As we mentioned a few weeks back, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra played Carnegie Hall this week as part of the first-ever Spring for Music fest. The piece performed: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky and librettist Gene Scheer's August 4, 1964, the LBJ commission that world-premiered in Dallas on September 18, 2008, and was performed again at the Meyerson Symphony Center for a CD-release recording just last week. And, once again, it receives extremely high praise. From this morning's New York Times:
That [Jaap] van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony are proud of this moving, skillfully written piece was clear at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, when the orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Chorus gave the New York premiere of "August 4, 1964" as part of the Spring for Music festival, in a vivid, glowing and calmly assured performance. Writing a commemorative piece can be a trap-filled assignment. In their bold work, Mr. Stucky and Mr. Scheer explore a stunning, and tragic, coincidence.
WQXR-FM, NYC's classical radio station, broadcast the piece in its entirety, along with a lengthy genesis-of provided by Stucky and Scheer, who discuss that fateful day during the LBJ presidency, when civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney were found dead in Mississippi and the Gulf of Tonkin incident occurred. That broadcast, which is available for download, is also below.
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