The Teacher's Guide to Recent Recordings of Music by Black Composers

  • PDF: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40373767

This discography is restricted to "concert" music by composers of African ancestry, regardless of the country of their birth. I acknowledge immediately that several of the figures listed are represented on recordings by works in other genres (e.g., William Dawson, Harry Burleigh and Yusef Lateef) and that some recorded composers better known in jazz are not included (e.g., Duke Ellington and Ornette Coleman). The problem of academic definitions becomes particularly vexatious in black music and almost any stand might appear to be a value judgment if any validity can be rationalized, but I felt the focus of this listing would become too diffuse if more characteristically ethnic idioms were included. Then too, a substantial amount of documentation has been published in these areas,

1 while considerations of what I have hesitatingly termed "concert" music have rather well been limited to less than a handful of incomplete and dated discographies.2

The recordings listed here are not all currently in print but, being LP releases, might well be resting unnoticed in many record libraries. It is my intention to publish a retrospective list in the future, one which will include the Edison cylinder of James Bland's Carry me Back to old Virginny and the 1900 Berliner disc of Will Marion Cook's Who Dat Say Chicken in dis Crowd? Within one year we will find new recordings which could have been included, such as Jan de Gaetani's Turnabout recording of T.J. Anderson's Variations on a theme by M.B. Tolson or the first of an anthology series in which I am engaged with Dr. Paul Freeman, including works by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Roque Cordero, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Clarence Cameron White, and George Walker. In due time we should expect to find recordings available of works by David Baker, Margaret Bonds, George Bridgetower, John Carter, Roger Dickerson, De Sayles Grey, Adolphus Hailstork, Maurice McCall, Robert Morris, Kalvert Nelson, Joseph White and other black figures meriting such coverage.

Meanwhile, the curriculum will not wait. Fortunately there have been several recently released recordings of real substance which can assist us in our teaching programs, and these survey a wide range of styles: the electronic imaginations of Olly Wilson and Halim el-Dabh, the serial writing of Hale Smith, the cellular mosaics of T.J. Anderson, the quasi-post-romanticism of William Grant Still and William Dawson, the classical delicacy of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the neo-classical strength of Ulysses Kay and George Walker.

Persons seeking additional information on the music and the composers may consult Eileen Southern's The Music of Black Americans; A History (New York: W.W. Norton, 1971), my Black Music in Our Culture (Kent: Kent State University Press, 1970) and, forthcoming from the same publisher, Reflections on Afro-American Music. Particularly worthy of citation is a new semi-annual journal, The Black Perspective in Music (P.O. Box 11049, Cambria Heights, New York, 11411), whose initial issue appeared in the spring of 1973 and which will, no doubt, carry reviews and listings of the new recordings.

This discography cites specific titles under the name of the composer, with mention of the performers involved, the label of the recording and the publisher of the score, when this has been determined. Following this is a list by label number of those recordings on which are found works by more than one black composer. References to the composite listing are made under the composer and the specific work.



Anderson, Thomas Jefferson, 1928-  
  Chamber Symphony. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; James Dixon, conductor. CRI SD-258. Published by Composers Facsimile Edition.
Burleigh, Harry Thacker, 1866-1949  
  O Lord, Have Mercy on Me. Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir; David Nott, conductor. Recorded Publications Co. CC-8. Published by G. Ricordi.
Chambers, Stephen, 1940-  
  Sound gone. see Desto DC-7102-3
Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel, 1875-1912  
  Hiawatha's Wedding Feast. Richard Lewis, tenor; Royal Choral Society; Philharmonia Orchestra; Malcolm Sargent, conductor. Angel S-35900; His Master's Voice ASD-467. Published by Novello.
Cunningham, Arthur, 1928-  
  Engrams'. see Desto DC-7102-3
  Lullabye for a Jazz Baby. see Desto DC-7107
  Thisby. see Eastern ERS-513
el-Dabh, Halim, 1921-  
  Leiyla and the Poet. Tape-transformed voice and instrumental ensemble (not identified). Columbia MS-6566. Published by C.F. Peters.
  Spectrum No. 1. Electronic music. Folkways FX-6160. Published by C.F. Peters.
Da Costa, Noel, 1930-  
  Short Pieces for Alto Flute. see Eastern ERS-513
  Silver-Blue. see Eastern ERS-513
Dawson, William Levi, 1899-  
  Negro Folk Symphony (1952 revision). American Symphony Orchestra; Leopold Stokowski, conductor. Decca DL-710077. Published by Shawnee Press.
  Out in the Fields. see Desto DC-7107
Dett, Robert Nathaniel, 1882-1943  
  In the Bottoms. see Desto DC-7102-3
  The Ordering of Moses. Jeanette Walters, soprano; Carol Brice, contralto; John Miles, tenor; John Work, baritone; Mobile Symphony Orchestra; Talladega College Choir; William L. Dawson, conductor. Silver Crest TAL-42868S. Published by J. Fischer & Bro.
Duncan, John, 1911-  
  Black Bards. see Eastern ERS-513
Fischer, William S., 1935-  
  A Quiet Movement. see Desto DC-7107
Holmes, Robert L.  
  Yesterday's Mansions. see Eastern ERS-513
Jones, Charles  
  Symphony no. 6. see Silhouettes in Courage K-5001/2
Kay, Ulysses Simpson, 1917-  
  Choral Triptych. Barbara Wallace, soprano; Betty Lou Austin, contralto; Joseph Dwyer, tenor; William Darrow, bass; King's Chapel Choir of Boston; Cambridge Festival Strings; Daniel Pinkham, conductor. Cambridge CRM-416. Published by Associated Music Publishers.
  Concerto for Orchestra. Fantasy Variations. Orchestra of Teatro La Fenice; Jonel Perlea, conductor. Remington Musirama R-199173. Published by American Composers Alliance (Concerto) and Music Corporation of America (Fantasy Variations).
  Dances for String Orchestra: Round dance and Polka. New Symphony Orchestra; Tutti Camarata, conductor. London LL-1213; CRI 119. Published by Duchess Music.
  Fantasy Variations. Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Bennett Lipkin, conductor. CRI SD-209. See also his Concerto for Orchestra. Published by Music Corporation of America.
  How Stands the Glass Around? What's in a Name? The Randolph Singers; David Randolph, conductor. CRI 102. Published by Associated Music Publishers (How Stands the Glass Around?) and American Composers Alliance (What's in a Name?).
  Prelude for Flute. see Eastern ERS-513
  Quartet for Brasses. American Brass Quartet. Folkways FM-3651. Published by Peer-Southern Organization.
  Serenade for Orchestra. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, conductor. LOU 548-9. Published by Associated Music Publishers.
  A Short Overture. see Desto DC-7107
  Sinfonia in E. Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; George Barati, conductor. CRI 139. Publication unknown.
  Suite for String Orchestra. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, conductor. LOU 634. Published by C.F. Peters.
  Suite for Orchestra. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, conductor. LOU 545-8. Published by Associated Music Publishers.
  Umbrian Scene. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, conductor. LOU 651. Published by Music Corporation of America.
Kennedy, Joseph J.  
  Dialogue for Flute and Violoncello. see Eastern ERS-513
Kerr, Thomas  
  Easter Monday Swagger. see Desto DC-7102-3
Lateef, Yusef, 1921-  
  Trio No. 1 for Piano, Flute and Violin. see Eastern ERS-513
Logan, Wendell, 1940-  
  Songs of Our Time. Ball State University Instrumental Ensemble; Ball State University Chorus; Corwin, conductor. Golden Crest S-4087. Publication unknown.
Moore, Undine (Smith)  
  Afro-American Suite. see Eastern ERS-513
Perry, Julia, 1927-  
  Homunculus C. F. Manhattan Percussion Ensemble; Paul Price, conductor. CRI SD-252. Published by Peer-Southern Organization.
  Short Piece for Orchestra. Imperial Philharmonic Orchestra of Tokyo; William Strickland, conductor. CRI 145. Publication unknown.
  Stabat Mater. Nokiko Asakura, soprano; Japan Philharmonic Orchestra; William Strickland, conductor. CRI 133. Published by Peer-Southern Organization.
Roldán, Amadeo, 1900-1939  
  Canción de Cuna del Niño Negro. Alex Blin, piano. Da Camera 93106. Publication unknown.
  Rítmica no. 1. Henriette Roget, piano; soloists of the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française; Georges Tzipine, conductor. Angel 35105; Columbia FCX-220. Publication unknown.
 

Rítmicas nos. 5 & 6. Manhattan Percussion Ensemble; Paul Price, conductor. Mainstream MS-5011; Time 8000; Time 58000. Published by Peer-International.

Saint-Georges, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de, 1739-1799  
  Symphonie Concertante for 2 Violins, op. 13, in G major. Symphony in G, op. 11, no. 1. Micheline Blanchard, Germaine Raymond, violins; Ensemble Instrumental Jean-Marie Leclair; Jean-François Paillard, conductor. Erato LDE-3037. Note: The Symphonie Concertante is incorrectly identified as op. 9, no. 2, on Erato LDE-3037; it also appears on Musical Heritage Society CC-1 with the same performers. A second Symphonie Concertante (?) has been issued on Erato STU-70237. Published in Barry Brook, La Symphonie Française dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe Siècle (Paris: Université de Paris, Institute de Musique, 1962, vol. 3) (Symphonie Concertante) and by Peer-Southern Organization (Symphony).
Smith, Hale, 1925-  
  Brevities. see Eastern ERS-513
  Contours. Louisville Orchestra; Robert Whitney, conductor. LOU 632. Published by C.F. Peters.
  Evocation. see Desto DC-7102-3
  Expansions. Southern Illinois University Band; C. Dale Fjerstad, conductor. Educational Record Reference Library Band Program BP-107. Published by Edward B. Marks Music Corporation.
  In Memoriam Beryl Rubinstein. Kulus Choir & Orchestra; Robert Shaw, conductor. CRI SD-182. Published by Galaxy Music.
  Somersault. Baldwin-Wallace Symphonic Band; Kenneth Snapp, conductor. Educational Record Reference Library Band Program BP-102. Published by Frank Music Corporation.
Sowande, Fela, 1905-  
  The Negro in Sacred Idiom. Fela Sowande, organ. London LL-533. Published by Chappell (London).
Still, William Grant, 1895-  
  Afro-American Symphony. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Krueger, conductor. Society for the Preservation of the American Musical Heritage MLA-118. Published by J. Fischer & Bro.
  Afro-American Symphony. Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Karl Krueger, conductor. Lenox Avenue: Blues (arr. for piano). Traceries, nos. 1-5. Visions. Gordon Manley, piano. New Records NRLP-105. Published by J. Fischer & Bro.
  Festive Overture. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Arthur Bennett Lipkin, conductor. CRI SD-259. Published by J. Fischer & Bro.
  Here's one (arr. for violin & piano). Carmela. Lenox Avenue: Blues (arr. for violin & piano). Pastorella. Suite for Violin & Piano. Visions: Summerland (arr. for violin & piano). Louis Kaufman, violin; Annette Kaufman, piano. Orion ORS-7152 (Here's One, and Lenox Avenue Blues previously issued on Concert Hall Society CHC-1140 and CHC-58). Published by Witmark & Sons (Pastorella), J. Fischer & Bro. (Lenox Avenue), Delkas Music (Suite); other publications unknown.
  Song for the Lonely. Songs of Separation. Claudine Carlson, soprano; Georgia Akst, piano. Danzas de Panamá. Louis Kaufman, George Berres, violins; Alex Neiman, viola; Terry King, cello. Ennanga. Lois Adele Craft, harp; Louis Kaufman, George Berres, violins; Alex Neiman, viola; Terry King, cello. Orion ORS-7278. Published by Leeds Corporation (Songs of Separation), Peer-Southern Organization (Danzas de Panamá); other publications unknown.
  Songs of Separation. see Desto DC-7107
  Sahdji. Eastman School Chorus; Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra; Howard Hanson, conductor. Mercury SR-90257; Mercury MG-50257. Published by the Eastman School of Music.
  To You, America. U.S. Military Academy Band; Francis E. Resta, conductor. ASCAP CB-177; Pittsburgh Festival of Contemporary Music CB-177. Published by Peer-Southern Organization.
  Visions. see Desto DC-7102-3
Swanson, Howard, 1909-  
  Concerto for Orchestra. see Silhouettes in Courage K-5001/2
  Ghosts in Love. Joy. The Junk Man. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Night Songs. Still Life. The Valley. Helen Thigpin, soprano; David Allen, piano. Desto DST-422; American Recording Society ARS-10. Published by Weintraub Music (Ghosts in Love, The Junk Man, Night Song, Still Life) and Leeds (Joy, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, The Valley).
  Night Music. New York Ensemble of the Philharmonic Winners; Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor. Brunswick AXTL-1054; Decca DL-3215; Decca UAT-273045. Published by Weintraub Music.
  Short Symphony. Vienna State Opera Orchestra; Franz Litschauer, conductor. CRI SD-254; Vanguard VRS-434. Published by Weintraub Music.
  Short Symphony. American Recording Society Orchestra; Dean Dixon, conductor. Suite for Violoncello and Piano. Carl Stern, violoncello; Abba Bogin, piano. American Recording Society ARS-7. Published by Weintraub Music (Short Symphony, and Suite).
  Short Symphony. American Recording Society Orchestra; Dean Dixon, conductor. American Recording Society ARS-116. Published by Weintraub Music.
  Suite for Violoncello and Piano. Carl Stern, violoncello; Abba Bogin, piano. Society of Participating Artists SPA-54. Published by Weintraub Music.
Tillis, Frederick Charles, 1930-  
  Music for Piano, Alto Flute and Violoncello. see Eastern ERS-513
Walker, George T, 1922-  
  Address for Orchestra. see Desto DC-7107
  Sonata for Piano No. 1. see Desto DC-7102-3
  Sonata for Piano No. 2. Spatials. Spektra. George T. Walker, piano. CRI SD-270. Published by Galaxy Music (Sonata No. 2), General Music Corporation (Spatials, and Spektra).
Wilson, Olly, 1937-  
  Cetus. Electronic music. Turnabout STV-34301. Unpublished.
  Piano Piece with Electronic Sounds. see Desto DC-7102-3
  Piece for Four. Robert Willoughby, flute; Gene Young, trumpet; Joseph Schwartz, piano; Bertram Turetzky, double bass. CRI SD-264. Unpublished.
Work, John W., 1901-1967  
  Scuppernong. see Desto DC-7102-3



Composite releases

Desto DC-7102-3
  Chambers, Stephen, 1940- . Sound Gone. Cunningham, Arthur, 1928- . Engrams'. Dett, Robert Nathaniel, 1882-1943. In the Bottoms. Kerr, Thomas. Easter Monday Swagger. Smith, Hale, 1925- . Evocation. Still, William Grant, 1895- . Visions. Walker, George T, 1922- . Sonata for Piano No. 1. Wilson, Olly, 1937- . Piano Piece with Electronic Sounds. Work, John W., 1901-1967. Scuppernong. Natalie Hinderas, piano. Published by Summy-Birchard (Dett), C.F. Peters (Smith), General Music Corporation (Walker), Shawnee (Work); other compositions available from the composers.

 

Desto DC-7107
  Cunningham, Arthur, 1928- . Lullabye for a Jazz Baby. Dawson, William L., 1899- . Out in the Fields. Fischer, William S., 1935- . A Quiet Movement. Kay, Ulysses Simpson, 1917- . A Short Overture. Still, William Grant, 1895- . Songs of Separation. Walker, George T, 1922- . Address for Orchestra: Passacaglia. Oakland Youth Orchestra; Cynthia Bedford, mezzo-soprano (in Dawson and Still); Robert Hughes, conductor. Published by American Composers Alliance (Kay), Leeds (Still); Music Corporation of America (Walker); other compositions available from the composers.

 

Eastern ERS-513
  Cunningham, Arthur, 1928- . Thisby. Da Costa, Noel, 1930- . Short Pieces for Alto Flute. Silver-Blue. Duncan, John, 1911- . Black Bards. Holmes, Robert L. Yesterday's Mansions. Kay, Ulysses Simpson, 1917- . Prelude for Flute. Kennedy, Joseph J. Dialogue for Flute and Violoncello. Lateef, Yusef, 1921- . Trio No. 1 for Piano, Flute and Violin. Moore, Undine Smith. Afro-American Suite. Smith, Hale, 1925- . Brevities. Tillis, Frederick Charles, 1930- . Music for Piano, Alto Flute and Violoncello. Trio Pro Viva (D. Antoinette Handy, flute; Ronald Lipscomb, violoncello; Gladys Perry Norris, piano); Joseph J. Kennedy, violin; William E. Terry, piano. Published by Composers Facsimile Edition (Moore), Doorway Music (Holmes), Herma Music (Kennedy), Alnur Music (Da Costa), Peer-Southern Organization (Tillis), Edward B. Marks Music Corporation (Smith); other works available from the composers. The Kay Prelude, originally issued by Composers Facsimile Edition, has been withdrawn by the composer for several years.

 

Silhouettes in Courage K-5001/2
  Jones, Charles. Symphony No. 6. Swanson, Howard, 1909- . Concerto for Orchestra. Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Benjamin Steinberg, conductor. Publications unknown.

 


1The major discographies of Afro-American music include Charles Delaunay's New Hot Discography, ed. by Walter E. Schaap and George Avakian (New York: Wehman, 1963); Ronald Clifford Foreman's Jazz and Race Records, 1920-1932, which is actually a history of the subject (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1970); Jorgen Grunnet Jepsen's Jazz Records, 1942-1962 (Kobenhavn: Karl Emil Knudsen, 1965-1968, 8 vols.), as well as his series of monographic discographies on individual jazzmen, issued by the same publisher since 1959; John Godrich's Blues and Gospel Records, 1902-1942, 2d ed., by John Godrich and Robert M.W. Dixon (London: Storyville Publications, 1969); and Brian A.L. Rust's Jazz Records, A-Z, 1897-1942 (London: Storyville Publications, 1970, 2 vols.).

2John Duncan's "Art Music by Negro Composers on Record" in Negro History Bulletin (Washington) XXXI, no. 4 (April, 1968) pp. 6-8; Dominique-René de Lerma's Black Music in Our Culture (Kent: Kent State University Press, 1970, pp. 181-199); James A. Standifer's Source Book of African and Afro-American Materials for Music Educators (Washington: Contemporary Music Project, 1972).

Read 2292 times

Last modified on Tuesday, 13/11/2018

Go to top