Friday, December 18, 2009

William Grant Still's Rare Arrangement of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' on Videmus Download
“Founded by David and Norman Chesky of the audiophile-record label Chesky Records, HDtracks is a high-quality music download service offering a diverse catalog of independent music from around the world.”

William Grant Still has often been termed the patriarchal figure in Black music and was the first African-American composer to secure extensive publication and significant performances. His works represent the culmination of of musical aspirations of the Harlem Renaissance, in that they elevated 'folkloric' materials. This collection includes several of his most important chamber compositions, among them Songs of Separation and Lift Every Voice and Sing. The latter was composed as a patriotic song for a Lincoln commemoration in 1899. It was quickly accepted as an anthem by African-Americans and has been arranged by many composers; this beautiful setting by Still, however, is not widely known.”

"This seminal recording is a must for the library of anyone serious in the study of American music. William Grant Still, often lauded as the 'Dean of African American Composers,' is among the most distinguished composers in the United States, regardless of his race. This anthology of his work explores his contribution to small scale genres, namely chamber music and song. Having been deeply enamored of the human voice, his music is imbued with lyricism for every instrument." - Dr. Darryl Taylor [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is found.]

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