Sunday, February 27, 2011

'William Grant Still (1895-1978) represents a captivating blend of African-American, Latin American and European music.'

[ABOVE: William Grant Still (Photo is the sole property of William Grant Still Music, and is used with permission. BELOW: Reverse side of CD cover, Allégresse: Fresh Ink; Copyright 2010 Allégresse]

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is found. William Grant Still Music and The Master-Player Library is “The original source for the music of American composer William Grant Still.” The firm's website is:

On February 15, 2011 AfriClassical posted: “'Miniatures' of William Grant Still Recorded by Trio Allégresse on CD 'Fresh Ink.'” We noted that “Allégresse Trio is comprised of Ellen Bottorff, piano; Annie Gnojek, flute; and Margaret Marco, oboe. Now that we have a copy of the CD, we will present excerpts from the liner notes:

“Allégresse, the French word for 'joy', aptly depicts the graceful artistry of this inspiring trio. Friends and collaborators for nearly a decade, Annie, Margaret, and Ellen formed this exciting ensemble to explore the rich and varied repertoire for flute, oboe, and piano.” The website of the Trio is: The CD is available at:

“Miniatures seemed the obvious addition to a program of American chamber music masterpieces for flute, oboe and piano. Each of the work's five movements pays homage to folk music of the Americas. I Ride An Old Paint is a cowboy song from the U.S. and tells of a cowboy's love for his horse. Adolorido, a well-known tune from Mexico, depicts the tale of betrayal and sadness. A spiritual from the U.S., Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land highlights the bluesy piano. Yaravi is a poignant lament from Peru and A Frog Went A-Courtin' is a 400-year old favorite fom the U.S.

“The music of William Grant Still (1895-1978) represents a captivating blend of African-American, Latin American and European music. The composer's eclectic training included studies with W.C. Handy, Edgar Varese and George Chadwick. At the age of 14, he taught himself to play the oboe among other instruments. He went on to play oboe professionally including stints with the National Guard Band and in a New York pit band. Still's long and productive career included several significant firsts, including being the first African-American composer to have his works performed by major symphony orchestras. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Harvard, Oberlin and Bates College and a Guggenheim fellowship.”

Comment by email:
Hello Bill! Thanks so much for the post! We really appreciate it. Take care, Annie

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