To celebrate America’s bicentennial, the National Symphony of Washington DC commissioned Robert Russell Bennett to write a work and he responded with ‘The Fun and Faith of William Billings’. It appeared on the official souvenir LP recording of the JFK Center for Performing Arts. The LP – and this CD, the first appearance on Decca and mastered from the original tapes – also includes Billings’s own Hymns, as well as William Schuman’s ‘New England Triptych’ is subtitled ‘Three pieces for orchestra after William Billings’. The CD includes the original LP liner notes and complete sung texts.
ROBERT RUSSELL BENNETT
The Fun and Faith of William Billings, American
Be Glad Then America – anthem
When Jesus wept
WILLIAM HOWARD SCHUMAN
New England Triptych
University of Maryland Chorus
Paul Traver, chorus master
National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C.
FIRST RELEASE ON CD
Recording Producer: James Mallinson
Balance Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, Colin Moorfoot, Michael Mailes
Recording Location: Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C., USA, 23–26 & 30 April 1975