A diverse repertoire of art songs for piano and voice
The art song—a delicate and inspiring blend of music and poetry—has been performed by singers and pianists and appreciated by audiences around the world for more than two hundred years. While collections of art songs abound, this welcome volume and its accompanying compact discs make readily available the contributions of contemporary African American composers to the popular genre. Including thirty-nine pieces for voice and piano created since 1968 by eighteen artists, ANew Anthology of Art Songs by African American Composers navigates a varied musical terrain from classical European traditions to jazz and spirituals. With nearly half of the featured songs composed by women and with others by lesser-known and emerging composers, this important collection offers a diverse, representative sampling of African American art songs and works to secure the places of these songs and artists in the canon of contemporary American music.
Selected by Jeanine Wagner and Margaret R. Simmons, prolific and celebrated performers who have presented recitals throughout the world featuring the art songs of African American composers, this dazzling new repertoire of twentieth-century music is cogently framed by a thorough introduction and substantial biographies of each composer. The compact discs feature piano tracks of all thirty-nine compositions.
The featured composers are H. Leslie Adams, Mable Bailey, Charles S. Brown, Wallace McClain Cheatham, Adolphus Hailstork, Jacqueline B. Hairston, William H. Henderson, Jeraldine Saunders Herbison, Betty Jackson King, William Foster
McDaniel, Undine Smith Moore, Byron Motley, Barbara Sherrill, Robert Owens, Nadine Shanti, Frederick Tillis, Dolores White, and Julius P. Williams.
Margaret R. Simmons, pianist, is aprofessor of music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has performed throughout the country as a member of the Aulos Trio and the Klarion Trio and has won acclaim as a recitalist with numerous professional singers.
Jeanine Wagner, soprano, is a professor of music and assistant director of the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The 1994 winner of the Artist Presentation Award in St. Louis and the 1992 winner of the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition, she was named an International Finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti competition and has been a Regional Winner in the Metropolitan Opera auditions.
“For decades now, we have had no significant publication of black art songs from anyone. Simmons and Wagner’s collection begins to fill in that deep and wide chasm. With this collection, singers and teachers will have a most significant volume of art songs—displaying the times, traditions, moods, and sensitivities of the black American culture.”—Robert J. Harrison, University of Colorado at Boulder