William Grant Still: Summerland

William Grant Still: Summerland

8.559867 (Naxos, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (27 May 2022)

Playing time: 60'03"
Tracks: 13
Booklet pages: 8
© 2022 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Country of manufacture: United States of America
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of William Grant Still: Summerland published on 29 May 2022

Zina Schiff, violin
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Avlana Eisenberg, conductor

William Grant Still (1895-1978):

1 Can't You Line ’Em (1940)

2 Summerland (3 Visions, No 2, 1936)

3 Quit Dat Fool'nish (1935)

4 Pastorela (1946)

American Suite (circa 1918)
5 Indian Love Song
6 Danse
7 Lament

8 Fanfare for the 99th Fighter Squadron (1945)

9 Serenade (1957)

Violin Suite (1943)
10 African Dancer
11 Mother and Child
12 Gamin

13 Threnody: In Memory of Jean Sibelius (1965)

Recorded 16-17 August 2018 at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow, Scotland.

William Grant Still, the 'Dean of Afro-American Composers', was part of the Harlem Renaissance and wrote nearly two hundred works including nine operas and five symphonies. Still's many awards included three Guggenheim Fellowships and eight honorary doctorates. His work combines Classical forms with jazz and blues idioms and was inspired by the rich tradition of African American spirituals. Still hoped that his music would serve a larger purpose of interracial understanding, and this joyous, moving and hauntingly beautiful programme – featuring all first recordings – is infused with Still's love of God, country, heritage, and even his mischievous dog Shep. Booket notes are written by Zina Schiff alongside conductor, Avlana Eisenberg.