Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lamothe's 'La Dangereuse' on Nyaho's CD 'ASA: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent'

[ASA: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent; William Chapman Nyaho, piano; MSR Classics MS1242 (2008); A Vision of Ludovic Lamothe; Charles P. Phillips, piano; IFA Music Records (2001)]

On August 29, 2008 AfriClassical posted: “William Chapman Nyaho Releases 'ASA: Piano Music of Composers of African Descent'”. The Haitian composer Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953) is represented on the recording by one of his best-known works, La Dangereuse (5:03). The pianist has kindly made a one-minute audio sample available to The liner notes tell us:

“Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953), Haiti's best-known classical composer, was born in Port-au-Prince to parents who were both pianists. He took his first piano lessons from his mother and later continued his musical studies at L'Institution St. Louis de Gonzague. He went on to Paris in 1910 where he studied piano as well as composition with Louis Diemer at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. In due course, Lamothe's virtuosic performances of the works of Frederic Chopin earned him the nickname “The Black Chopin.” Upon his return to Haiti in 1930, where he frequently gave recitals, Lamothe increasingly turned to his Haitian heritage and composed in a more nationalist style, incorporating folk elements and Haitian rhythmic and melodic characteristics in his music. He was appointed Chief of Music of the Republic of Haiti and served in that capacity till his death. Lamothe's compositions range from solo instrumental music to chamber and orchestra works. His piano works include Scenes de Carnaval, Four Danzas, Papillons Noirs, Ten Danses Espagnoles, and Five Valses. La Dangereuse, subtitled Meringue Haïtienne is a beautiful work that is typical of the slower and elegant Merengue that is danced in Haiti.” [William Chapman Nyaho (b. 1958) and Ludovic Lamothe are profiled at]

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