THE REST IS NOISE Afro-American Symphony
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sun Mar 24 2013
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Feb 12 2013
BBC Concert Orchestra under Keith Lockhart, plus the Nu Civilisation Orchestra.
Henry Gilbert: 'The Dance in Place Congo'
William Grant Still: Symphony No 1 ('Afro-American')
Duke Ellington: 'A tone parallel to Harlem (Harlem Suite)'
A set from Nu Civilsation Orchestra paying tribute to the 'Duke of Jazz'
(William Grant Still was a student of arch-modernist émigré composer Edgard Varèse and worked as an orchestrator for radio shows and Broadway musicals. In the 'Afro-American' the first of his five symphonies, he sought a subtle form of valorisation by combining orchestral tradition with the blues – an authentic form of black expression which didn't, as he put it' 'exhibit the influence of Caucasian music'. Duke Ellington's 'A Tone Parallel to Harlem' takes a leisurely walk through the district's Sunday morning finery, introducing us to 'a real hip chick' and a funeral procession where, Ellington remarked drolly, 'you may recognise the passage of those who are making our Civil Rights demands'.)