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SCHUMAN, W.: Symphony No. 6 / Prayer in a Time of War / New England Triptych (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

Composer(s):Schuman, William
Artist(s) Schwarz, Gerard, Conductor • Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559625
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


‘Whatever meaning my life has is to be found in the music itself’, declared William Schuman of his extraordinary career as a composer and artistic catalyst in the fertile and evolving environment of 20th-century America. His single-movement Symphony No. 6 stands as one of his most intense and integrated, its somberness enlivened with intricate rhythms and startling counterpoint. Prayer in a Time of War and New England Triptych highlight Schuman’s abiding sense of patriotism, the former written soon after America’s entry into World War II, the latter based on hymns from the time of the American Revolution.


Review By Lawrence A Johnson,Gramophone,March 2010

An exceptional recording of the Sixth from Schwarz and his Seattle forces

William Schuman’s Symphony No 6 had a less than rapturous reception at its unveiling in Dallas in 1949. The composer wrote that the audience found the work “utterly without appeal”, and some were so upset they questioned whether Schuman’s commission should even be paid.

This fourth release in Gerard Schwarz’s cycle of the complete Schuman symphonies centres on the craggy Sixth, and offers the chance for a timely re-evaluation of this underrated work.


Review By Robert R. Reilly,,December 2009

By the time William Schuman (1910–1992) was composing, no one mistook American for German music. We had our own idiom by then, a trail blazed by Roy Harris and Aaron Copland. In its “American Classics” series, Naxos is filling out its recordings of Schuman’s eight symphonies—with the Seattle Symphony, under Gerard Schwarz—with the new release of No. 6, along with Prayer in a Time of War and New England Triptych (8.559625). Although I am critical of Schuman’s later symphonies, which I find desiccated, my reservations do not extend to the Sixth, which keeps continuity with his landmark, marvelous Third. New England Triptych truly is an American classic, and the Prayer is nearly one, and very moving. This CD is indispensible for any


Review By Jeff Simon,The Buffalo News,December 2009

William Schuman, Symphony No. 6, Prayer in Time of War and New England Triptych performed by Seattle Symphony and conductor Gerard Schwarz (Naxos). It’s fascinating, to put it mildly, that once upon a time, William Schuman was considered almost a composing apostle of Roy Harris, a specimen 20th century “outsider artist” before such things had a name. While Harris remained what he always was (and, except for this third and sixth symphonies, is seldom played now), Schuman’s full engagement with his era’s musical establishment (he headed Juilliard at one point) has meant that a lot of his work has been recorded and stays available. These performances from Schwarz and the Seattle Orchestra’s Schuman cycle date from as much as 18 years apart—a



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