Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Phoenix Park-Kim Makes World Premiere Recording of R. Nathaniel Dett's 'Cinnamon Grove'

[The Collected Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett; Summy-Birchard (1973)]

Phoenix Park-Kim is a pianist who has made what she believes is the first recording of Cinnamon Grove, Suite for the Piano, by R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943). The work is in four movements. Movement I is labeled Moderato molto grazioso. Each movement is accompanied by a verse of poetry. In this case the verse is: “Dear love, for nothing less than thee Would I have broke this happy dream.” It is from “The Dream” by John Donne.

The pianist plans to include the recording on a CD she hopes to release in 2009. AfriClassical.com is pleased to add the First Movement (4:11) of Cinnamon Grove to the R. Nathaniel Dett page and the Audio page of the website. The First Movement will serve as a preview of the CD, which will also include art songs of three other African American composers, John Carter, Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) and H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932). Dr. Phoenix Park-Kim joined the faculty at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2005, where she teaches Applied Piano, Class Piano, Keyboard Literature and coordinates the Accompanying Program. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Park-Kim graduated summa cum laude from Yonsei University in Seoul, where she earned Bachelors degrees in both Piano Performance and English Literature.

R. Nathaniel Dett was an African American composer and pianist whose tenure as Choral Director at Hampton Institute was legendary. He was born in Drummondville, now part of Niagara Falls, Ontario. He died in Battle Creek, Michigan while touring with a Women's Army Corps chorus as a member of the U.S.O. As a composer, Dett is remembered chiefly for the choral works he based on African American spirituals, and for the works for solo piano he composed in the Romantic style.

1 comment:

Michelle Lynne Goodfellow said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention!