Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women

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Author: Rae Linda Brown
Date: Spring 1998
From: American Music(Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Document Type: Sound recording review
Length: 1,193 words

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Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women. Irene Britton Smith. Sonata for violin and piano. Dorothy Rudd Moore. Three Pieces for violin and piano. Julia Perry. Prelude for piano. Betty Jackson King. "Spring Intermezzo" from Four Seasonal Sketches. Margaret Bonds. Troubled Water. Lettie Beckon Alston. Pulsations for solo violin. Undine Smith Moore. Before I'd Be a Slave. Rachel Eubanks. "Moderato" and "Larghetto" from Five Interludes. Valerie Capers. "Cool-Trane" and "Billie's Song" from Portraits in Jazz. Lena Johnson McLin. A Summer Day. Regina Harris Baiocchi. Etude no. 2. Dolores White. Blues Dialogues for solo violin. Nora Douglas Holt. Negro Dance, Op. 25, No. 1. Florence Price. Fantasie Negre. Helen Walker-Hill, piano; Gregory Walker, violin. Liner notes by Helen Walker-Hill. 1995. Leonarda LE 339. In 1936 Shirley Graham wrote an article in which she praised composer Florence B. Price, the first African American woman symphonist to achieve national recognition. Happily, sixty years after this article, America can boast of many African American women symphonists and composers of large-scale works, but sadly, few of these women or their music are widely known. Helen Walker-Hill, piano, and Gregory Walker, violin, in their CD Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women, seek to make some of these composers better known. Although the CD is devoted to music for solo piano, solo violin, and violin and piano, the composers represented have been prolific in all genres.

Kaleidoscope includes works by fourteen composers whose music spans the twentieth century. The earliest is Nora Douglas Holt's Negro Dances (1918) for piano; the latest are both for solo violin: Lettie Beckon Alston's Pulsations (1974, rev. 1993) and Dolores White's Blues Dialogues (1988).

The styles of music represented here are as diverse as the composers' backgrounds themselves, hence the title of the CD, Kaleidoscope. Harmonically, the works are in tonal, atonal, and...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A21086000