Thursday, February 7, 2008

Suites of Duke Ellington, James Price Johnson, Scott Joplin & William Grant Still


On Feb. 4, the blog of WFIU, “Night Lights” posted a history of classical suites by African American composers such as Duke Ellington, James Price Johnson, Scott Joplin and William Grant Still:

In the early 20th century African-American composers began to write extended musical depictions of black American life–Scott Joplin with his unstaged opera Treemonisha, pianist James P. Johnson with his Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody, and–perhaps most successfully-William Grant Still with his Afro-American Symphony in 1931. That same year Duke Ellington told a reporter, “I’m going to compose a musical evolution of the Negro race.” It took Ellington 12 years to achieve his goal–the 45-minute-long Black, Brown and Beige Suite: a Tone Parallel to the History of the Negro in America, which is now considered to be one of his greatest works. Full Post

1 comment:

bill said...

Hi Just wondered where the above image is from, as I've never seen the album with that artwork before, it's really nice.

Bill