William Grant Still wrote Three Visions to represent three stages of spiritual life. The first part, called Dark Horsemen, represents “an image of death and divine judgment”. Summerland is the second part, and it was written to represent “Heaven of life-after-death.” The final part, Radiant Pinnacle, represents reincarnation. For some souls, this means reincarnation happens over and over, allowing the soul to slowly achieve godly perfection. 

I enjoyed learning and performing Summerland, the second part of this suite. It stands out to me because of its simple, expressive melody and harmony, as well as its astonishing originality. The piece has a sort of meditative motion, and for some people, Summerland is used as a kind of music therapy. According to Still’s daughter, he would play this piece as a way to calm down or relieve stress. 

Summerland is William Grant Still’s most famous piece. It is the only one of the Visions that he wrote in different instrumental combinations. He wrote nine other versions of Summerland including an ensemble of wind instruments and harp. An interesting fact about Summerland is that it was originally written in G flat major, but changed to G major to make it easier for pianists to play. The wind and harp version however was put back in the original key of G flat.

0 0 votes
Post Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dr. Jeriel Jorguenson
Dr. Jeriel Jorguenson(@jeriel-jorguenson)
14 days ago

Picture: The image you chose to represent the piece is quite fitting! It shows the summer time, but it is also as contemplative as the spiritual aspect that Still wanted. Intro: Great intro description! I especially appreciated the personal connection you wrote about, telling how this piece is important to you. Performance: This was an excellent performance! I could see how much you care about this piece. It was played really sensitively,… Read more »

Rula Mouawad
Rula Mouawad(@rula-mouawad)
1 month ago

Our darling Raphael –

It has been such a delight watching you live the Summerland experience, with impressive steady progress and beautiful expression. You really embodied Grant’s work – we are very proud of you.

Much love and many wishes for upcoming happy piano ventures. Rula (mom)

Hala Freiji Rosteck
Hala Freiji Rosteck(@hala-freiji-rosteck)
Reply to  Rula Mouawad
1 month ago

Amazing performance, full of feeling and expression. What a joy to hear you perform Raphael. Much love and lol the best. Hala

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
26 days ago

Wow! It is very expressive performance. It is lovely performance. Great job, Raphael.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
21 days ago

Raphi, thank you so much for choosing this particular piece for your presentation. Now this lovely performance can go into my personal playlist, as one of my favorites. Since you are a classical pianist and a jazz pianist, did this piece speak to you most from a classical point of view or a jazz point of view? Or both? You’re also a composer – did it inspire any compositions? I’d be interested… Read more »

Lola Mestas
Lola Mestas(@lola-mestas)
18 days ago

This piece is very beautiful and tranquil. Lovely performance!

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
13 days ago

Congratulations on your well-deserved win, Raphael!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
11 days ago

Hello, Raphael. Congratulations on a well deserved win. Keep playing.

Selected Authors may submit comments (5 Credits)x
Scroll to Top

Sharing a Post

Why do my friends need to SignIn to read the post I shared?

Actually, this is a voting security feature. During public voting, only club members can read posts submitted for that contest. Since anyone reading the story is able to vote (click the Like button), we reserve these capabilities to members who SignIn. Before we implemented this security feature, people were voting multiple times and making the public voting process unfair and out of balance. To fix this, our staff finally decided to allow only members who SignIn to read the stories. Membership is free and easy, and ensures our club is safe, secure, and family-friendly!