Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dominique-René de Lerma: A Light On The Past: YouTube Videos of Rachel Barton Pine in String Music of Composers of African Descent

Rachel Barton Pine

Violin Concertos By Black Composers OfThe 18th & 19th Centuries
Rachel Barton, Violin
Encore Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hege, Conductor
Cedille Records CDR 90000 035 (1997)

Dominique-René de Lerma
As part of the prospectus for a major project in progress, The string student's library of music by Black composers, there are several magnificent performance on video of which one might not be aware, each worth far more that casual reference.
To start with, the performer is Rachel Barton Pine, the brilliant long-time heroine and champion of Black music, ever since her Cedille CD CDR 90000 035 (Violin concertos by Black composers of the 18th and 19th centuries).  The performances are available at With Daniel Hege as pianist, Mrs. Pine soars with the rich sonority of her violin in performances of William Grant Still's Here's one, David Baker's Deliver my soul, and elaborations of spirituals by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor from the repertoire of Maud Powell.  In years past, we might have heard Jascha Heifetz offering an encore with works of this sort, somewhat like a croquenbouche for the provinces, but they are presented here as worthy of programmed repertoire.
Those who have heard this artist in person will be reminded of the rich warmth, the boldness of her assertions, and nuanced delicacy of her playing, all excellently captured on these videos.  Added are sample performances by teenage embryonic laureates of the Sphinx Competition.
While this site should be of major interest to all violinists, the ultimate value might be in the inspiration of young persons, too few of whom have been exposed to the implications of this history.

Dominique-René de Lerma

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