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Orpheus in ManhattanWilliam Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life$
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Steve Swayne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388527.001.0001

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Thirty-One. Bicentennial Fireworks

Thirty-One. Bicentennial Fireworks

Chapter:
(p.463) Thirty-One. Bicentennial Fireworks
Source:
Orpheus in Manhattan
Author(s):

Steve Swayne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388527.003.0032

The National Symphony Orchestra, with Antal Doráti as music director, approached Schuman for a bicentennial commission. Though the scope of the works were necessarily smaller than those Schuman envisioned years earlier—he would not have time to compose one sweeping large work—the commission allowed Schuman not only to write two new compositions, including his Tenth (and final) Symphony, but to revisit his baseball opera, The Mighty Casey, and recast it for concert performance. The ensuing all-Schuman concert was a highlight in Schuman's life, but the effort to create all of this music in so short a time left Schuman exhausted, both physically and musically. He was beginning to slow down.

Keywords:   American bicentennial, National Symphony Orchestra, Antal Doráti, commissions, baseball, old age

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