Still: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 / Jeter, Fort Smith Symphony

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[William Grant Still] was a melodist, and a very good one. The slow movements (and scherzos) of both symphonies are extremely beautiful, graceful, elegant, and sincere. In quicker music he tends to become repetitious; but as if understanding his real strengths, he fills both works with lovely, lyrical tunes at slow to moderate tempos. This makes the quicker music an effective contrast...

The Poem for Orchestra may be the best piece on the disc, and not because it’s less ambitious. In fact, at 10 minutes it lasts longer than any single movement in either symphony, but its contrasting episodes are very effectively structured into a cohesive whole. The Fort Smith (Arkansas) Symphony, not quite a full-time group when last I checked, plays this not-terribly-difficult music warmly and accurately...conductor John Jeter ensures that nothing gets in the way of the listener’s enjoyment[.] Definitely worth a listen if you collect 20th-century American music. (David Hurwitz)

Product Description:

  • Release Date: October 27, 2009

  • Catalog Number: 8559603

  • UPC: 636943960325

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: William Grant Still

  • Conductor: John Jeter

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Fort Smith Symphony