Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pianist Clipper Erickson seeks support on Kickstarter for completion of a 2-CD recording of the complete published piano music of R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)

 is profiled at AfriClassical.comwhich 
features a comprehensive Works List 
and a Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, 
(Photo: Library of Congress)]
Click here to learn more about the project

Clipper Erickson writes:

Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) was a great figure in American music, not only because he was one of the earliest important composers of African descent, but because he was one the first composers to find their own voice by using American musical materials. Dett used Negro spirituals and spiritual-influenced musical themes.  "My cup runneth over" quotes Psalm 23 - this psalm is the text for Dett's final piano piece, Madrigal Divine. Dett's own musical cup indeed was full.

His piano music not only reflects his genius for melody and harmony but also his wonderful sensitivity to pianistic color and beautiful sound. His works also express his interests in other cultures; ancient Hebrew legends, African chants, and Hindu poets all have a place in his creations. Particularly toward the end of his life, Dett’s music contains a narrative of human oneness, which speaks to people now with the same meaning and urgency that it did in his time.

Surely such an important composer should have his complete piano output represented on CD, but until now, there has been no complete recording. For several years it has been my dream to realize this. The project is now in the final stages. PARMA Recordings, with distribution through Naxos, will release the recordings in late 2015. 

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