Friday, December 2, 2011

New World Records Releases 'Scott Joplin Treemonisha' by Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

[Scott Joplin Treemonisha; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra; New World Records 80720-2 (2011)]

Scott Joplin is featured at on a recently-revised page based on the biography by Prof. Susan Curtis, Dancing To A Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin. Scott Joplin Treemonisha is available on CD and can be downloaded on iTunes:

Scott Joplin: Treemonisha
Composer: Scott Joplin
Album Title: Scott Joplin Treemonisha
Catalog Number 80720 (2 CDs)
Genre: Classical / Opera
Release Date 12/2011

Anita Johnson, AnnMarie Sandy, Edward Pleasant, Frank Ward, Jr., Chauncey Packer Todd Payne, Robert Mack, Janinah Burnett, Darren Stokes

“The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and Singers
Rick Benjamin, conductor

“World-premiere recording of the first-ever historically authentic orchestration of this “Sleeping Beauty of American Music” by Rick Benjamin

“Scott Joplin’s (1867–1917) opera Treemonisha is an astounding work of art, and one that resonates on many levels. It is the only opera in existence about the Reconstruction Era African-American experience written by a black man who actually lived through it. This fact alone makes Treemonisha a work of tremendous significance. Further, Joplin’s music is profoundly expressive and as stylistically unique as anything ever created in America. There is nothing remotely comparable to it. And through his score and libretto, Joplin vividly documented a culture that has left us few other artifacts: The echoes of the “field hollers,” spirituals, fiddle tunes, revival hymns, and ancient African dances of his rural childhood are all heard, as are the spoken dialects of his people rising up from slavery. Further, Treemonisha is a statement of deep racial pride and an act of true artistic heroism—the creation of beauty in the face of almost unbearable ignorance, racism, poverty, and physical and emotional pain.”

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