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This disc is the fifth and final release in Naxos’s acclaimed series of William Schuman’s symphonies, and concludes with his powerful and at times playful Eighth Symphony, in which the great American composer takes full advantage of the diverse instrumental colours 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.
William Schuman: Symphony No. 8
I. Lento sustenuto - Pressante vigoroso - Lento
William Schuman: Night Journey
Charles Ives: Variations on America (orch. W. Schuman)
Variations on America (orch. W. Schuman)
“It is not easy music, but Schuman's sincere intensity draws the listener in.”
“William Schuman is a major voice in American symphonic music, and no one investigating these works will be disappointed, as they are exceptionally well played and recorded.”