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This is the world premiere recording of Steven Stucky’s August 4, 1964, a “concert drama” commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to honor the 100th anniversary of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s birth. It received its world premiere Sept.
18, 2008 with Jaap van Zweden conducting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and soloists in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. The work centers on a single day in the Johnson Presidency when President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara decided to escalate the Vietnam conflict, and when the bodies of three slain civil rights workers were discovered in Mississippi.
The libretto by Gene Scheer (Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick; Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy) juxtaposes White House telephone tapes, letters from the slain civil rights workers and their mothers, speeches by President Johnson, and other contemporary sources. Stucky’s music heightens the gripping narrative, which pulses with contemporary relevance. This CD was recorded during live performances in May, 2011 at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Steven Stucky: August 4, 1964
The Saddest Moment (Mrs. Chaney, Mrs. Goodman, McNamara, Chorus)
Historians (Johnson, Chorus)
Oval Office I (McNamara, Johnson, Chorus)
I Wish to Be a Part of that Fight (Chorus)
The Secret Heart of America (Johnson, Mrs. Chaney)
Oval Office II (Johnson, McNamara, Chorus)
Letter from Mississippi (Mrs. Goodman, Johanson, Chorus)
Oval Office III (McNamara, Chorus)
August Fourth (Mrs. Chaney, Mrs. Goodman, Johnson)
Had We Known (Johnson)
What is Precious is Never to Forget (Mrs. Chaney, Mrs. Goodman, McNamara, Johnson, Chorus)