid throughout, with a very strong feeling of buildup especially in the second half towards the desperate-sounding climactic peaks and valleys before the whole thing subsided into a chilly ending.

One interesting thing I noticed was the clash of orchestral sections in some parts, overlapping and contending in rhythm, which had a sort of proto-Elliott Carter sound. This was one of the things Slatkin had highlighted in his preliminary examples.

The sold-out audience was very enthusiastic about this tough but great American symphony. I was sitting in my favorite place behind the orchestra, and got the full force of brass and percussion. Could a Schuman revival be in the works? One can only hope.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 20, 2014, 07:31:04 PM
Excellent news, Velimir. I'm sure it was a great concert. Schuman's 6th is great. Granted, it's been quite some time since I've heard it. It would nice if Slatkin recorded a whole Schuman symphony cycle. I know, I know...dreaming yet again. :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 21, 2014, 03:51:01 AM
I was at this concert last night:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, violinist
Barber: School for Scandal Overture
Schuman: Symphony No. 6
Bates: Violin Concerto
Gershwin: An American in Paris

The whole concert was great, but this being the Schuman thread, I'm going to restrict myself to the performance of the 6th Symphony. Slatkin gave a brief talk about the piece, with "what to listen for" examples played by the orchestra. He also made a statement in favor of playing not only more Schuman but also other composers of his period and ilk (Piston, Mennin, Hanson and the like). With that, I can heartily agree.

The performance was excellent. There was some great solo work from flute and timpani, indeed from pretty much every part of the orchestra, with the brass giving their usual industrial-strength efforts. Slatkin's control over the structure was solid throughout, with a very strong feeling of buildup especially in the second half towards the desperate-sounding climactic peaks and valleys before the whole thing subsided into a chilly ending.

One interesting thing I noticed was the clash of orchestral sections in some parts, overlapping and contending in rhythm, which had a sort of proto-Elliott Carter sound. This was one of the things Slatkin had highlighted in his preliminary examples.

The sold-out audience was very enthusiastic about this tough but great American symphony. I was sitting in my favorite place behind the orchestra, and got the full force of brass and percussion. Could a Schuman revival be in the works? One can only hope.

Très cool!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 21, 2014, 10:18:12 AM
I was at this concert last night:

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Anne Akiko Meyers, violinist
Barber: School for Scandal Overture
Schuman: Symphony No. 6
Bates: Violin Concerto
Gershwin: An American in Paris

The whole concert was great, but this being the Schuman thread, I'm going to restrict myself to the performance of the 6th Symphony. Slatkin gave a brief talk about the piece, with "what to listen for" examples played by the orchestra. He also made a statement in favor of playing not only more Schuman but also other composers of his period and ilk (Piston, Mennin, Hanson and the like). With that, I can heartily agree.

The performance was excellent. There was some great solo work from flute and timpani, indeed from pretty much every part of the orchestra, with the brass giving their usual industrial-strength efforts. Slatkin's control over the structure was solid throughout, with a very strong feeling of buildup especially in the second half towards the desperate-sounding climactic peaks and valleys before the whole thing subsided into a chilly ending.

One interesting thing I noticed was the clash of orchestral sections in some parts, overlapping and contending in rhythm, which had a sort of proto-Elliott Carter sound. This was one of the things Slatkin had highlighted in his preliminary examples.

The sold-out audience was very enthusiastic about this tough but great American symphony. I was sitting in my favorite place behind the orchestra, and got the full force of brass and percussion. Could a Schuman revival be in the works? One can only hope.

Am most jealous! Coincidentally I am playing my Naxos CD of Schuman's 6th Symphony this evening. How great to see it in concert. I think that it one of the finest and most searching American symphonies. I even dreamt about meeting William Schuman last night!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 21, 2014, 10:23:45 AM
Did you dream that you were on the panel of What's My Line?, Jeffrey?  :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 21, 2014, 10:50:48 AM
How great to see it in concert. I think that it one of the finest and most searching American symphonies.

I agree with you. And as usually happens, hearing it live brings added dimensions. Here's the Chicago Tribune's review:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-18/entertainment/ct-cso-slatkin-review-20140419_1_mason-bates-william-schuman-cso-debut
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 21, 2014, 11:35:50 AM
Did you dream that you were on the panel of What's My Line?, Jeffrey?  :)

Hehe. Can't remember Karl but I remember that I was very pleased to meet him and disappointed when I woke up!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on April 21, 2014, 11:45:06 AM
I agree with you. And as usually happens, hearing it live brings added dimensions. Here's the Chicago Tribune's review:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-18/entertainment/ct-cso-slatkin-review-20140419_1_mason-bates-william-schuman-cso-debut

Thank you for posting the review. It sounds like it was a great concert and the reviewer is right about those great American composers whose work never appear in concert. I greatly admire Leonard Slatkin and was fortunate enough to hear him conduct Copland's Third Symphony at the Proms in London a few years ago (and it was a fine performance). His Vaughan Williams cycle has a lot to commend it too and it was nice to see him championing a British composer. Tonight I am enjoying Schuman's 'New England Tryptich' in versions conducted by Schwarz (Naxos) and Hanson (Mercury). My iPad predictive text feature wanted to write 'Schwarzenegger' instead of 'Schwarz' and I do wonder what Arnie's recording would be like  8).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 22, 2014, 04:37:47 PM
Thank you for posting the review. It sounds like it was a great concert and the reviewer is right about those great American composers whose work never appear in concert. I greatly admire Leonard Slatkin and was fortunate enough to hear him conduct Copland's Third Symphony at the Proms in London a few years ago (and it was a fine performance). His Vaughan Williams cycle has a lot to commend it too and it was nice to see him championing a British composer. Tonight I am enjoying Schuman's 'New England Tryptich' in versions conducted by Schwarz (Naxos) and Hanson (Mercury). My iPad predictive text feature wanted to write 'Schwarzenegger' instead of 'Schwarz' and I do wonder what Arnie's recording would be like  8).

Love New England Triptych. A fine work. The Schwarz is a very good performance. I haven't heard Hanson's, but would like to at some point.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Rons_talking on March 14, 2015, 04:20:44 PM
 Tonight I am enjoying Schuman's 'New England Tryptich' in versions conducted by Schwarz (Naxos) and Hanson (Mercury). My iPad predictive text feature wanted to write 'Schwarzenegger' instead of 'Schwarz' and I do wonder what Arnie's recording would be like  8).
[/quote]

I suppose It would be "New England Tricept".

The 6th S is so powerful a work. I'd love to hear it live!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 14, 2015, 08:12:52 PM
Tonight I am enjoying Schuman's 'New England Tryptich' in versions conducted by Schwarz (Naxos) and Hanson (Mercury). My iPad predictive text feature wanted to write 'Schwarzenegger' instead of 'Schwarz' and I do wonder what Arnie's recording would be like  8).


I suppose It would be "New England Tricept".

The 6th S is so powerful a work. I'd love to hear it live!

I love Schuman's New England Triptych and that Schwarz performance is very good indeed. Give the Slatkin a listen sometime as well. Very fine performance. Have you heard Bernstein's recording of Symphonies 3, 5, & 8 on Columbia with the NY Philharmonic? Definitely give this recording your attention whenever you get the chance. Smoldering performances! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on March 15, 2015, 12:43:41 AM
I love Schuman's New England Triptych and that Schwarz performance is very good indeed. Give the Slatkin a listen sometime as well. Very fine performance. Have you heard Bernstein's recording of Symphonies 3, 5, & 8 on Columbia with the NY Philharmonic? Definitely give this recording your attention whenever you get the chance. Smoldering performances! :)

That Bernstein CD is terrific. I like Ormand's version of No. 6 too, which is my favourite apart from No. 3. Sorry, this question was not aimed at me but thought I'd butt in anyway (am thinking that maybe 'butt' has a different meaning in the USA but perhaps I'm mistaken  8))
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 15, 2015, 06:13:48 AM
That Bernstein CD is terrific. I like Ormand's version of No. 6 too, which is my favourite apart from No. 3. Sorry, this question was not aimed at me but thought I'd butt in anyway (am thinking that maybe 'butt' has a different meaning in the USA but perhaps I'm mistaken  8))

No worries, Jeffrey. :) I haven't heard Ormandy's 6th yet. I'll have to rectify this soon.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 24, 2016, 05:12:25 AM
This may be of some interest:

https://www.youtube.com/v/5qyZo2jgnGo

I really wish television shows like this one still exist.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Heck148 on May 24, 2016, 12:29:34 PM
Love New England Triptych. A fine work. The Schwarz is a very good performance. I haven't heard Hanson's, but would like to at some point.
for NE Triptych - try the old Mitropoulos/NYPO, or Ormandy/Phila...both very fine -

the middle movement - "When Jesus Wept" - features a wonderful duet for bassoon and oboe...NYPO features Wm Polisi and Harold Gomberg, respectively, the Philadelphia features Bernard Garfield and John DeLancie...all great players....
I feel lucky that I've gotten to perform this wonderful piece several times...the Chester passages[mvt III] are great fun, and quite a technical challenge [very high tessitura, very fast]
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 24, 2016, 05:51:14 PM
for NE Triptych - try the old Mitropoulos/NYPO, or Ormandy/Phila...both very fine -

the middle movement - "When Jesus Wept" - features a wonderful duet for bassoon and oboe...NYPO features Wm Polisi and Harold Gomberg, respectively, the Philadelphia features Bernard Garfield and John DeLancie...all great players....
I feel lucky that I've gotten to perform this wonderful piece several times...the Chester passages[mvt III] are great fun, and quite a technical challenge [very high tessitura, very fast]

I'll check out the Ormandy if it isn't too old of a recording. Thanks for your suggestion. It's a great work.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Ken B on May 24, 2016, 06:34:05 PM
This may be of some interest:

https://www.youtube.com/v/5qyZo2jgnGo

I really wish television shows like this one still exist.
Thanks for finding this.
I agree, I wish there were. If you want to know why there aren't look at the discussion on 10 Fav Composers. A culture dedicated to denying there is such a thing as "serious music" or that some music can be great art, or that anyone who thinks so is (insert what James gets called here)  will not support a program like this.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on May 24, 2016, 11:49:11 PM
This may be of some interest:

https://www.youtube.com/v/5qyZo2jgnGo

I really wish television shows like this one still exist.

Looks very interesting and more revelatory that his appearance on 'What's my Line?' (also available on You Tube). I'll watch the above video properly when I have time. Thank you for posting John. 😀
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 25, 2016, 02:31:16 AM
Thanks for finding this.
I agree, I wish there were. If you want to know why there aren't look at the discussion on 10 Fav Composers. A culture dedicated to denying there is such a thing as "serious music" or that some music can be great art, or that anyone who thinks so is (insert what James gets called here)  will not support a program like this.

You're welcome, Ken. I'm not going to launch into a debate with you about our culture, but my line of thinking here is that if there was more exposure to classical music, then perhaps it will bring in some new listeners. Exposure is the key.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 25, 2016, 02:33:54 AM
Looks very interesting and more revelatory that his appearance on 'What's my Line?' (also available on You Tube). I'll watch the above video properly when I have time. Thank you for posting John. 😀

My pleasure, Jeffrey. Yeah, I've see that What's My Line? show with Schuman on it and it's quite something see to a composer on game show.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Heck148 on May 25, 2016, 03:10:43 AM
I'll check out the Ormandy if it isn't too old of a recording. Thanks for your suggestion. It's a great work.
late Ormandy/Phila - when they started recording for RCA - late 60s....I heard them play it live @ Eastman Theater in Rochester...marvelous.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Cato on July 14, 2016, 02:50:21 AM
An article in today's (July 14, 2016) Wall Street Journal tells about the status of several "mid-20th century composers," but focuses mainly on William Schuman:

An excerpt:

Quote
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “midcentury modernism”? My guess is that your average educated American is more than likely to respond with the name of a painter like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko, a building like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, or a piece of furniture like the Eames Lounge Chair. In this country, modernism is a visual phenomenon: It’s something you see. All other manifestations of the modern movement in 20th-century American art take a back seat.

If that generalization strikes you as too broad for comfort, try answering this question: Who were Roy Harris, Peter Mennin, Walter Piston and William Schuman?...

...Schuman actually appeared in 1962 as the mystery guest on the popular TV game show “What’s My Line?” Much of their best music was recorded, and many of those recordings are still in print. Yet I’d be surprised if more than a handful of people reading this column recognize any of their names, nor is their music heard much nowadays. In a column written last month for the Guardian—a British newspaper, mind you— Alan Fletcher cited the following statistic: “Some quick research shows that Harris, Mennin, Piston, Schuman and Elliott Carter (who together wrote more than 100 concert symphonic works) had, in the past five years, a total of just 20 performances by U.S. orchestras.” Four performances apiece. That’s obscurity.

Mr. Fletcher, who runs the Aspen Music Festival, is determined to put America’s mid-century classical-music modernists back on the map. “While we all rightly love 20th-century music from abroad, from Stravinsky to Ravel, for some reason we’re in danger of ignoring so much of our own great music, which is to say our own cultural DNA,” he says in the news release for a new initiative at Aspen called “An American Musical Century.” ...

...Schuman’s “American Festival Overture,” a nine-minute-long piece composed in 1939. Leonard Bernstein, the great champion of the midcentury American modernists, recorded it in 1982 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic...

...I like what (Leonard Bernstein) said about it then: “‘American Festival Overture’ is filled with rip-roaring vitality, and reminds you of kids having a marvelous time in the park….It’s young music. It’s loud, strong, wildly optimistic.”

All true—but there’s more to “American Festival Overture” than that. ...you can also hear an unmistakable touch of Coplandesque lone-prairie melancholy in the sharp-angled yet lyrical melodies that are woven tightly into the piece. That loneliness is an essential part of what it means to be an American, even a city dweller like Schuman, and its presence adds emotional depth to a piece that might otherwise seem extroverted to a fault...

...If I had to choose a single composition that sums up our midcentury modernists in the shortest possible span of time, I’d pick “American Festival Overture.” ...


See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-forgotten-moderns-1468445756 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-forgotten-moderns-1468445756)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2016, 02:55:18 AM
An article in today's (July 14, 2016) Wall Street Journal tells about the status of several "mid-20th century composers," but focuses mainly on William Schuman:

An excerpt:

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-forgotten-moderns-1468445756 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-forgotten-moderns-1468445756)

Cool, thanks!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on July 14, 2016, 03:29:55 AM
Cool, thanks!
Funny I know Schuman and Piston and Harris but have never heard of these that the author thinks the average educated American should know:

Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko, a building like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, or a piece of furniture like the Eames Lounge Chair

Also it is quite inaccurate to characterize Igor Stravinsky as from "abroad" since he spent his last thirty some odd years in the U.S.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on July 14, 2016, 03:30:52 AM
At least Schuman got some attention by the press/public/radio/television (and rightfully so.)
Poor Walter Piston never got what was his due.    :-[

Thank God for the recordings.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on July 14, 2016, 03:34:02 AM
Also it is quite inaccurate to characterize Igor Stravinsky as from "abroad" since he spent his last thirty some odd years in the U.S.

LOL, he was Russian through-and-through, no matter how much time he resided here, like other 'exiles.'  Most definitely 'from abroad.'  Like Schoenberg and many others.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2016, 03:52:13 AM
Certainly an exile, and no blame to him for the limitations of his abilities to "assimilate" (to dare to refer to a term popular among certain of my countrymen);  and he has been honored with his portrait on US postage, for instance.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on July 14, 2016, 04:14:49 AM
Absolutely, but his psychology was 'a Russian.'
I've lived over 2/3'rds of my life now here in the Colonies, but I'm still English - born, bred, raised, no matter that I'm a U.S. citizen.
Moving one's zip code doesn't change your background, if it's been thoroughly established elsewhere.
If Igor had come over aged 5, and grown up in the U.S., I'd call him a native-American. (so to speak)

 :)

If Walter had left in disgust due to the non-attention his music was receiving here, and became a French resident, and gained acclaim, a Frenchman should refer to him as "from abroad" no matter how long he had sampled Paris. (hopefully he'd have gone to Brittany instead)   :P
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 14, 2016, 04:28:12 AM
Absolutely, but his psychology was 'a Russian.'
I've lived over 2/3'rds of my life now here in the Colonies, but I'm still English - born, bred, raised, no matter that I'm a U.S. citizen.
Moving one's zip code doesn't change your background, if it's been thoroughly established elsewhere.
If Igor had come over aged 5, and grown up in the U.S., I'd call him a native-American. (so to speak)

 :)

If Walter had left in disgust due to the non-attention his music was receiving here, and became a French resident, and gained acclaim, a Frenchman should refer to him as "from abroad" no matter how long he had sampled Paris. (hopefully he'd have gone to Brittany instead)   :P

Colonies? what's that?

Yes and no to your post. It depends on how much the composer assimilates himself to the new environment. With Stravinsky, I'd say the assimilation was greater than with Schoenberg. In literature, Joseph Conrad was born in Poland in 1857, didn't speak English fluently until his 20s, and was granted British citizenship in 1886. But he is part of English literature.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 14, 2016, 05:11:49 AM
An article in today's (July 14, 2016) Wall Street Journal tells about the status of several "mid-20th century composers," but focuses mainly on William Schuman:

I heard the Schuman 6th a couple years ago at the CSO, and next month I'll hear the Harris 3rd and Piston 2nd at Grant Park. Anecdotal, but it gives me some hope that a revival might be in the works.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 14, 2016, 05:16:27 AM
I heard the Schuman 6th a couple years ago at the CSO, and next month I'll hear the Harris 3rd and Piston 2nd at Grant Park. Anecdotal, but it gives me some hope that a revival might be in the works.

All strong pieces, great news.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on July 14, 2016, 06:07:21 AM
Yes, it is - but it seems only a city the size of Chicago, or L.A., or New York - or along those lines - can get enough behinds-in-seats to stage such events for these relatively unknown composers.

I know Charlotte couldn't profitably do it - perhaps not even Atlanta?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 14, 2016, 07:27:46 AM
Yes, it is - but it seems only a city the size of Chicago, or L.A., or New York - or along those lines - can get enough behinds-in-seats to stage such events for these relatively unknown composers.

I know Charlotte couldn't profitably do it - perhaps not even Atlanta?

No, not Atlanta either if you look at their subscription series. But as you and Terry Teachout both admit, recordings are still widely available. And in a culture where most of us derive our musical experiences primarily from recordings, how significant is it that this music is being performed live in places like Chicago or Aspen which most of us will not be visiting for these occasional events? Very nice that Archaic can get to hear Harris 3 in Grant Park, but it's not going to make me book a flight for a 20-minute symphony I can hear perfectly well on either Bernstein recording. And therefore as long as the recordings exist and are the primary means of musical exposure for most of us, complaints about the lack of live performances are secondary. Yet some of us continue to fasten on live performance as being of primary importance, when in fact the existence of recordings changes everything.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Post by: snyprrr on November 28, 2016, 08:58:15 AM
Symphony No.4 (1941)

Surely this is the most underrated of Schuman's Symphonies. Who didn't love the opening the first time they heard, presumably, the Louisville/Whitney recording of yore?

The first movement builds, ending in a climax I have to call "opulent", with a hint of .. is it "orientalism" (not "asian", more of the Bruckner type of "non Viennese" melodic??). The slow movement reeks of the hushed and cloudy dinner tables across the heartland, which echoes the same sentiment found in the opening of his 3rd, a feeling that no one captures better than Schuman. I do long to hear the new Albany remake, as one can hear the woodwinds clicking away when things are at their quietest. The finale...

No.4 is undoubtedly the most "pastoral" of Schuman's "7", hence, it has always languished in the shadow of No.3. Sure, maybe it's a little "toned down", but, then again, the war was two years old by this time. I can really see no reason to criticize this work, and would love to hear another Great American 'Pastorale'.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Post by: Mirror Image on November 28, 2016, 11:29:41 AM
Symphony No.4 (1941)

Surely this is the most underrated of Schuman's Symphonies. Who didn't love the opening the first time they heard, presumably, the Louisville/Whitney recording of yore?

The first movement builds, ending in a climax I have to call "opulent", with a hint of .. is it "orientalism" (not "asian", more of the Bruckner type of "non Viennese" melodic??). The slow movement reeks of the hushed and cloudy dinner tables across the heartland, which echoes the same sentiment found in the opening of his 3rd, a feeling that no one captures better than Schuman. I do long to hear the new Albany remake, as one can hear the woodwinds clicking away when things are at their quietest. The finale...

No.4 is undoubtedly the most "pastoral" of Schuman's "7", hence, it has always languished in the shadow of No.3. Sure, maybe it's a little "toned down", but, then again, the war was two years old by this time. I can really see no reason to criticize this work, and would love to hear another Great American 'Pastorale'.

David Diamond's Symphonies 3 & 4 (both written in 1945) are great examples of "American Pastorales'. I'm sure you've heard at least Diamond's 4th.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 28, 2016, 01:37:49 PM
Symphony No.4 (1941)

Surely this is the most underrated of Schuman's Symphonies.

I confess I like his Fourth more than his Third (of the Thirds that vie for the title Great American Symphony...Copland, Schumann, Harris...my vote goes to Harris). Your hearing it as a pastoral, though, I can't understand. I'm listening to it now and I hear not a single cow pat  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 29, 2016, 04:40:50 AM
I'm going to have to have a listen now! A nice relaxing,pastoral symphony. Ooh,goody gum drops,I can't wait! :)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 29, 2016, 05:10:04 AM
(http://i1362.photobucket.com/albums/r688/dinasman/1462821_zps4ik6cxtk.jpg)

This is the cd I have. The fill-ups are quite interesting. I think the 'Epilogue To Profiles in Courage: JFK' by Roy Harris is one of his best compositions. The Becker I really could do without!!! I could add the all Schuman First Edition cd to my collection! The Schwarz Naxos cd couples the Fourth with one of Schuman's thorniest. I might be better off buying that? Which is the best performance,I wonder? I don't mind old recordings,as long as the sound isn't too dry. I like the Albany cd of Ormandy's recordings of Piston,Harris & Schuman symphonies,for example. Conversely,Alsop's recoring of the Harris Fifth was just plain flabby. I'd rather listen to the old Louisville recording,any day!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on November 29, 2016, 05:54:34 AM
Now on YT!

https://youtu.be/VDbzzYKLSiE

(https://img.discogs.com/ZN0SMaxxHEIX1MkQ6Qy84hL_vMw=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-8773224-1468467554-8471.jpeg.jpg)

Lovely!

P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 29, 2016, 06:22:08 AM
Just realised,there is another recording of the Fourth,coupled with a Piano Concerto,on Albany!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 29, 2016, 06:24:11 AM
Whoo! :o And it's expensive! I'll have to give that one a miss for now!!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Heck148 on November 29, 2016, 06:37:29 AM
Just realised,there is another recording of the Fourth,coupled with a Piano Concerto,on Albany!

Schwarz/Seattle recorded it as well - on Naxos, with Sym #9. fine disc
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 29, 2016, 07:36:15 AM
Yes,I was aware of that one. I'd rather stick to a cd of his earlier music for the time being,though (Says he,trying to resist!! ;D) As soon as I buy the First Edition cd of the old Louisville recordings (and the Delos Tribute to William Schuman,'cos it was cheap! ;D) I find the Albany cd of the Fourth much cheaper! Sods law!! :( ;D I usually find the old Louisville recordings to be pretty good,though. Not Ormandy,or Bernstein,but they have atmosphere. The mix of mono and stereo recordings on some of the cds,can be a bit of a pain,though!
I'm listening to Schuman's Fourth now. I do like this music. Unfortunately,I've been too busy to listen that attentively. Perhaps now?!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2016, 07:31:34 PM
Sods law!! :( ;D

The CDCDCD Thread awaits you! ;)

So, how does the newer recording fare? The slow mvmt. is two minutes quicker (6 vs 8), but, the sample didn't seem rushed. I can only imagine that the outer movements... wait, the first mvmt. is on YT!! Yes, it sooounds great, but, what do you hear?

Oh- Sarge-

When I said 'Pastoral', I guess I meant it in the "Oklahoma" way- flat, no pat. Schuman reminds me of "the land of unwalled villages" where there are storm clouds brewing, much like I imagine the heartland was tentative when WWII broke out (1941). There is a peaceful, pastoral quality, but, there is something amiss. It's that "tragic" quality we hear in Harris's 3rd.- joy, yet tragedy... mmm???

I'm glad everyone rushed to their Libraries and took a listen! ;)


I WANT A DETAILED COMPARISON BETWEEN VERSIONS!!!!! EXPECT IT AT Oh, eight hundred!!!!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992) ME NO LIKE THE 9TH
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2016, 07:34:28 PM
Anyone else have massive problems with the 9th? iT JUST BUILDS TOO HYSTERICALLY for me (whoops)... whereas the 8th has many of the same ideas but has a more even keel to it. Yes, I know what the 9th is about, but, meh, - eh....
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on November 30, 2016, 02:40:18 AM
The third IS generally more contemplative than the third. It has been described as Coplandesque (or something like that?!!) and I can hear that ! No cowpats,but I can see what snyprrr means. He isn't saying it's a US equivalent to VW's third,in other words; Copland isn't rolling over & over in buffalo pats,or whatever they have or do (I don't really want to know!! ???) over there! Roy Harris No 5 strikes me as being along similar lines. So yes,I can see what (hear what!) snyprrr means.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on November 30, 2016, 02:51:39 AM
Learn more about the 7th symphony.

https://youtu.be/ZRPHGUrHjAo

P.

...nobody likes that "pastoral" viola concerto?

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: snyprrr on November 30, 2016, 06:29:52 AM
Learn more about the 7th symphony.

https://youtu.be/ZRPHGUrHjAo

P.

...nobody likes that "pastoral" viola concerto?

ouch, that's an hour looong...

Wait... what Viola Concerto????huh??


I would also call the 7th "Industrial"... the 6th would be his "Grand Canyon"...

The third IS generally more contemplative than the third. So yes,I can see what (hear what!) snyprrr means.

You know, they'll call you crazy for this! ;) :laugh: However, I approve that message, lol!!




I'll be taking the 5th with me today ( not "A" fifth!!!)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 30, 2016, 06:45:18 AM
Oh- Sarge-

When I said 'Pastoral', I guess I meant it in the "Oklahoma" way- flat, no pat. Schuman reminds me of "the land of unwalled villages" where there are storm clouds brewing, much like I imagine the heartland was tentative when WWII broke out (1941). There is a peaceful, pastoral quality, but, there is something amiss. It's that "tragic" quality we hear in Harris's 3rd.- joy, yet tragedy... mmm???

I WANT A DETAILED COMPARISON BETWEEN VERSIONS!!!!! EXPECT IT AT Oh, eight hundred!!!!


I originally thought you meant "pastoral" in the Delian sense, or like VW or G. Butterworth. I'll listen again with your new explanation in mind. (Afraid I can't help you with comparisons as I only have Schwarz.)

Sarge
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on November 30, 2016, 07:02:41 AM


Wait... what Viola Concerto????huh??

It is there, go one page up.... Great work : "On old English rounds"  - solo viola, orchestra and small women's chorus. I never understood why the Bernstein/McInnes recording never made it to cd.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/VDbzzYKLSiE/hqdefault.jpg)

Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 30, 2016, 05:01:16 PM
Anyone else have massive problems with the 9th?

No: no problem whatever.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 30, 2016, 05:04:12 PM
It is there, go one page up.... Great work : "On old English rounds"  - solo viola, orchestra and small women's chorus. I never understood why the Bernstein/McInnes recording never made it to cd.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/VDbzzYKLSiE/hqdefault.jpg)

Is it some other recording which is in the Concertos &c. box?
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: pjme on December 01, 2016, 12:57:49 AM
I know only of one other recording/performance on YT:


https://youtu.be/K41oUHXyEGE

William Schuman Viola Concerto(complete) by Dr.Eun Hwan Bai
1985 December Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York,
Juilliard Orchestra, Juilliard Chorus, Conductor; Jorge Mester
William Schuman's 75th Birthday Anniversary Special Concert

P.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 20, 2019, 10:48:43 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!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2019, 11:32:24 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!

This is a symphony I’ve come to appreciate more and more. It’ll be strange to see it conducted by Muti, but I suppose the symphony’s Italian origins resonated with him? I really love when there’s some kind of a war-related musical theme, because this particular topic in musical terms, in a lot of cases, makes for great listening, but I’d imagine even if you didn’t know a piece of music’s origins, it would come across sounding rather similarly. I’ll have to look into CSO’s programs for this season.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on January 21, 2019, 11:19:34 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
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on January 21, 2019, 12:43:39 PM
Well,okay......maybe,tough for me?!! ::) ;D
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen on January 21, 2019, 12:47:25 PM
Well,okay......maybe,tough for me?!! ::) ;D

6 and 3 remain my special favourites.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 21, 2019, 05:40:48 PM
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

If you’re looking for a ‘tough’ work, then Schuman’s 9th will most definitely fit the bill. I found the music from the first couple of listens to be impenetrable, but then I realized that this work does have a lyricism to it that is deep underneath the gruff exterior of the music. As I said, it took me some time to appreciate it. The 8th was much easier for me to digest as its' language wasn’t as hard-boiled as the the 9th’s. The 10th is pretty good, but I won’t lie and tell you it’s a favorite. It has some good moments, but compared to the 9th, it sounds almost like the composer was consciously going for something more jovial in mood, which really sounds like a cop out in a way. I wish he had one more symphony in him before passing away.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn on January 22, 2019, 06:02:33 AM
I bought the Slatkin recording,of the tenth,incidentally. I already have a recording of the Seventh,which I'm perefectly happy with (Maazel) and I quite,like the Balada work,it's paired with. I also,thought that if I didn't like the symphony,the other pieces would be enjoyable. I also liked the artwork! ::) ;D Slatkin isn't one of my favourite conductors,but I still,wish RCA/BMG, could have done a few more in that series. Some David Diamond,Roy Harris,for instance?!!
Schuman's Ninth sounds very intriguing! Is it tougher than Mennin's eighth or Ninth! I find myself liking those more,recently. Although,'liking',may be the wrong word! (Appreciating!) Particularly,his eighth. Some people feel his earlier symphonies were finer,though. Walter Piston seems to have got a bit tougher later on,too. And David Diamond!
I find it a little shocking that Piston's later symphonies are only available in ancient (albeit,good,or,should I say,serviceable?) recordings! America needs a label like Chandos,to promote their key composers. Also,while here in the Uk,we have complete cycles of British composers;there is no such equivalent in the case of Walter Piston,David Diamond,Roy Harris,or even Paul Creston,for instance? Okay,you might not like,or have reservations,about,one or more,of these composers;but you could say the same for some British composers,who have received the accolade of complete cycles.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 22, 2019, 07:33:19 AM
I bought the Slatkin recording,of the tenth,incidentally. I already have a recording of the Seventh,which I'm perefectly happy with (Maazel) and I quite,like the Balada work,it's paired with. I also,thought that if I didn't like the symphony,the other pieces would be enjoyable. I also liked the artwork! ::) ;D Slatkin isn't one of my favourite conductors,but I still,wish RCA/BMG, could have done a few more in that series. Some David Diamond,Roy Harris,for instance?!!
Schuman's Ninth sounds very intriguing! Is it tougher than Mennin's eighth or Ninth! I find myself liking those more,recently. Although,'liking',may be the wrong word! (Appreciating!) Particularly,his eighth. Some people feel his earlier symphonies were finer,though. Walter Piston seems to have got a bit tougher later on,too. And David Diamond!
I find it a little shocking that Piston's later symphonies are only available in ancient (albeit,good,or,should I say,serviceable?) recordings! America needs a label like Chandos,to promote their key composers. Also,while here in the Uk,we have complete cycles of British composers;there is no such equivalent in the case of Walter Piston,David Diamond,Roy Harris,or even Paul Creston,for instance? Okay,you might not like,or have reservations,about,one or more,of these composers;but you could say the same for some British composers,who have received the accolade of complete cycles.

I agree that the US needs a label like Chandos to focus on American composers like all of those you mentioned. I’d say only Copland, Barber, and Ives have been given the royal treatment both here and abroad in terms of almost all of their outputs being recorded (some twice or three times over). Fortunately, these composers like Schuman, Harris, Diamond, Piston, Creston, Mennin, among others have had some luck on record, but there’s never been a full-blown series where all of their music gets recorded. Naxos, Albany, and Delos certainly tried to record more and more American music, but only Naxos is still really going strong, but their focus seems to have shifted in more recent years to pretty much standard repertoire, but they still record unknown composers, which is a great thing, but I just wished their ‘American Classics’ series would be a bit more kind to the afore mentioned composers.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn 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?!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn 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!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia 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.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Oznel1WBTyo/maxresdefault.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: cilgwyn 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!! :( >:(
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 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.


(http://www.bmop.org/sites/default/files/styles/musician_detail_page_full/public/schuman.jpg)
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 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.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on August 25, 2020, 06:26:54 AM
Re: "Undertow"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI0am0WSm44&t=101s
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen 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!
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 on August 25, 2020, 11:54:23 AM
Heh.  A definite case of GotSoMuchStuffCan'tRememberWhatIHavitis.
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: vandermolen 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).
Title: Re: William Schuman (1910-1992)
Post by: Scion7 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.