Saturday, May 5, 2012

John Malveaux: 'Inspiration for Music Students: 150 Recordings of Composers of African Descent'

[Deep River: Music for Violin and Piano by Composers of African Deacent; Merwin Siu, violin; Phoenix Park-Kim, piano; MSR Classics 1372 (2011)]

John Malveaux of writes:

In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, MusicUNTOLD is seeking to identify and announce 150 classical and opera recordings by Composers of African Descent or any composer whose inspiration and music uplifts diversity and human dignity and may be an attraction or inspiration to music students, including those of African Descent. This difficult project began with an email to the distinguished scholar Dr. Dominique René S. de Lerma who offered five recordings to start the list, as follows:
1. Baker, David. Black America (not commercially available on recording)
2. Still, William Grant. Afro-American Symphony. Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman, conductor. Cedille 900000 0055.
3. Lloyd, Charles. Hush! Somebodys callin' my name. Jessye Norman; Ambrosian Singers; Willis Patterson, conductor. Musical Heritage Society MHS 512935L.
4. Verdi, Giuseppe. Aida. Leontyne Price; London Symphony Orchestra; Erich Leinsdorf, conductor. RCA 74321-39498-2.
5. Leonard Bernstein's impassioned Beethoven 9th, conducted after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with the text changed from An die Freude to An die Freiheit.
6. Stravinsky, Igor. Rite of Spring

When African American composer Ed Bland lived in Los Angeles, i was a frequent guest in his home. Although he was from a celebrated jazz background, he became immediately attracted to the classical genre when he heard Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring'. Ed said the music swung. So I will add 'Rite of Spring' from the personal testimony of Ed Bland.

MusicUNTOLD is soliciting suggestions from all knowledgeable sources and locations on the globe. Please help and send via email to

John Malveaux 

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