Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2012 by Fred Flaxman

Program 193
"Still More Still"

MUSIC: Still: excerpt from the opening of the third movement of the Symphony No. 4 (“Autochthonous”) performed by the Fort Smith Symphony conducted by John Jeter [Naxos 8.559603, Track 8] [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman. Stay with me for the next hour and we’ll listen to the third and final hour of symphonic music by the American composer William Grant Still. I’m calling this hour “Still More Still.”

Since I spoke about William Grant Still’s African-American background and life in the first two hours, I’m not going to repeat myself here. That way I hope to get in more of his music, namely two symphonies and a poem for orchestra. All of this may be found on one Naxos compact disc, and it all features the Fort Smith, Arkansas, Symphony conducted by John Jeter.

Let’s start, as the CD does, with Still’s Symphony No. 5, subtitled “Western Hemisphere,” from 1945, revised in 1970.

MUSIC: Still: Symphony No. 5(“Western Hemisphere”) performed by the Fort Smith Symphony conducted by John Jeter [Naxos 8.559603, Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4] [19:37]

William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 5, subtitled “Western Hemisphere.” John Jeter conducted the Fort Smith Symphony.
You are listening to “Still More Still” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the total timing]

William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra, which we’ll hear next, was commissioned by the Kulas American Composers’ Fund for the Cleveland Orchestra at the suggestion of then music director Erich Leinsdorf. The work was first performed in Cleveland with Rudolph Ringwall conducting in 1944, later receiving a New York Philharmonic performance under Artur Rodzinski.

MUSIC: Still: Poem for Orchestra performed by the Fort Smith Symphony conducted by John Jeter [Naxos 8.559603, Track 5] [10:27]

William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra. The Fort Smith Symphony was conducted by John Jeter.

You are listening to “Still More Still” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in the total timing]

William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 4 is subtitled “Autochthonous” [oh-tak-o-anas]. That’s spelled A-u-t-o-c-h-t-h-o-n-o-u-s. It means indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists. I had to look it up myself, and am not sure how it is pronounced. In any case, it is divided into four movements, and to get them all in, I’d better hand you over to John Jeter and the Fort Smith Symphony right now.

MUSIC: Still: Symphony No. 4 (“Autochthonous”) performed by the Fort Smith Symphony conducted by John Jeter [Naxos 8.559603, Tracks 6, 7, 8, and 9] [26:15]

William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 4. The Fort Smith Symphony was conducted by John Jeter.

And that concludes this hour of Compact Discoveries. Thanks for listening.

ANNOUNCER (Steve Jencks): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, and an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by contributions to local public radio stations by listeners like you. Thank you. [0:13]

Total Program Timing: 59:00