Works by African-American Composers
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Expressive, tuneful works by African-American composers.

From the pen (or computer) of a composer to the written and printed page is only the beginning of a meaningful musical passage. The resulting scores must be heard in order for the journey to be complete. Such is possible only when scores are transmitted to listeners by way of interpreters, roles well assumed on this recording by the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, tenor soloist Everett McCorvey and conductor Julius P. Williams. The focus of this compact disc is the music and the five men who wrote the music. African-American composer Arthur Cunningham said, "Call me what you will; call my music music." African-American composer Hale Smith wrote, "We must be a part of the mainstream in this country...We don't even have to be called black. When we stand for our bows, that fact will become clear when it should - after the work has made its own impact." The fact that the five composers on this recording (Adolphus Hailstork, Henry Burleigh, Julius P. Williams, Gary Powell Nash, David N. Baker) are of African descent will become clear only when viewing their photographs. The music should already have made an impact.
Contents:
David Baker, composer
Kosbro
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor


Henry T. Burleigh, composer
The Young Warrior
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor, Everett McCorvey, tenor


Adolphus Hailstork, composer
Symphony No. 1
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor


Gary Powell Nash, composer
In Memoriam: Sojourner Truth
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor


Julius Williams, composer
Is It True
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor, Everett McCorvey, tenor


Julius Williams, composer
Meditation from the Easter Celebration
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Julius Williams, conductor

Review:
"With the exception of Burleigh, these composers are contemporary American academics. They range in age from Nash, a Ph.D. candidate not yet 30, to Baker, Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at Indiana University, who is 62. Adolphus Hailstork's 1988 symphony is a bright, forceful work, written in Stravinsky's neo-classical style for Haydn's orchestra....Composer-conductor Julius P. Williams wrote Easter Celebration in 1993; we get two excerpts from that cantata....Meditation in particular achieves a warm serenity that is quite lovely. Gary Powell Nash's 1992 memorial to Sojourner Truth is a dramatic mixture of Roy Harris Americanism with jazz and gospel elements. It all works beautifully, creating a feeling of uplift and nobility, and rising to several mighty climaxes. This is a stunning piece from such a young composer, promising much for his future....The performances are consistently attentive to the widely varying moods of the music...." (Fanfare)
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