Thursday, May 21, 2020 "In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy" Friday at Noon, May 22, 2020, on Classical 88.7, Tulsa

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

A Unique Wartime Elegy from an American Original

May 20, 2020 

With Memorial Day this weekend, and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe earlier this month, I wanted to spotlight some American music from the war years on this week’s Classical Tulsa.

We’ll hear works by Aaron Copland, William Schuman, and David Diamond, but the piece I’m most excited to feature is In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy, an orchestral elegy by William Grant Still.

After its 1944 premiere with the New York Philharmonic, In Memoriam was performed throughout the country, with critics hailing Still as “the American Tchaikovsky.” But after the war, the piece languished in obscurity, along with most of the composer’s works.

Tune in to hear the first recording of this remarkable piece in over sixty years, this Friday at noon, May 22, 2020, on Classical 88.7 KWTU HD-1.

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