Saturday, June 26, 2010

William Grant Still's 'Africa' by American Symphony Orchestra on MP3 July 14, 2010

[William Grant Still: Africa; American Symphony Orchestra; Leon Botstein, conductor; (27:11) MP3 Available July 14, 2010] has announced that an MP3 version of William Grant Still's Africa (27:11) will be available for download July 14, 2010. It is a live recording of a concert called Revisiting William Grant Still, performed at New York City's Lincoln Center by the American Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Leon Botstein, conductor, on March 22, 2009.

Gail Wein reviewed the concert for
“Written during Still’s self-proclaimed 'Negroid' period (1926-1934), Africa begins with a timpani solo that immediately brings to mind stereotypical sounds of that continent. A tone poem in three movements, ‘Land of Peace’, ‘Land of Romance’ and ‘Land of Superstition’, Still referred to the piece as 'the Africa of my imagination.' His expert use of tone colors was likely gleaned from his studies with Chadwick, a master of orchestration.”

“It’s apt that the American Symphony Orchestra, whose mission is to present rare and unknown works, would champion the music of this great American composer, William Grant Still. It was gratifying to hear his music in such excellent performances.” [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory is found.]

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