Sunday, May 15, 2011

4th Movement of William Grant Still's Symphony No. 5 Is Posted on YouTube

[“William Grant Still (1895 – 1978); Symphony No. 5 Western Hemisphere (1945, rev. 1970) [19:37]; Poem for Orchestra (1944) [10:27]; Symphony No. 4 Autochthonous (1947) [26:15]; Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter”; World Première Recordings; Naxos American Classics 8.559603 [56:24]]

A YouTube video of a performance of the 4th Movement (6:48) of William Grant Still's Symphony No. 5 (Western Hemisphere) was posted on May 15, 2011. This symphony has always deserved to be heard, and Naxos has made that possible with its 2009 release.

On Nov. 26, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “MusicWeb-International Lauds William Grant Still's 'Symphonies 4 & 5' and 'Poem for Orchestra.'” The CD contains the world recording premieres of William Grant Still's Symphony No. 4 (Autochthonous) (26:15), Symphony No. 5 (Western Hemisphere) (19:37) and Poem for Orchestra (10:27). Here are some excerpts from the post:

“Rob Barnett of gives very positive critiques of the three works of William Grant Still, all world premieres, which are performed by the Fort Smith Symphony of Arkansas under John Jeter, conductor, on Naxos American Classics 8.559603 (56:24).” Rob Barnett writes of the Symphony No. 5:

“The four movement Fifth Symphony has a convoluted history but its premiere was given by the Oberlin College Orchestra under Robert Baustian on 9 November 1970. It’s a compact work with the movements dovetailing most naturally. Those with a predilection for folk romantic writing will find this work irresistible. Moments here and there are reminiscent of Hanson, Harris and Gershwin but nothing to suggest a tired imaginative resource – quite the contrary. It has the lovely flowing innocence of the Fourth yet is not without creative tension.” [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory]

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