Music of William Grant Still

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Centaur's Music of William Grant Still features violinist Clifford Panton and pianist Jason Alfred in what appears to be all of the music produced by William Grant Still for the medium of violin and piano. Much of this literature was created through the encouragement of violinist Louis Kaufman, who was an ardent champion of Still and at one time recorded most of it. Of the 12 works represented here, only two -- the "Suite for violin and piano" and "Pastorela" -- were originally intended for the violin. However, both works, in addition to everything that is on here except for the "Two Cameos," have been arranged for countless other instrumental combinations and have ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Centaur's Music of William Grant Still features violinist Clifford Panton and pianist Jason Alfred in what appears to be all of the music produced by William Grant Still for the medium of violin and piano. Much of this literature was created through the encouragement of violinist Louis Kaufman, who was an ardent champion of Still and at one time recorded most of it. Of the 12 works represented here, only two -- the "Suite for violin and piano" and "Pastorela" -- were originally intended for the violin. However, both works, in addition to everything that is on here except for the "Two Cameos," have been arranged for countless other instrumental combinations and have been recorded in one way or the other. In order for this disc to have a raison d'etre, it must contain some extraordinary element that lifts it above the fray. Panton is an excellent violinist who knows this music well, and Jason Alfred is a capable accompanist who stays out of the spotlight, reserving it for Panton. Nevertheless, several elements in this project make it less of an attractive option than it probably should be. The recording is quiet and distant, with the violin mixed barely above the level of the piano, lacking warmth and having a rather wiry sounding quality. Music of William Grant Still is very short at 45 minutes; to have found another, musically compatible work to help fill out the measure of the disc would have been a plus. Music of William Grant Still is sequenced in a way that one tires of it by the time "Pastorela" rolls around at the end. Creative re-districting of the tracks helps lessen this aspect of the package, but the confusing and poor typesetting of the booklet is yet another thing that militates against it. In the final analysis, though, there are two reasons why Music of William Grant Still might still be desirable. The "Two Cameos" are a pair of musical scraps left behind by Still and only discovered after his death, and they have never been recorded before. Combined they do not even crack the three-minute mark, but both pieces are thoroughly charming and inventive, particularly "Procession of the Ants" which its composer called "Pompous March". Panton turns in a stunning performance of the "Suite for violin and piano" -- not even the indifferent sound is enough to put him down in this instance. If this proves sufficient reason to take the bait, then Centaur's Music of William Grant Still is worth the risk.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/29/2005
  • Label: Centaur
  • UPC: 044747275024
  • Catalog Number: 2750
  • Sales rank: 142,621

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Vignettes, for oboe, bassoon & piano: Carmela - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (2:40)
  2. 2 Folk Suite No.1, folksong arrangements for flute, string quartet & piano: Bambalele e Espin Garda (Two Brazilian folk songs) - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (2:15)
  3. 3 Here's One, for chorus & piano (various other arrangements) - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (2:48)
  4. 4 Visions (3), for piano: Summerland - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (4:01)
  5. 5–7 Suite for Violin and Piano - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (14:48)
  6. 6 Lenox Avenue, ballet for chorus, orchestra & piano: Blues - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (3:35)
  7. 7 Quit Dat Fool'nish, for piano and arranged for many various ensembles - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (1:19)
  8. 10–11 Two Cameos, for violin & piano - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (2:58)
  9. 11 Pastorela, for violin & piano, or violin & orchestra - William Grant Still & Clifford Panton (11:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Clifford Panton Primary Artist
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