Saturday, November 27, 2021 St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in "Red Clay & Mississippi Delta" of Valerie Coleman & Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson's Blue/s Forms for Solo Violin

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)

Valerie Coleman


Violinist Eunice Kim played the second solo of the evening — Blue/s Forms for Solo Violin, without accompaniment. Named after the Black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson wrote orchestral, choral, instrumental and solo works that brought together classical forms with jazz and popular music. The piece Kim performed on Friday veered toward a jazzy Avant-garde.

Kim produced a bright sound with her instrument, even as she kept up with the furious speed of Perkinson’s composition. Filled with slides and fast-paced progressions, a hint of jazz could be heard in the frenzied notes. You could barely take a breath just watching Kim play, yet she managed to breeze through the intensely complicated rhythms with ferocious agility.

After the Perkinson solo, a quintet of wind and brass instruments performed “Red Clay & Mississippi Delta” by Valerie Coleman. Coleman’s piece referenced the blues, and somehow transformed the Ordway Concert Hall into a humid night in a dimly lit bar, filled with music and camaraderie. Its employment of call and response made a nod to African-American musical traditions. Clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim drew particular attention. His rhythmic movement as he played propelled the piece forward in its easy going jive.

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