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CI 9035
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CI 9035
MEUDE-MONPAS / SAINT-GEORGES / WHITE / COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Violin Concertos by Black Composers

MEUDE-MONPAS / SAINT-GEORGES / WHITE / COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Violin Concertos by Black Composers

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2012


Artists:

Encore Chamber Orchestra


Hege, Daniel


Rachel Barton Pine

Soloist

Daniel Hege

Soloist

Record Label
Cedille

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Classical

Total Time - 74:22
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MEUDE-MONPAS / SAINT-GEORGES / WHITE / COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Violin Concertos by Black Composers

     
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CHEVALIER J.J.O. DE MEUDE-MONPAS

 

Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major

 
1 I. Allegro 7:57
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
2 II. Adagio 5:47
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
3 IIi. Rondeau Allegretto 3:02
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
 

JOSEPH BOULOGNE CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES

 

Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2

 
4 I. Allegro Moderato 10:23
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
5 II. Largo 8:36
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
6 III. Rondeau 4:35
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
     
 

JOSEPH WHITE

 

Violin Concerto in F sharp minor

 
7 I. Allegro 11:40
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
 Hege, Daniel
     
8 II. Adagio ma non troppo 4:51
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
 Hege, Daniel
     
9 IIi. Allegro moderato 4:58
 Rachel Barton Pine Soloist
 Hege, Daniel
     
 

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR

10 

Romance in G major, Op. 39

12:33
 Daniel Hege Soloist
 Hege, Daniel


 Say "classical music," and most people think of names like Mozart.

 
Cedille Records want the world to know about two of Mozart’s less-familiar contemporaries, Chevalier J.J.O. de Meude-Monpas and Chevalier de Saint-Georges, as well as later composers Joseph White and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. All were men of mixed African and European descent who made important contributions to European music in the 1700s and 1800s. Celebrities in their day, they’ve been all but forgotten in our era.
 Performers are violinist Rachel Barton Pine, a celebrated performer who champions less well-known music, and Chicago’s Encore Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Hege. The Center for Black Music Research at Chicago’s Columbia College helped rediscover the musical compositions and locate the printed scores. 
 These composers of color lived colorful lives. Relatively little is known of the early background of French composer Meude-Monpas, but we do know that he was born in Paris and was a musketeer in the service of French king Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - when he wasn’t composing and writing books on music. Also active in Paris was Guadeloupe-born Saint-Georges, son of an aristocratic French plantation owner and an African slave. The dashing Saint-Georges (who graces the disc’s cover) was a champion swordsman and extraordinary athlete, as well as a violin virtuoso. In 1792, he was appointed colonel and commander of an all-Black military regiment of French Caribbeans and former American slaves.
 Cuba’s Joseph White was born to a French businessman and an Afro-Cuban mother. A concert sensation in Europe and Latin America, White’s violin playing was admired by the finest musicians of his day, including the great opera composer Gioacchino Rossini, who wrote, "The warmth of your execution, the feeling, the elegance, the brilliance of the school to which you belong, show the qualities in you as an artist of which the French school may be proud." When White performed in the US in 1876, one music critic called him "The best violinist who has visited this country . . ."
 England’s Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the son of a physician from Sierra Leone and an Englishwoman, was esteemed in the US, especially among cultured African-Americans. His circle of American admirers included Booker T. Washington. The Coleridge-Taylor Society, a Black choral group, was founded in his honor in 1901. He visited the US several times and was a White House guest of President Theodore Roosevelt. His idol was famed Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, who encouraged the use of ethnic folk music, including Negro spirituals. Accordingly, Coleridge-Taylor incorporated elements of Black spirituals into many of his later works (although not the piece on this disc).
 The CD booklet says the support of a European parent gave each of these mixed-race musicians access to formal educational and social opportunities unavailable to their African relations: "Excellent training and remarkable talents allowed these artists to take full advantage of a rare opening in the social fabric, yet they remained exotic and exceptional."
 "What may surprise people is that you don’t hear an obvious African influence in these pieces," James Ginsburg, the CD’s producer, observes. "The composers approached Western music on its own terms and succeeded in creating outstanding works that show a personal imprint within the mainstream styles of their times."
 

 "Four very attractive works… Ms. Barton has all the technique one could wish, but it is music she makes."

 
Classical New Jersey
 

 "A journey of discovery that will afford immense pleasure from the brilliant performance by the soloist and the magnificence of the music… Barton has the supreme gift of playing virtuoso music in a way that furthers the composers’ intent and not just her own image."

 
International African to American Music Society Newsletter
 

 "In one of the bolder moves in the classical music business this past year, Barton has unveiled a treasure chest of worthy material on her new album… Ms. Barton’s talent is, by now, no secret and her bow work on this album is the stuff of pre-legendary status. Her technical mastery is without question some of the best we are going to hear in our generation. When the score calls for fancy fingerwork, she has few rivals. Her crisp, enunciated delivery leaves many gasping with disbelief."

 
Chicago College News

 "Barton brings a glowing, luxurious tone and expansive phrasing to [the concertos’] flashy passage-work. Under Daniel Hege the orchestra knocks out its accompaniments with equal fervor. Joseph Smith’s Violin Concerto in F-sharp minor is especially strong."

 
The Newark Star Ledger

 "Barton’s luminous tone and world-class technique are especially vivid in the White concertos with all of its virtuoso licks, and she shines as a Classical stylist in the Meude-Monpas and Saint-Georges works."

 
Winston-Salem Journal
 

 "A fascinating collection of pieces deserving to be heard more than they have… Barton performs splendidly."

 
The Schenectady Gazette
 

 "Barton’s sure-handed, spontaneous and highly expressive performance would be more than enough to earn her leading status in the under-30 generation of American violinists. The stylistic flexibility she displays in the rest of the album moves her to the very front of the line."

 
Richmond Times-Dispatch

 "...Music of great charm and elegance, rendered with sensitivity and stylish bravura by Barton."

 
Chicago Tribune

"Beautifully recorded, beautifully performed… Rachel Barton’s performance is exemplary."
 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 

 "Chicago violinist Rachel Barton struck a rich musical lode when she went digging for obscure repertoire by black composers… Barton, 23, gives radiant new life to each forgotten composition."

 
Cleveland Plain Dealer

                       Artistic Quality 10                   Sound Quality 10

 
"A disc you should not miss."
 
ClassicsToday.com

 ..."Barton, Hege, and [the Encore Chamber Orchestra] deliver attractive and involving performances with a Mozartean mix of subtlety and power..." 

 
Fanfare
 

 "A fascinating collection... Chicago native Rachel Barton Pine, still in her early 20s, plays magnificently throughout, equal to both the demands for white-hot technique, as in the White Concerto, and for beauty of tone, as in the Coleridge-Taylor."

 
The Absolute Sound

"...Terrific performances; fine sound. A fascinating issue."

 
Gramophone magazine
 

 "Compelling scores by four little-known composers who happen to be black… Rachel Barton handles the concertos’ varied demands with unaffected aplomb, performing this music lovingly rather than dutifully."

 
New York Times



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