Results tagged “Amy Beach” from onegoodmove

Gypsy's music for American Thanksgiving

A slightly early post for your Thanksgiving travels. Classical music in the U.S. took awhile to mature, so I begin with a non-American who traveled through the south and mid west, listening to music of Negroes, other folk musics, and taking in American culture in different ways:

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 "New World. In this work, Dvorak did his best to incorporate elements of African American he heard singing during his travel across the states. The syncopated melodies throughout the piece correspond to the music he heard. Dvorak admonished American classical composers to pay attention to this important contribution to music in North America. The 2nd movement (Largo) uses the spiritual "Goin' Home" as its basis (caveat - the melody you hear in the english horn may be different than the "Goin' Home" you know). The 3rd movement (Scherzando) is based on Longfellow's Hiawatha, a poem that captured Dvorak's imagination before his trip abroad. Thus the Czech/Moravian/Bohemian composer tried to lead the way for Americans to acknowledge the contributions of those who were marginalized in our society.

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach: Symphony in E Minor "Gaelic". Mrs. Beach, the "dean of American Women Composers" and the leading voice of the New England composers, did attempt to take up Dvorak's rallying cry. She did write a string quartet based on Inuit melodies, but felt that she would do better with music in her direct heritage. She was right: this late Romantic work incorporates Gaelic melodies artfully.

This composer deserves way more attention than he got in his lifetime: Coleridge-Taylor "Perk" Perkinson: Three Miniatures for flute and piano. The 1st piece to which I was exposed was Perk's flute sonata; however, there's no recording available as far as i can tell. Perkinson artfully merges his African-American heritage with Impressionism, neo-classicism, and various 20th century styles. If posterity is fair, you'll be hearing more Perkinson as the years pass. In addition, I have to give a shout out to pianist John Cheek, who introduced me to Perkinson's music. He has a great recording of Perkinson and Martino that includes Perk's Statements: Sonata No. 2 for piano.

Imogen Heap: Just for Now - definitely for all of your family holiday gatherings, no matter where you reside.

That done - I'm up for theme suggestions from y'all. Or I can just go rogue and suggest general favorites until a late December entry.