Blues Dialogues: Music by Black Composers | Cedille Records CDR90000182

Blues Dialogues: Music by Black Composers


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Label: Cedille Records

Cat No: CDR90000182

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 12th October 2018



Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, 'an exciting, boundary-defying performer' (Washington Post) known for her 'bravura technique and soulful musicianship' (New York Times), headlines a groundbreaking album of blues-influenced classical works for violin and violin and piano by 20th- and 21st-century composers of African descent.

World-premiere recordings include Noel Da Costaís A Set of Dance Tunes for Solo Violin, based on American fiddle tunes; Daniel Bernard Roumainís Filter, which conjures the sounds of electronic dance music and psychedelic guitar; Errollyn Wallenís Woogie Boogie, a humorous and inventive re-imaging of the boogie-woogie blues dance; and Billy Childsís Incident on Larpenteur Avenue, a single-movement violin sonata/tone poem written as a response to a fatal shooting by police. Another premiere is Wendall Loganís violin and piano arrangement of Duke Ellingtonís 1935 composition, In a Sentimental Mood.

The albumís title track, Dolores Whiteís improvisational Blues Dialogues, draws on classical, jazz, and country music, as well as African-American vocalisations and a blues harmonic language. David N. Bakerís gospel-tinged Blues (Deliver My Soul) evokes the ecstatic energy of a Black church service. Charles S. Brownís A Song Without Words was inspired by bottleneck guitar player and gospel blues master Blind Willie Johnson. Each movement of William Grant Stillís Suite for Violin and Piano evokes the work of a different African-American visual artist. Clarence Cameron Whiteís Levee Dance, op.26 no.2, a favourite of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz, surrounds a traditional African-American spiritual with a playful, syncopated dance. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinsonís Blue/s Forms and Louisiana Blues Strut befit a composer with a legacy of achievements in the classical, jazz, modern dance, and pop music worlds.


What a fascinating, beautiful disc. Rachel Barton Pine has borrowed the name from the four Blues Dialogues for unaccompanied violin by Dolores White. Around them, sheís drawn on a two-decade fascination with music by black composers to assemble a remarkably varied and rewarding recital linked by the unifying idea of the Blues. ... William Grant Stillís Suite evokes Brahmsian romanticism, Dolores White quotes Bartůk, and Daniel Bernard Roumainís Filter moves from Jimi Hendrix-inspired tonal distortion to a brilliant moto perpetuo derived from electronic dance music. ... This is a deeply rewarding disc...  Richard Bratby
Gramophone February 2019
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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