Episode 134. Legacy

Episode 134. Legacy (Black History Month 2022 Postlude)



This is the second part of my final episode of Black History Month 2022, continuing the exploration of the legacies of more than two dozen mostly underrecorded African American artists. Each piece of this aural mosaic fills in gaps in the recorded history of these artists. After opening memorial tributes to Josephine Veasey, Antonietta Stella, and Betty Davis, the episode is broken into several sections: first, recordings of Baroque music by Aubrey Pankey, Carmen Balthrop, Adele Addison, Betty Allen, Seth McCoy, Marvin Hayes, and a rare live recording by Marian Anderson, whose 125th birthday was observed this past week. There follow recordings of concert repertoire sung by Dorothy Maynor, Louise Parker, and Grace de la Cruz, with William Pearson and Julius Eastman leading us briefly into the bizarre world of the extended vocal techniques of the 1960s. There follow recorded performances of art song by Helen Colbert, Rhea Jackson, John Riley, Clamma Dale, Ellabelle Davis, Marvis Martin, and Cynthia Haymon, whereupon the episode concludes with some rare performances of operatic repertoire with Gwendolyn Killebrew, Claudia Lindsey, Dagmar Průšová, and Gwendolyn Walters, capped by an exquisite a cappella performance of “A City Called Heaven” by the great Mattiwilda Dobbs.


Giuseppe Verdi: Liber scriptus (Messa da Requiem). Josephine Veasey, Leonard Bernstein, London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Giuseppe Verdi: Libera me (Messa da Requiem). Antonietta Stella, Herbert von Karajan, Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Singverein [Wien 20.XI.1954]

Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different. Betty Davis [1974]

Giulio Caccini, Giovanni Battista Guarini: Amarilli mia bella (Le nuove musiche). Aubrey Pankey, Orchestra conducted by Marius François Gaillard [1938]

Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Francesco Busenello: Pur ti miro (L’incoronazione di Poppea). Carmen Balthrop, Carolyn Watkinson, Alan Curtis, Il Comlesso Barocco [live Venezia 09.1980]

George Frideric Handel, Thomas Morell: Arm, arm, ye brave (Judas Maccabaeus). Marvin Hayes, Maurice Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra [1951]

George Frideric Handel, Charles Jennens: Rejoice greatly (Messiah). Adele Addison, Thompson Stone, The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, The Zimbler Sinfonietta [1959]

Johann Sebastian Bach, Picander [né Christian Friedrich Henrici], English version by John Troutbeck: Behold, my Savior now is taken [So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen] (Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244/33). Adele Addison, Betty Allen, Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, Collegiate Chorale [1963]

Johann Sebastian Bach, Picander [né Christian Friedrich Henrici]: Geduld! Wenn mich falsche Zungen stechen! (Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244/35). Seth McCoy, Johannes Somary, English Chamber Orchestra [1978]

Johann Sebastian Bach, unknown poet: Du Herr, du krönst allein das Jahr (Es wartet alles auf dich, BWV 187/3). Marian Anderson, Robert Bloom, Erich Itor Kahn, Bernard Greenhouse [live, unknown venue and date]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Alleluia (Exsultate, jubilate, KV. 165). Dorothy Maynor, Sylvan Levin, RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra [1942]

Antonín Dvořák: Inflammatus et accensus (Stabat Mater, Op. 58). Grace de la Cruz, Hubert Reichert, Westfälisches Sinfonieorchester Recklinghausen [1965]

Paul Hindemith, Walt Whitman: Sing on, there in the swamp [Arioso] (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d: A Requiem for Those We Love). Louise Parker, Paul Hindemith, New York Philharmonic [1963]

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

Peter Maxwell Davies, Randolph Stow (after George III): The Sentry [excerpt] (Eight Songs for a Mad King). Julius Eastman, Peter Maxwell Davies, The Fires of London [1971]

Franz Schubert, Franz von Schober: Die Forelle, D. 550. Helen Colbert, Jerzy Lefeld [1956]

I found this photo on the website of the Detroit Public Library. The figures depicted are identified as follows: Elwood Peterson, tenor; John Riley, baritone; Howard Swanson, arranger; Vera Little, contralto; Rhea Jackson, soprano; Marvin Hayes, bass; Andres Wheatley, harpsichordist; Gordon Heath, baritone/producer; Parmenia Egstrom (on floor), organizer. Ste. Chapelle, June, 1955.

Franz Schubert, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Heidenröslein, D257. Rhea Jackson, Simone Treillard [mid-1950s]

Franz Schubert, Heinrich Heine: Das Fischermädchen, D.957/10. John Riley, Simone Treillard [mid-1950s]

Johannes Brahms, traditional folk text adapted by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben: Von ewiger Liebe, Op. 43/1. Clamma Dale, Claude Frank [live 1977]

Alfred Bachelet, Eugène Adénis-Colombeau: Chère nuit. Ellabelle Davis, Kjell Olsson [ca. 1950]

Traditional Auvergne, arr. Joseph-Marie Canteloube, arr. for chamber orchestra by Jean-Guy Bailly: Baïlèro (Chants d’Auvergne, Series I:2). Marvis Martin, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Orchestre d’Auvergne [1994]

Harry T. Burleigh, Laurence Hope [née Adela Florence Cory]: Till I Wake (Five Songs of Laurence Hope, No. 5). Cynthia Haymon, Warren Jones [1992]

Dagmar Průšová as Eboli in Don Carlo, Prague National Theatre, 1964

Gioacchino Rossini, Cesare Sterbini, unknown Czech translator: Srdce svého já se [Una voce poco fa] (Il barbiere di Siviglia). Dagmar Průšová, Bohumil Gregor, Orchestr Národního divadla v Praze [Prague National Theatre Orchestra] [1964]

Frederick Delius, original libretto by C.F. Keary, revised and adapted by Douglas Craig and Andrew Page: My lord Koanga, dead (Koanga). Claudia Lindsey, Charles Groves, London Symphony Orchestra [live London, 19.V.1972]

Hector Berlioz, after William Shakespeare: Il m’en souvient (Béatrice et Bénédict). Gwendolyn Killebrew, Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra [live 1979 telecast]

Christoph Willibald Gluck, François Gand Leblanc du Roullet [after Jean Baptiste Racine]: Hélas! mon coeur sensible et tendre (Iphigénie en Aulide). Gwendolyn Walters, Peter Maag, Orchestr Národního divadla v Praze [Prague National Theatre Orchestra] [1966]

Traditional Spiritual: A City Called Heaven. Mattiwilda Dobbs [1970]

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