Sunday, September 21, 2008

David Baker's 'Ethnic Variations On A Theme Of Paganini' Will Be On Kelly Hall-Tompkins CD

[In My Own Voice; Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin; Craig Ketter, piano; Anna Reinersman, harp; MSR Classics (2008)]

AfriClassical recently posted “William Grant Still's 'Summerland' Will Be on 'In My Own Voice' by Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Violin”. A second African American composer, Dr. David N. Baker, will also be represented on the new MSR Classics CD when it is released. Dr. Baker is a composer, performer and Professor who is Chair of the Jazz Studies Department at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. His contribution to the recording is a work which is the subject of a 2002 Master's Thesis submitted to Louisiana State University by Heather Koren Pinson, “Aspects Of Jazz And Classical Music In David N. Baker's Ethnic Variations On A Theme Of Paganini”: “David Baker's Ethnic Variations On A Theme Of Paganini (1976) for violin and piano bring together stylistic elements of jazz and classical music, a synthesis for which Gunther Schuller in 1957 coined the term 'third stream.'" 

"In regard to classical aspects, Baker's work is modeled on Nicolò Paganini's Twenty-fourth Caprice for Solo Violin, itself a theme and variations. From Paganini, it borrows aspects of melody, harmony, and articulation, not only of the theme but also the variations. In regard to jazz, Baker transforms most variations (including the theme, which in comparison to Paganini's is already a variation) into distinct styles related to jazz, including spiritual, blues, swing, bebop, funk, and calypso. He alludes to these styles by imitating their melodic characteristics, rhythmic patterns, and harmonies.”  The violinist's website offers an audio sample (3:07)."

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