“I Really Hope This Piece Will Have a Major Life Beyond Dallas.”

On Thursday, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will world premiere composer Steven Stucky and librettist Gene Scheer's August 4, 1964, which is about one day in the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson -- the day Johnson order the first bombing of North Vietnam, and the day the bodies of slain civil rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were discovered in Mississippi. The DSO commissioned the oratorio, which Jaap van Zweden will conduct, on the occasion of the Texan's 100th birthday, and this morning it garners front-page Arts & Leisure attention in The New York Times, which notes that the DSO "may have gotten more than it bargained for: a 70-minute oratorio with implicit reverberations about another war propelled by faulty intelligence, prosecuted by another Texan." Which, say the piece's creators, wasn't their intention. --Robert Wilonsky

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