Friday, February 15, 2008

Toledo Blade: Works of William Grant Still at Chamber Music Concert

[Afro-American Symphony; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Kruger, conductor; Bridge 9086 (1999)]

Sally Vallongo of The Toledo Blade reviewed a Chamber Music Toledo concert of Feb. 10, 2008 which included works of William Grant Still:

Monday, February 11, 2008
Review: Chamber Music Toledo warmed up a winter day

“Joined by violinist Rico McNeela and hornist Robert Garcia, pianist and series founder Kostraba delivered a lively and enlightening afternoon of music in a comfortable, if not overly flattering setting.”

“William Grant Still, considered the dean of African-American classical composers, was paid tribute in the second half of the program, with two brief but lovely works for violin and piano, plus a bonus encore.

McNeela and Kostraba conspired to present a very sympathetic and graceful reading of Still’s Pastorela, a gentle reverie that cast piano and violin as equal partners.

In Suite for Violin and Piano, a set of tone poems inspired by artists contemporary to Still, there was more opportunity for development and contrast. 'African Dancer,' the painting by Richard Barthe, lived up to its title with energetic arpeggios for the violin soaring over a driving piano accompaniment. Sargent Johnson’s 'Mother and Child' was tenderly lyrical, and, best of all, 'Gamin,' from the painting by Augusta Savage, bounded to a sophisticated ragtime rhythm.

An encore brought Garcia back to join the group for Kostraba’s own arrangement of 'Summerland,' one of Still’s most popular works. For the brief and charming time of its performance, one could almost imagine the languor of a warm day — at least until heading out of the historic theater.” Full Article

William+Still" rel="tag">William Still
Black+Composer" rel="tag">Black Composer
Classical+Music" rel="tag">Classical Music
Still's+Pastorela" rel="tag">Still's Pastorela
African+American" rel="tag">African American
Violin+Suite" rel="tag">Violin Suite

No comments: