Dvorák’s Prophecy, Film 3: “The Souls of Black Folk” and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music (DVD)

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Item: 747313570058

Description

Dvorák’s Prophecy, Film 3: “The Souls of Black Folk” and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music (DVD)

Author/Producer: Joseph Horowitz
Visual Presentation: Peter Bogdanoff
Format: NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Region: All Regions
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Naxos
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2022

In tandem with Joseph Horowitz’s new book Dvorák’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music (W. W. Norton), Naxos’s Dvorák’s Prophecy films explore the New World Symphony, Charles Ives’ America, Black classical music, Aaron Copland and the Red Scare, Bernard Herrmann beyond Psycho, and Lou Harrison and cultural fusion. 

If George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess – the highest creative achievement in American classical music – embodies a glorious (and controversial) fulfillment of Dvorák’s prophecy, there also exists a buried lineage of exceptional compositions by Black composers following in Dvorák’s wake.

Coming first was his assistant Harry Burleigh, whose seminal settings of “Deep River” are as much compositions as transcriptions. Burleigh’s initiative was sealed by singers like Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson. But William Levi Dawson’s oracular Negro Folk Symphony, though triumphantly premiered by Leopold Stokowski and his Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934, gathered dust – and Dawson was never to create the symphonic catalogue he seemed destined to undertake. 

Our commentators here include George Shirley, the most legendary name in present-day Black classical music; Kevin Deas, who sings Burleigh with singular authority; and the conductors Roderick Cox and the late Michael Morgan.



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History

Music Notes

Most Western music is based on a system of notation that evolved around 1600 out of earlier practices. The starting point for any opera is the full score, which contains all individual voices and instruments arranged in a specific order on the page. The written music—representing the sounds a composer creates in his head—then comes to life performed by singers onstage and played by the orchestra.

 

 

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