Episode 78. Twentieth Century Pioneers (BHM2021 VI)

Episode 78. Twentieth Century Pioneers (Black History Month 2021 VI)



Happy Belated Birthday, dear Martina Arroyo
(heard in this program singing Stockhausen)!

To round off #BlackHistoryMonth2021, I bring you an array of artists singing a wide range of 20th Century repertoire. Included are singers who have previously been featured in full episodes (including Lawrence Winters, Gloria Davy, Charles Holland, and Carol Brice), legendary favorites (including Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Roberta Alexander, and Barbara Hendricks), important concert singers (including Adele Addison and Betty Allen), lesser-known artists (including Helen Thipgen, Martha Flowers, William Pearson, Mareda Gaither, and Olive Moorefield), and iconic singers (including Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, and Christiane Eda-Pierre) for whom important new work was created by Judith Weir, André Previn, and Charles Chaynes. The range of composers represented is equally vast and includes Leonard Bernstein, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Virgil Thomson, Michael Tippett, Lee Hoiby, Shulamit Ran, Gian Carlo Menotti, Judith Weir, Paul Bowles, Lukas Foss, and David del Tredici. with special attention given to African American composers Margaret Bonds, Howard Swanson, William Grant Still, Hall Johnson, and Robert Nathaniel Dett. In other words: something for everyone and just a foretaste of future Countermelody programs that will continue to celebrate the contributions of African American singers.


Roberta Alexander and Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein: So Pretty. Roberta Alexander; Tan Crone [1985]

Lee Hoiby, Emma Lazarus: Lady of the Harbor. Leontyne Price; David Garvey [live Brooklyn February 1986]

Lee Hoiby (1926 – 2011)

Ned Rorem, Christina Rossetti: Ferry Me across the Water (The Nantucket Songs). Leontyne Price; David Garvey [live Chicago 10 January 1981]

Ned Rorem
Margaret Bonds (1913 – 1972)

Margaret Bonds, Langston Hughes: Minstrel Man. Leontyne Price; David Garvey [live Salzburg 15 August 1984]

Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967)
Helen Thigpen

Howard Swanson, Carl Sandburg: The Junk Man. Helen Thigpen; David Allen [1950]

Howard Swanson (1907 – 1978)

Hall Johnson, Langston Hughes: Fy-er. Charles Holland; Dennis Russell Davies [1982]

Hall Johnson (1888 – 1970)
Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882 – 1943)

Robert Nathaniel Dett: O Lord, Behold My Affliction (The Ordering of Moses). Carol Brice; William Levi Dawson, Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Talladega College Choir [live 1968]

William L. Dawson (1899 – 1990)
Lawrence Winters (1915 – 1965)

William Grant Still, Langston Hughes: Why Do You Laugh? (Troubled Island). Lawrence Winters; Julius Rudel, New York City Opera Orchestra [live New York 1 May 1949]

William Grant Still (1895 – 1978)

Paul Bowles, James Schuyler: The Sunday paper is full of news (A Picnic Cantata). Mareda Gaither; Arthur Gold, Robert Fizdale, Al Howard [1954]

Martha Flowers in 1973

Igor Stravinsky, W.H. Auden, Chester Kallman: Oh, God, protect dear Tom… I go, I go to him (The Rake’s Progress). Martha Flowers; David Garvey [live New York 10 December 1952]

Martha Flowers and The Don Shirley Trio

Lukas Foss, Franz Kafka: Sechzehnter Januar (Time Cycle). Adele Addison; Leonard Bernstein, New York Phhilharmonic [1960]

Thomas Carey, Jill Gomez, and Robert Tear in The Knot Garden (1970)

Michael Tippett: If you think we’re wax works; Do not torment me, baby (The Knot Garden). Thomas Carey, Robert Tear, Jill Gomez, Raimund Herincx, Yvonne Minton, Josephine Barstow; Colin Davis, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [1974]

Michael Tippett (1905 – 1998)
A very fuzzy still of Olive Moorefield, Eberhard Wächter, and Elisabeth Höngen in the 1964 German television production of Die alte Jungfer und der Dieb, directed by Otto Schenk.

Gian Carlo Menotti, Marcel Prawy [German translation]: Guten Morgen! (Die alte Jungfer und der Dieb) [The Old Maid and the Thief]. Olive Moorefield, Eberhard Wächter, Elisabeth Höngen; Wolfgang Rennert, Orchester der Wiener Volksoper [1964 television production]

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Momente, Erster Teil (1965 version). Martina Arroyo; Aloys Kontarsky, Alfons Kontarsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, Kölner Rundfunkchor

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928 – 2007)
Gloria Davy (1931 – 2012)

Shulamit Ran, Nelly Sachs: In der Flucht [Fleeing] (O the Chimneys). Gloria Davy; Shulamit Ran, Robert Johnson, Philomusica Chamber Ensemble [1973]

Shulamit Ran (b. 1949)
William Pearson (1934 – 1995)

Hans Werner Henze,  Hans Magnus Enzensberger [after Esteban Montoya]: Die Sklaverei; Der Wald (El Cimarrón). William Pearson; Karlheinz Zöller, Leo Brouwer, Stomu Yamash’ta, Hans Werner Henze (1971)

Hans Werner Henze (1926 – 2012)

André Previn, Toni Morrison: The Town Is Lit (Honey and Rue). Kathleen Battle; John Nelson, Chicago Symphony Orchestra [live Ravinia 24 July 1993]

Toni Morrison (1931 – 2019)
Jessye Norman (1945 – 2019)

Judith Weir, Maya Angelou: On Maturity (woman.life.song). Jessye Norman; David Robertson, London Sinfonietta [live London 6 August 2000]

Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014)
Judith Weir (b. 1954)
Christiane Eda-Pierre (1932 – 2020)

Charles Chaynes, Amadou Moustapha Wade: Pour un pays perdu (Pour un monde noir). Christiane Eda-Pierre; Gilbert Amy, Jean-Claude Chazal, Gérard Lemaire, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique [live Radio-France 14 June 1978]

Charles Chaynes (1925 – 2016)
David Del Tredici, Georg Solti, Barbara Hendricks

David Del Tredici, Lewis Carroll: A boat ‘neath a sunny sky (Final Alice). Barbara Hendricks; Georg Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra [live Chicago October 1979]

Betty Allen (1927 – 2009) and Virgil Thomson (1896 – 1989)

Virgil Thomson, Anonymous Poet: Before Sleeping (Praises and Prayers). Betty Allen; Virgil Thomson [live New York 24 October 1963]

Leonard Bernstein, Alan Jay Lerner: Take Care of this House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). Roberta Alexander; Tan Crone [1985]

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