SALES OF THIS RECORDING ARE NOT FOR PROFIT.
ANY PROCEEDS GO DIRECTLY INTO A FACULTY
DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT AT DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY
Program Notes from the Recording:
William Grant Still (1895 Ã¢Â€Â“1978)
William Grant Still was born in Woodville, Mississippi. Both of his parents had a college education and were teachers. Having both parents with college degrees was quite rare during this era, but the fact that the family was black makes this truly remarkable. (Still's paternal grandmother was a Chactaw Indian.) Still's father died when he was only three months old. Even though his mother moved to Little Rock, Arkansas soon after her husband's death, the composer's heritage is deeply embedded in Mississippi soil.
Still's musical style mixes popular, folk, and jazz in a â€œclassicalâ€ idiom. His music shares some characteristics with that of George Gershwin. Both composers were in Los Angeles writing music for the movie studios during the same era.
â€œSummerlandâ€ is a lovely piece initially written for solo piano. It was a section of â€œThree Visions for Pianoâ€. Still transcribed it for violin and piano, then later for flute and piano as heard on this recording.
â€œQuit dat Fool'nishâ€
This is Still's only work which was originally written for flute and piano. The composer called it a â€œhumoresque.â€ It carries a dedication to â€œShepâ€ (the family's dog).
â€œHere's Oneâ€, â€œBayou Homeâ€
Both of these pieces were first composed for voice and piano. â€œHere's Oneâ€ can be found in a number of settings by the composer. The version of these works heard on this recording are transcriptions by flutist Alexa Still (no relation to the composer).
From: Suite for Violin and Piano
Movement II (Slowly) Suggested by Sargent Johnson's â€œMother and Childâ€
Movement III (Rhythmically and humorously) Suggested by Augusta Savage's â€œGaminâ€
These movements were both inspired by the artwork of Afro-American artists. â€œMother and Childâ€ is a painting in semi-primitive style of an Afro-American mother holding her young child in her lap. â€œGaminâ€ is a sculpture of a black man in a uniform with his hat at a jaunty angle and a big smile on his face.
â€œSonatinaâ€: William Presser
William Presser has been a Mississippi resident since 1953 when he came to the state to teach composition at the University of Southern Mississippi. He remained there until his retirement and is a still a resident of Hattiesburg. Dr. Presser is a prolific composer; approximately 100 of his works have been published. This sonatina for flute and piano was written in May, 1980.
â€œTre Impressioniâ€: Luigi Zaninelli
Luigi Zaninelli has been composer in residence at the University of Southern Mississippi since 1972. He is an established composer with over 300 published works. Mr. Zaninelli has written a number of pieces for flutist James Pellerite and Tre Impressioni was written for him in 1995. Mr. Pellerite had become quite interested in the native American flute and this work was written for that instrument.
These short pieces have been described as â€œenchantingly simple melodic lines with a pure pentatonic flavor, imaginatively combined with chromatic tertian harmony.â€ On this recording they are performed on the standard BÃ¶hm flute.
Andrew Fox: from A Day in the Delta
â€œThe Last Waltzâ€
Andrew Fox has recently retired from the faculty of the University of Mississippi where he taught music theory and composition for many years. A Day in the Delta was first written for flute and Commodore 64 computer. Since the Commodore 64 has been obsolete for many years, this piece was left unplayable in its original form. Fortunately the music was written out in traditional musical notation. The two movements recorded here are performed on flute and piano.
David Caudill: â€œRomanzaâ€
David Caudill is on the faculty of Delta State University where he teaches music theory and composition, music history, and voice. Dr. Caudill's numerous compositions range from songs, to works for wind ensemble with chorus. His latest work is a Christmas opera, The Shepherd's Story. â€œRomanzaâ€ was written for Keith Pettway in 1991.
Keith Pettway: Mockingbird Variations:
Variations on an Old Song by Septimus Winner
This piece was a direct result of this recording project.The fact that the Mockingbird is the state bird of Mississippi seemed to make such a composition very appropriate.The variations are a parody of the bravura variations of the 19th century, the era of the original song.The funeral march variation is appropriate because even though the melody sounds rather happy, the words are quite sad.The song is about a young woman who died in winter and in the spring the â€œmockingbird is singing o'er her grave.â€ There are quotes from well-known classical works scattered throughout the piece.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Summerland, William Grant Still
2. Quit Dat Fool'nish, William Grant Still
3. Mother and Child, William Grant Still
4. Gamin, William Grant Still
5. Here's One, William Grant Still
6. Bayou Home, William Grant Still
7. Sonatina, William Presser, 1. Allegretto
8. 2. Adagio
9. 3. Vivace
10. Tre Impressioni, Luigi Zaninelli, 1. Cantabile
11. 2. Soave
12. 3. Scherzetto
13. A Day in the Delta, Andrew Fox, Papa's Mule
14. Last Watz
15. Romanze, David Caudill
16. Mockingbird Variations, Keith Pettway