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SCHUMAN, W.: Symphony No. 8 / Night Journey / IVES, C.: Variations on America (orch. W. Schuman) (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

Composer(s):Ives, CharlesSchuman, William
Artist(s) Schwarz, Gerard, Conductor • Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559651
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Naxos’s acclaimed series of William Schuman’s symphonies concludes with his powerful and at times playful Eighth Symphony, in which the great American composer takes full advantage of the diverse instrumental colors available from a very large orchestra, including two harps, piano, and batteries of brass, wind and percussion instruments. The introspective Night Journey is based on Schuman’s score for Martha Graham’s ballet about Jocasta’s tragic destiny as both mother and wife of Oedipus, while his arrangement of Ives’s popular Variations on ‘America’, again rich in percussion, combines reverence and exuberance.


Review By Robert R. Reilly,,January 2011

…the Naxos label has been doing a great service to American contemporary music (which owes a huge note of thanks to German founder Klaus Heymann) with its American Classics series of CDs. It has issued excellent recordings of what are the acknowledged classics…along those lines, it recently wrapped up its outstanding survey of the complete published symphonies of William Schuman (1910–1992) with the release of Symphony No. 8, accompanied by the ballet Night Journey (Naxos 8.559651). This is not my favorite Schuman (start with the great Symphony No 3), but Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony give superb performances.

Review By Don O’Connor,American Record Guide,July 2010

The general emotional mood of the work is pensive, then triumphal. The harmony is often dissonant, but that dissonance serves expressive ends, orchestrated as it is with sonorities not only fascinating, but beautiful…the sound is fully integrated…

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.


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