Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Leonard Slatkin And Richard Freed On William Schuman, Vaughan Williams, And 'The Spoils Of War'

The Spoils of War
By Leonard Slatkin

"Every country knows its share of tragedy. The devastation of internal and global conflict would seem an unlikely field to produce great works of art. But that is exactly what seemed to happen during and immediately following World War II.

Music has always had a healing effect on public sentiment." ...


Program Note on Prayer in Time of War
By Richard Freed

"Schuman composed this piece in 1942 and it was given its first performance, under the title Prayer—1943, on February 26, 1943, by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner. The National Symphony Orchestra's only performance of this work prior to the present concerts was conducted by Leon Barzin in a Watergate concert on July 4, 1943, a little more than four months after the Pittsburgh premiere and again under the original title."...


"[Leonard Slatkin] says he sees Detroit as a stimulating next chapter, an opportunity to do interesting things musically and once again immerse himself in a community the way he did as director of the St. Louis Symphony in the 1980s and '90s. ...

Not only did Slatkin promise he would work with the [Detroit Symphony Orchestra's] youth ensembles, but he also pledged a much wider engagement.

"Wherever I am, I go into high schools, grade schools, any school that asks me to come, if I have time. I'm available for anything that has to do with education, and I don't take a penny for it." ...

"The American repertoire is so rich and so varied. Does the world need another Beethoven cycle? No, not from anybody. But there is a wealth of American music that hasn't been recorded." ...

The bottom line, of course, will be his salary, which amounted to some $1.2 million in his last reported year with the National Symphony." ...

Lawrence B. Johnson "No done deal but Slatkin wants DSO director job" The Detroit News August 14, 2007

Babiy Yar, Kyiv, Ukraine, 1944. Soviet investigators (at left) inspect an opened grave. William Schuman, an American Jew, composed his Prayer In Time Of War in 1942. Ralph Vaughan Williams composed his Sixth Symphony between 1944 and 1947.

Photo credit: Archival via Wikimedia Commons. Author unknown. Via Soviet archives and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The work belonged to the former Soviet government and is now in the Russian Federation public domain.


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