Monday, May 26, 2008

African Art Music for Flute: Wendy Hymes, flutes, and Darryl Hollister, piano



Shortly before the release of the CD, AfriClassical posted: “African Art Music for Flute: The Music of Ndondana, Nketia, Onovwerosuoke, Tamuzusa, and Uzoigwe”. The recording is AMP Records AGCD 2081 (2008). Today we focus on the performers, Wendy Hymes, flutes, and Darryl Hollister, piano. AfricanChorus.org provides these biographical summaries:

Wendy Hymes holds BA, MM and DMA degrees in music from Principia College, Indiana University and Louisiana State University respectively. Her principal flute teachers have been Marie Garritson Jureit, Jacques Zoon and Katherine Kemler. She has played with Synchronia (a contemporary American music ensemble), St. Louis Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as well as chamber music with leading soloists such as violinist Rachel Barton, the late organist Lucius Weathersby, with whom she collaborated on the Spiritual Fantasy album (Albany Records). Ms. Hymes is known to exert definitive interpretations to standard repertoire from the Baroque era to 20 th-century composers. She sets the pace in intercultural music, especially those by non-European composers from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. She has given over 30 world premieres, including regular feature at the Compositions in Africa & the Diaspora symposia and the Festivals of African & African American Music, and recent Jubilee Celebration Festival in Accra, Ghana. Her doctoral dissertation entitled African Art Music for Flute: Selected Works by African Composers provided the initial inspiration for this CD, and her recent article New Horizons: The World of African Art Music for Flute in the Winter 2008 issue of the Flutist Quarterly (a journal of the National Flute Association) is a continuation of her efforts to give voice to flute repertoire from other parts of the world.

Darryl Hollister received his B.M. and MM from Michigan State University and the New England Conservatory of Music, respectively. He has studied with Ralph Votapek, Deborah Moriarty, and Patricia Zander. He actively serves as accompanist for the Dedham Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Framingham Heritage Chorale, and Commonwealth School Chorus and Chorale, the Boston College Chorale, Nashua Choral Society, and the Boston Concert Opera. A champion of new music and works by African-descent composers, Mr. Hollister has premiered numerous works, including Gyimah Labi’s Baptism of Fire: Symphony Concertante for Three Pianos and Orchestra, Dialects in African Pianism, The Spring of Esentre, Paul Konye’s Concertino Africana for Piano and Orchestra, Gary Nash’s Three Ivory Magnolia Fantasies, and of course, the works on this CD. His piano recitals have been acclaimed at Harvard University, Cambridge University and the University of London, as well as the Kennedy Center.







2 comments:

wlcn said...

This new CD beautifully and colorfully performed by flautist Wendy Hymes and pianist Darryl Hollister is a must buy!
A refreshing addition to the CDs for Flute & Piano, this recording features compositions by composers of African descent and brings to attention the wonderful repertoire out there that should become part of the musical canon. The CD is captivating from beginning to end. It makes for a fabulous recital CD and I certainly hope musicians will seek this music out to perform.
As the statement in the liner note informs "the works presented here offer us a glimpse of the spirit and traditional musics of Africa. The composers' diverse training backgrounds have led each to connect with different African and Western musics, but each has succeeded in finding their own unique voice and how to connect with diverse audiences on multiple continents."
The first tracks are Nigerian composer Fred Onovwerosuoke's " Three Pieces for Flute & Piano". The opening track "Just Before Dawn also includes Narrator Richard Moore; then followed by "Iroro" and "Ayevwiomo". Hymes and Hollister produce a wonderful atmospheric, dancing and trancelike reading of this set.
Bongani Ndodana's "Visions Part I & II" for solo flute performed here with such grace, color and sensitivity by Dr. Hymes, are evocative of the music of South Africa.
The seven movements of "Republic Suite" by JH Kwabena Nketia are performed by the duo. They give a kaleidoscopic performance of music influenced by Ghanaian musical idioms.
The Three pieces by Nigerian composer Joshua Uzoigwe's "Oja Flute Suite" are also phenomenally performed by Wendy Hymes. The first piece is for solo flute and the rest accompanied with piano. Hymes and Hollister are so totally attuned to one another and delightfully musically and rhythmically tight.
This fantastic CD ends with Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza's "Okwanjula Kw'Endere." Oce again brilliantly and colorfully performed, this work takes advantage of all the different sounds one can draw out of the flute.
The more one listens to the CD, the more one appreciates the sheer genius of the composers and the masterfully performances. I am thrilled Hymes and Hollister put this together and hope they will put out many more recordings.

wlcn said...

This new CD beautifully and colorfully performed by flautist Wendy Hymes and pianist Darryl Hollister is a must buy!
A refreshing addition to the CDs for Flute & Piano, this recording features compositions by composers of African descent and brings to attention the wonderful repertoire out there that should become part of the musical canon. The CD is captivating from beginning to end. It makes for a fabulous recital CD and I certainly hope musicians will seek this music out to perform.
As the statement in the liner note informs "the works presented here offer us a glimpse of the spirit and traditional musics of Africa. The composers' diverse training backgrounds have led each to connect with different African and Western musics, but each has succeeded in finding their own unique voice and how to connect with diverse audiences on multiple continents."
The first tracks are Nigerian composer Fred Onovwerosuoke's " Three Pieces for Flute & Piano". The opening track "Just Before Dawn also includes Narrator Richard Moore; then followed by "Iroro" and "Ayevwiomo". Hymes and Hollister produce a wonderful atmospheric, dancing and trancelike reading of this set.
Bongani Ndodana's "Visions Part I & II" for solo flute performed here with such grace, color and sensitivity by Dr. Hymes, are evocative of the music of South Africa.
The seven movements of "Republic Suite" by JH Kwabena Nketia are performed by the duo. They give a kaleidoscopic performance of music influenced by Ghanaian musical idioms.
The Three pieces by Nigerian composer Joshua Uzoigwe's "Oja Flute Suite" are also phenomenally performed by Wendy Hymes. The first piece is for solo flute and the rest accompanied with piano. Hymes and Hollister are so totally attuned to one another and delightfully musically and rhythmically tight.
This fantastic CD ends with Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza's "Okwanjula Kw'Endere." Oce again brilliantly and colorfully performed, this work takes advantage of all the different sounds one can draw out of the flute.
The more one listens to the CD, the more one appreciates the sheer genius of the composers and the masterfully performances. I am thrilled Hymes and Hollister put this together and hope they will put out many more recordings.